February 28, 2011

Colombo- no more ancient discoveries. The final parting

Bentota beach, Bentota waterfalls and the river were the highlight of this leg of the journey. The Expansive stretch of Bentota beach and it's soft sands was thorougly enjoyable and pefect for kids. Bentota was a tranquil stopover offering little but the charm of it's river side eateries and it's clean sandy (yellow) beach. There wasn't the hippy culture of unawatuna nor the bustling city feel. The ability to dine at a beautiful riverside property and hop onto the boat to jet across to the beach therein lay the charm of Bentota. The last day Jade who was keen to waterski made way to banana boat rides and booked herself one jetski. All clad in her costume and life jacket she seemed to fit the part perfectly and managed to stir a surge in Gias confidence about the exercise she was to embark. Soon both girls had themselves jacketed up and rearing to go. A thrilling sprayed 15 mins later all wet but beaming from ear to ear two young girls emerged closer to the pier. They had the ride of their lives and they left someone eager to book himself an early morning fishing trip.
The day of the departure the boatsmen set off before sunrise on a wonderfully medium sized boat with his vast fishing experience in tow. I prayed they returned successful and secretly hoped they didn't rely too much on his past successes.Whilst enjoying breakfast, driver Thilak had arrived with his wife. She seated herself down and we got chatting eagerly awaiting for the boats return. Sometime later Al came by looking displeased with his nonexistent catch but comforted by the event itself.

colombo beach, galle, Bentota

The check out was not smooth what with all the confusion over a signature on a blank form which finally got settled with the greedy manager.
The drive to Colombo was dull and long. I found myself chatting with the drivers wife who was assigned the duty to have us picked up and discovered that a lovely hard bred lankan girl like herself hated three things most: tea, beach and fishing! Was a bit outlandish to even digest since that pretty much epitomised the Sri Lankan way of life but i guess one doesn't see the beauty in the things that surrounds them!
We finally reached and then had a long wait at the Galle Face hotel to be attended to and subsequently checked in. The inital booking by Thilak was for a standard room in the Regency Wing which turned out to be uncomfortable pokey and facing some street wall. So we rushed down to have the room upgraded at an extra cost. It cost us 132 dollars per nite and we got ourselvers the junior suite. Wooden flooring, gigantic sized room, bathroom with tub, walk in closet and the softest beds greeted us as we opened the door. The girls just exclaimed that this is the largest room they have ever seen!!
Colombo a beautiful city. Winding long roads, crazy tuks tuks, scenic lakes and the sea next door lends Colombo an old world charm. The malls were busy but well stocked. Odel was the one that stole my heart. The cafe like ambience, the wooden flooring and the children playarea really give this mall the uniqueness that it has.
We spent the two days left shopping and watching Barbie DVDs at the hotel. We really focussed on a wardrobe rehaul as we stacked up on slim office shirts and work pants. Most of the time shirt sizes could be an issue but one must be persistant and increase your chances of pulling out the shirts stacked up because once your heart hears the prices it will be hard to put down any clothing in any size! Due to our shopping jaunts and long sleep ins, we failed to use the Galle pool or any other hotel facility but thats the downside to getting a great room.
The last night as we took a stroll down the Galle road in the hope of finding a restaurant before the rains came lashing down on us is where we found Raja Bojun Restaurant, situated just a few blocks away from the Hotel Galle. Upon entering the art gallery we wondered whether this little trip was even worth it. Then the restaurant just opened up and we were so glad to find this..Live Band, Buffet spread and a vacant table in a restaurant that had to have had half of colombo seated. Plus they didnt charge the kids so that was a really sweet gesture. We soon joined the long line of buffetters for some hot lankan curries and mouth watering dosas.
The next day , we called in for our loyal sri lankan driver who thankfully turned up promptly with a wonderful 7-seater and got us to the airport in a breeze.
Sri Lanka was enjoyable and relaxing.. so long to a great neighbour!

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