My birthday, plus a holiday in Bentota
Bentota Travel Blog› entry 31 of 37 › view all entries
It was a strange start to my birthday: waking up on a bench in the arrivals hall in Colombo airport, where we'd stopped to get around four hours' sleep before the first bus of the morning. The flight from Dhaka was with Thai airways via Bangkok, and so we'd got into Colombo in the early hours of the morning. We were pleased to find, on waking up, that our bags hadn't been stolen, and we headed off to find a bus into town.
There was a bus just leaving and we managed to squeeze on. In spite of tiredness I could begin to feel an attempted rip-off coming on; all the other passengers were being charged for the journey but we weren't. However, the bus was heading in the right direction (Colombo train station) so I wasn't that concerned.
We just missed a train which was heading south towards Bentota, where we were meeting up with Zoe's parents who were taking a two week holiday in Sri Lanka.
We managed to find a guest house just across the railway line from there hotel, set back from the beach, where rooms were only 900 rupees a night. There didn't seem to me much choice of places to stay in Bentota, so this was actually OK. We were surprised by how much more expensive accommodation was in Sri Lanka than it had been in India. In fact, Bentota was a more expensive place than other places we stayed in Sri Lanka; the Internet cafe was truly exorbitant by the standards to which we'd become used - we only used it once.
Zoe's parents turned up in the evening, and we had dinner together. They'd already spent a week doing a tour of the island with a guide, so we were able to get some tips on the places they'd visited, and use this to plan our time in Sri Lanka.
One of the great benefits of being there at the same time as Zoe's parents was that they were paying for a nice hotel, and we were able to use all of the facilities. This included having hot showers, which we hadn't done for ages, and also having plenty of hot water for washing clothes. We spent a lot of the week lazing on sun loungers and generally relaxing. It was a good way to recharge our batteries.
One day we did an outing to a turtle sanctuary. We were told how much good these places did for the turtle population. Later in our travels we met a fellow traveller who told us that they were just a way of getting money our of tourists, and that they were very bad for the turtle population. She said she'd worked in a place in Sri Lanka that was actually doing something to protect the turtles. I suppose the chances are she was telling the truth, but I didn't research it any further.