Sunday 8th April 2018
A leisurely morning followed by an afternoon/evening in Galle. Another fascinating trip on the rickety train – discovered these are the original trains introduced by the Brits during colonisation in 1860s – I’m all for vintage! On our walk to the station we spotted a whole family of peacocks – Mum, Dad and the kids, so sweet. I had stupidly asked the question that morning about ‘snakes’ – to be informed that oh yes, there would be pythons, cobras and vipers in the fields surrounding the hotel – why oh why did I ask!? No unfortunate incidents however, just a beautiful walk as always and chatting to the local people who show so much interest in what you are doing.
Ticket office was empty when we arrived at the station (pretty remote place) but the ticket master turned up eventually, as did the train.
So, an afternoon of cricket was planned … with the compromise of a bit of shopping later! We made our way to the International Cricket ground – it does the job but it’s not quite on the scale of the MCG or Lords! It was also a completely different game than was advertised – it was in fact the English academy team playing the young Sri Lankans. We stayed and watched for a couple of hours, and Steve got his fix – our lads were so bulky in comparison to the lean frames of the home players!
After that we had an interesting walk around the fort area and into the old part of the city where there are some fabulous shops – too pricey for us pensioners however! Just love the sense of colonial history in this part though.
We wandered on through the streets to the waterfront which is so pretty to walk along – spotted the perfect roof top bar to stop and have a sundowner – once inside it was all a little worn and dusty and the stairs had seen better days. We found ourselves a table and bench on the rooftop perfectly placed for the sunset view … so now it was just about ordering the G&Ts – only to discover that it was a ‘no alcohol’ establishment – so lime soda and chocolate milk shake it was!
And then it was off to find somewhere for dinner – a fair few restaurants to choose from. It had been an incredibly hot day and we were beginning to feel a bit weary – we both found that we didn’t have an enormous appetite but fancied something light with a glass or two of wine. Now, we really don’t have a drink problem but the first 4 restaurants we tried were ‘alcohol free’ – what was going on? Take note any friends who are coming out for the cricket in November! We did find perfection in the end – The Galle Fort Hotel – beautiful dinner, beautiful wine, beautiful location, first-class service – a real treat.
We had arranged for Roisin, our tuk tuk man, to pick us up at 9.00am – we enjoyed a leisurely 30 minute drive back to base.
Monday 9th April 2018
The last full day of our trip – Steve got up at some crazy time of the morning to ‘endure’ his final run in these extreme temperatures. I got up to break the back of the sorting and packing. As always, a delicious breakfast cooked and served by Monty and Azi and then we headed out for our final beach day. We chose to go to Turtle Beach which, although busy, at least you can swim without being dragged out to sea or battered against the rocks! Lots of activity too with 3 regular visiting turtles during the day.
After a spot of lunch and some last minute shopping we headed back to the hotel to finalise the packing – cramming 6 months worth of souvenirs and dirty washing into our overstretched suitcases! Found a little time to chill out in the pool … and reflected together on the amazing adventure we had had – both agreed that the memories we had gathered would carry us through the chilly UK weather we were about to face. We were so excited about going home anyway – longing to see family and friends after all this time.
A final meal out at our favourite beach restaurant- Chill Space – some delicious seafood and a bottle of their finest wine (well actually, the only wine on their list … simply entitled ‘red wine!’ And our last sunset.
Tuesday 10th April 2018
D-day had arrived, we were heading home. We’d slept well and were up early as leaving the hotel at 7.30am. Monty and Azi were up to prepare an early breakfast for us. I was feeling a little queasy – pre-flying nerves so settled for just some juice and toast, Steve opted for a cooked breakfast. We had built a fond relationship with these guys during our stay here and with excitement they presented us with a large platter of cooked vegetable and fruit concoction … in a sauce, proudly pointing out the sweet potato, cucumber, pineapple etc. We accepted it graciously but had to make our excuses in not being able to finish it – felt so bad about it. With hugs and teary eyes we said our goodbyes – even the Hotel Manager turned up early to work to say farewell.
The 2 hour car journey to the airport was a little hairy once again … we vibrated most of the way there, the driver explaining that the wheels needed balancing. And they spend so much time on their mobile phones while they’re speeding along the freeway and manoeuvring through tuk tuks, bikes and buses on the smaller roads.
The rest of the day was a breeze – checked in, no delays, 11 hour flight whizzed by – lots of food and drink supplied, four films watched, comfortable seats. And Tom came to meet us at Heathrow – the warmest of hugs …. and chatter all the way back to MK. More lovely big hugs from Alice, Caroline, Emma, John and Marc – lots more talking, laughing and ‘bubbles’ – SO good to be home. ❤️
We’re going to enjoy a few weeks at home, in our own bed! Steve’s got a marathon to train for too. And then we’ll be planning the next stage of our adventure – it won’t be quite on the same scale but there’s a lot of life to explore and memories to build. But for now, a lot of hellos and cuppa times to catch up on … oh – and all that washing!! 😘