West to East Micronesia China Mongolia Russia Baltic Region Visegrad Region Balkan Penninsula East to West Ancient Civilizations Straddling the Straight Southern Africa Eastern Africa Ethiopia United Arab Emirates South Asia Crossing Photo Album Trip Logistics Itinerary Transport Logs Route Maps About Us






Embedded Photos: 1.The darling brood2.Local Advert3.Balancing Act4.Mel Gibson and John Howard
Two Years & Twice Around the World...  

Sri Lanka Flag SRI LANKA


October 26. COLOMBO Breakfast at our guesthouse was pretty good.  The options included eggs or an eyeball of some sort, served with loads of toast and jam.  Perhaps the eyeball Parisare Guest House, Colombo, Sri Lanka had protein value but we stuck to eggs.  Breakfast was served on the first floor in the open room adjacent to the parking area.  It was a lovely setting and we had it all to ourselves.  Overall it had been a fairly comfortable night.  The fan and open windows kept us cool enough.  The beds were on the hard side but fine.  The only real drawback was the lack of privacy.  With the house being so open we could hear everything going on outside our door.  The family TV was in the adjacent living area so we could hear it well.  They didn't keep it going late at night but kept us mindful of how well sound traveled so we whispered whenever we talked to each other. The phone ringing, probably people looking for lodging at odd hours, was more annoying than the TV. 

Our first task for the day was to get our Indian visa applications into the embassy. When we went to Citibank we found that our cards did work so we were able to get the money we needed.  The guard at the embassy let us in at the head of the line, which made us feel rather guilty, but it seemed that most of the people waiting had a much more thorough process to undergo so they made an exception for foreigners.  Once through the security check we still had to take a number and wait awhile before we could actually submit the application.  The turnaround was supposed to be four days but we were told to check back sooner to see if the visas were ready.  

With part of our afternoon we went to the National Museum, housed in a large colonial-era building in Viharamahadevi Park. It was starting to rain as we arrived which made the museum a good escape from the weather. The museum was also alKelaniya Raja Maha Temple, Sri Lankamost empty except for the odd group of students and one large group of young monks that swished past us, dressed in their poppy colored robes, heads turning and smiling.  There wasn't any air-conditioning in the museum, making it a rather hot and sweaty visit, but the collection or art and artifacts were worth the effort.  The extensive display of traditional Sri Lankan masks was one of the highlights and we probably spent the most time in that section. Masks have an important place in Sri Lankan culture and there are three basic different types that are used in different styles of dance or dramas: kolam, sanni, and raksha.  The kolam masks are used to illustrate different characters in kolam drama and some dances.  The sanni mask, or devil-dancing mask, is worn to exorcise disease-causing demons.  The raksha masks are used in processions and festivals and include the often seen cobra-mask.  The masks are made from balsa wood that are painted white and either outlined in black or colored with bright paints.  Another worthwhile section of the museum was replicas of wall paintings from Sri Lanka's historical sights.

While we were in the museum it absolutely poured rain.  By the time we finished it was still coming down pretty good but there wasn't really anything left for us to see so we ran for the curb and tried to catch a tuk-tuk. Naturally, two foreigners standing in the rain means that the tuk-tuk rate goes up substantially.  Fortunately there was an overhang to protect us while Rob ran out and scouted for a more reasonable driver.  Of course his more reasonable rate might have been due to his dilapidated rain flaps that were supposed to roll down on either side of the tuk-tuk and protect us from getting wet.    From the museum we went for some lunch at The Cricket Club Cafe, a nicely air-conditioned bungalow with a spacious veranda and walls covered in cricket memorabilia, a sport that nearly every Sri Lankan is absolutelyKelaniya Raja Maha Temple, Sri Lanka passionate or obsessed about.  The Cafe provided a nice place to relax and dry off while perusing the guidebook a bit more.  The food was very western influenced with fish and chips and burgers but tasty.  From The Cricket Club Cafe it was a short walk to The Gallery Cafe, a step up in both atmosphere and cuisine, where we had coffees and shared some desert.  The stylish surroundings included a restaurant/bar, an art gallery, and a gift shop.  It was empty and the rainy sky was getting darker but the sound of the rain cascading into the courtyard pool was so soothing.     

By the time the rain let up we were ready to head back to our guesthouse and really rest until it was time to get some dinner.   

SRI LANKA Colombo Oct 25 Oct 26 Oct 27-29 Nuwara Eliya Oct 30 Oct 31 Kandy Nov 1-5 (1) Nov 1-5 (II) Polonnaruwa Nov 6 Sigiriya & Dambulla Nov 7 Colombo Nov 8

INDIA Ft.Cochin Nov 9-15 (I) Nov 9-15 (II) Nov 16 Nov 17-18 Madurai Nov 19 Nov 20 Tiruchirapalli Nov 21 Nov 22 Nov 23 Chennai Nov 24 Nov 25-26 Nov 27-28 Ft.Cochin Nov 29 Lakshadweep Nov 30-Dec 4 (I) Nov 30-Dec 4 (II) Trans-India Train Dec 5-7 (I) Dec 5-7 (II) Siliguri Dec 8 Darjeeling Dec 9 Dec 10-13 Dec 14 Sikkim Dec 15 Dec 16-20 Dec 21-23 Dec 24 Dec 25 Darjeeling Dec 26 Dec 27-Jan 2 Siliguri Jan 3 Jaigon (Bhutan) Jan 4 Kolkata Jan 5-6

THAILAND Bangkok Jan 6-13 (I) Jan 6-13 (II) Jan 6-13 (III)