One of the many nice things about Sri Lanka is that there is a lot of diversity, both in socioeconomic, culture and landscape terms. For example, I am sat at the moment on the patio of my hotel, surrounded by lush tropical tree and flowers, yet without being disturbing I can here the hustle and bustle of the main road at the end of the culdesac. I am in the heart of the city whilst feeling outside of it.
This past weekend (following a very busy but fruitful week in the office) I got to get out and about a bit. Saturday morning was spent nipping round some of the local shops (I say local, but other than at Majestic City, the locals don’t shop there) to pick up a few things to take back home. Suitcase space being at a premium I did not buy to much, but next time I won’t bring so many clothes I won’t wear… Why did I bring a suit? The afternoon was spent sat in the fresh air, in the shade!, reading the newspaper and enjoying a brief doze.
Sunday started all to early (well, okay, 8.30 isn’t early but I’m a lazy so and so and the beds are just to comfy) but a terrific day ensued. Sitara (our office driver) and Rajitha (who really should do more than just SEO for OW) took me down to Madu Ganga Villas (Madu Ganga is a world heritage site), which is about 85km south of Colombo. Its a slightly odd place, tucked away down some rather bumpy residential back roads, but all the more endearing for it. Set beside a huge salt water inlet you can enjoy a drink on the floating veranda, take a boat trip round what seems like an ever expanding expanse of water, dotted with islands and little boat-ways through the mangroves, then have lunch on there deck over the water. All terribly pleasant, though all the more odd for being the only people there! One wonders how such places survive.
The drive down to Madu Ganga and back takes you through some areas where the recent tsunami has made its impact felt. Along the main A2 Colombo to Galle coast road there are many ruined buildings, dotted with white Red Cross tents which make do as homes for the affected whilst rebuilding takes place. the devastated railway has already been fully restored, which is encouraging to see, but the full rebuilding of the coastal areas (many so much more badly affected than those I saw) will take very much longer, especially as the debate over the Sri Lankan Government’s 100 meter rule continues.
I’m back in the UK tomorrow, after a 12 hour flight that only takes 6 hours on the watch, so hopefully I’ll get some sleep and be awake for a beer or two back in Bath.
Some pics are HERE.