Down by the sea
Hikkaduwa Travel Blog› entry 5 of 32 › view all entries
Sri Lanka Again
Today I'm off on my second visit to Sri Lanka. There are a few reasons for my visit:
- 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).
- I'm here to visit the places that I didn't cover last time - the west coast beaches.
- 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 .
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:
- A free bus from the airport to the bus station (10 minutes).
- A bus to Colombo Fort railway station (2 hours). Hot, sweaty, fumy and noisy.
- A train from Colombo to Hikkaduwa, the beach village (2 hours).
- 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.
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!
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.