I had a great time in Sri Lanka. Here are some photos.
I went two days early and took the opportunity to have a bit of a rest by the sea. There is a place called Negombo just 8 km from the airport. I enjoyed going for long walks on the beach (and you can walk a long way), reading a book of Short Stories by Somerset Maughan called "Far Eastern Tales" (somewhat appropriate), eating the local curry rice and drinking the local 'Lion' or Three Coins' beer(lots!).
The gentlemen you can see run a restaurant in Negombo called "Palm Lanka" and they do a mean curry rice. The restaurants I saw were all empty. Joseph, the shorter of the two, told me that the tsunami was still having a negative effect on the tourism there, even though the tsunami caused most damage and human suffering in the south of Sri Lanka.
The beach is wide and kept very clean by the hotels. It's not a place for diving and snorkelling but if, like me, you have a short time it's a perfect place to go. People do a lot of fishing and you can see the boats have a single sail. I was invited to go on an all night fishing trip but I was very conscious of the fact that I was really there for work and that making a call to Colombo to say I was hanging on to a piece of driftwood 12 km off the East Coast of Sri Lanka was possibly not going to go down very well. So I politely declined and made sure that I was ready to travel to Colombo to get to work.
The picture of the palm tree and the sunset was taken on my last night, before leaving, from the balcony of my room. I was 'romantically' on my own!
I did have a little time to see a little of Colombo. The pictures here, including the elephant and the car, were taken at a Temple on a Lake called Gangaramaya Temple. Lovely old cars, beautifully maintained can often be found in Temple grounds in this part of the world. I have seen them in Thailand, Laos and now also in Sri Lanka. They usually work as well!
These last three pictures are taken from the promenade along the Ocean in Colombo. Possibly, for me, the best part of the city. The two tall identical towers that you can see are the the World Trade Centre. It is the tallest building in Sri Lanka
The work I did was very interesting. There were people from Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Thailand, India and Pakistan. I returned to Singapore, exactly a week after I had left, feeling very "full" and, for once, I am not just talking about my stomach!
Come back soon! And thank you for visiting my blog.