29th December – Galle

We had a restless night due to the Saturday night beach party going on down the coast, we did walk past it when it was warming up last night but the euro pop music didn’t take our fancy. We spent 20 mins getting the bill from our relaxed cafe, which meant waking the guys up from what seemed a very deep slumber!
We then walked into town, which the previous day had been a succession of tuktuk drivers asking us if we wanted a lift, today they were conspicuous by their absence and our backpacks seemed quite heavy, eventually one did appear, only after I had worked up a slight perspiration, Guy’s was a little more than slight as he had his rucksack and hand luggage bag!
On arriving at the bus station pandemonium was prevalent. It was just after 8.30 when we arrived, and loads of buses seemed to be filling up and leaving for various parts of sri Lanka. As usual you find out where the buses are going by the constant calling of the bus conductors, just constantly yelling Matara, Columbo, Kandy over and over, again. Being a tourist though it is easy to be noticed and everyone knows you are either off to Galle, Mirissa or Kandy, that is the tourist trail. So pretty quickly we were herded along with a few other tourists and a lot of locals onto a local bus, were for the price of 250 rupees (65p each) we had a 2 hour drive to Galle. Luxury it isn’t. We had a seat, although as we are huge foreigners we did take up more room on the 3 seats we were in, and as a result I was hanging off the end of the edge of the plastic lined seat. Luckily the cheek hanging off was the one with no less than 7 mossie bites on it, so every cloud has a silver lining! However, as the bus progressed, more and more people were rammed into the aisles and any place possible. This was beneficial as the driver, the usual crazy lunatic, drove at breakneck speeds and his way of navigating through a village or town was to accelerate and continuously honk on his horn, and only break at the last moment, which would have been messy for the passengers if there was room to move.
2 hours later, it seemed much much more, we screeched to a halt in  Galle, and navigated getting off the bus, with rucksacks successfully. Vowing to take the train whenever we can in future.
We were hawked quickly for a lift to our guest house, however embarrassingly enough we didn’t have any change for the tuktuk, so had to borrow 100 rupees from the guesthouse owner.
Galle is full of tourist places to eat, which is fine if you want a cheese and tomato sarnie, however we were still wanting sri Lankan food. After a failed attempt in one restaurant, although I did have the best iced coffee ever, we tried to get roti for late breakfast in a small cafe which doubled as a batik shop, and had a photo album from the tsunami. The Roti’s were exactly as it said on the tin, dried roti with grated coconut and mango chutney on top. Guys had a fried egg on top, with mango chutney. Not a great start!
The rest of the day was spent looking for sri lankan food place for tea and me peering into all the gem shops, trying to avoid guy seeing me!
Eventually we did get a great place for dinner, photos below!

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We also saw a huge procession of dancing kids, some with lit torches (the smell of diesel in the air was intoxicating) some with massive whips, others on stilts all with no apparent regard for health and safety. The procession went on for about half an hour and also included 3 elephants dressed up in lights, bells, and tinselly outfits, again, not something you experience everyday. But it meant we had the latest night out for sometime, 9.30pm. Not sure how we will cope with NYE!

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