Sri Lanka April 2004

After a stressful first quarter of 2004 it was time to organise the annual hols. Sean had survived the six month probationary period in his new job and Elaine was nearing the end of her notice period for her old one, with a two week break before the new one started. So it was go now or wait another four months.

In the midst of all this the house purchase was not proceeding smoothly at all. So on Thursday 15th April Sean camped on the doorstep of the local travel agents. The mission was simple, find a two week holiday somewhere sunny and warm with lots of water, but not Europe or the Med. Oh and by the way we want to leave on Sunday and it mustn’t be expensive – SIMPLE REALLY!!! Half an hour later he walked out clutching flight and hotel confirmation. Destination Maragalla, Sri Lanka. And yes – we were flying on Sunday.

Morning flight from Heathrow so we checked into a local hotel on Saturday night. Not the perfect start but it included free parking while we were gone and avoided a ridiculously early start to get to Heathrow. Took off at 10:45, set our watches 5 hours ahead and arrived in Columbo at 2:30 am on a hot sticky Monday with the temperature just over 30 degrees. Air conditioned coach for the 60 km trip South before checking in and diving straight into bed. Sean leapt up at 8 for breakfast and, much to the disgust of Elaine who was still sleeping, swapped the room for one with air conditioning.

A lazy day around the hotel getting over the jet lag and acclimatising to the humidity with the occasional dip in the pool and the Indian Ocean. We were treated to a spectacular sunset over it, this seemed a bit weird to Sean who grew up thinking that the Indian Ocean was where the sun rises!!! A most relaxing two weeks followed which included a trip to Kandy and Pinnawala. Sean also took the opportunity to rediscover diving and did the openwater course as he couldn’t remember which continent his original card was on.

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