Visa D-day

Colombo Travel Blog

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Sunset on Mount Lavinia beach

I was up early to check some emails, as I had been hoping to get some more tickets for the World Cup with my friends...sadly, we haven't been able to get any more England tickets - it can be a pain being a fan of the best supported team in the world! So slightly deflated, I headed off to get the train to Colombo. I lost my bearings a bit and ended up having to ask for directions....I'm sure the Lonely Planet map was wrong!! As I got close to the train station, I passed some buses lined up for Colombo and decided to jump on. I was guaranteed a seat and they were leaving shortly, so I avoided the seat lottery that is getting the train. It was a long, hot journey down the A1 to thee capital.

I took this purely because of the name of the road...for you Tobes!
The 115km (70 miles) took about three-and-a-half hours...oh, what fun! I got into Fort in Colombo and got on my bus for Mount Lavinia. I again decided to stay out of the city centre, as it was a hotel I stayed at before and I knew they had wi-fi, and sorting out plans and chores was all I was going to be doing for the next couple of days.

I checked back in at Tropic Inn, although this time I didn't have the room to myself and was surprised to find that they were cramming four of us into a tiny room - mmm, nice odour! We could barely move with all the beds and bags...I think the hotel managed had spied a few extra dollars and was keen to take advantage! I was too tired to argue and had dinner and tried to get some sleep ahead of the big day tomorrow - going to find out about my Indian visa!

So I was up early the next day to get to the Indian Visa Application Centre in Kollupitiya for 8am. I was there on time, but sadly the staff member dealing with collections wasn't so I, along with another 20 people, sat waiting for 45 minutes for him to arrive. Then all we did was hand our passports over, sign our names and were told to return at 4pm to pick them up...great! So I spent the day looking round some shops and generally trying not to get too sweaty...which is pretty much impossible in Colombo unless you stay in an air-conditioned shopping mall all day! I was back at the Visa Centre at about 3.30pm as I was bored. 4pm came and went and we all sat there very patiently, after being told we had to wait for the passports to come back from the High Commission. After 2 hours, they finally turned up - I wasn't the only one ready to tear my hair out by this point! Some Italians were getting impatient as they had to confirm a flight for the next day by 6pm and needed to know if they had their visas or not. I was relieved when I was called forward and saw the 3-month, single entry visa in my passport - and relax! The Israeli guy behind me wasn't so lucky - he just found out he been refused a visa for the second time....oh dear, just glad that wasn't me.

So, in the knowledge that I had my visa and could get on my flight to Chennai on Friday, I am here chilling out with a cold Lion beer and looking forward to what adventures lay ahead in Hindustan....

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Sunset on Mount Lavinia beach
Sunset on Mount Lavinia beach
I took this purely because of the …
I took this purely because of the…
photo by: wanderingluster