Down by the sea

Hikkaduwa Travel Blog

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Waiting for the train at Colombo Fort station.


Sri Lanka Again

Today I'm off on my second visit to Sri Lanka.  There are a few reasons for my visit:

  1. Even though I've travelled extensively around Sri Lanka, I don't have the true feel of the country and its people.  We were in a rush as it was a 6-day stopover on the way to Iran, so we hired a car and driver (it wasn't that expensive).
  2. I'm here to visit the places that I didn't cover last time  -  the west coast beaches.
  3. This was the only way I could get to use my Emirates frequent flyer points to go to Beirut.
     

Setting off from Kuala Lumpur to Hikkaduwa

With jetlag on my side, I woke at 3am in Kuala Lumpur .

Waiting for the train at Colombo Fort station.
.. then dozed till 4am when I had to wake for my 6:15am flight to Colombo.  The airport terminal was walking distance from the hotel.

Upon arrival at Colombo at 7:15, I enquired about a taxi down the coast to Hikkaduwa.  It would be a 4 hour drive costing USD70.  I opted to take public transport instead for a grand total of USD5:

  1. A free bus from the airport to the bus station (10 minutes).
  2. A bus to Colombo Fort railway station (2 hours).  Hot, sweaty, fumy and noisy.
  3. A train from Colombo to Hikkaduwa, the beach village (2 hours). 
  4. There was some waiting around at the railway station, but only long enough for a light lunch of roti and vadae. 

I noticed on the train that much of the coastline is very orange coloured sand ... sienna.

Vendor on the train (2nd class) ... see the ceiling? It is full of black mildew (mould) ... someone had a go cleaning it in the centre-right panel but gave up on the rest.
Unfortunately this rich colour renders the water an awful colour when the sand is churned up into the waves.

I also noticed that the elderly woman sitting next to me holds her hands in prayer position each time she sees a Buddhist temple through the window ... that's the kind of thing you'd miss if you just tour Sri Lanka in a car with driver!

At Hikkaduwa

My family-run hotel at Hikkaduwa (or more accurately Thiranagama) was modest and simple but very clean.  Unfortunately the sea is very rough ... I stood 3 inches deep in the water and could feel the undertow dragging me in.  I settled for the small but clean and cooling swimming pool. 

In light of my disappointment (with the sea), it feels so good that I didn't pay USD70 for the taxi ride down.  I will treat this stay by the beach as a base for exploring Galle (tomorrow, further south) and as a relaxing break on the way to Beirut.


 

mariebloom says:
six months later - time to read this dear alex i would like to go there with you once in my life - with both perfect knees.. i don't even remember i was member of travel buddy and already post pictures
colombo is that to hot and humid for me ?
how are you doing ? working until mid december
miss you shush shush m
Posted on: Nov 27, 2010
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Waiting for the train at Colombo F…
Waiting for the train at Colombo …
Waiting for the train at Colombo F…
Waiting for the train at Colombo …
Vendor on the train (2nd class) ..…
Vendor on the train (2nd class) .…
Hikkaduwa Hostels review
Rooms are large and clean. Most have balcony looking out towards the sea. The pool is very clean as well ... that comes in handy as if you come … read entire review
Hikkaduwa
photo by: melpomeni