A few photos while I can upload them in Singapore on the way home. Blog to follow....
And now the blog..
23 July Sigiriya- Habarana - Negombo
Packed and ready to be on the move again... This time one last train journey before leaving Sri Lanka. Arrived at train station (open this time) an hour before the train was due to leave. Unable to buy tickets until 9am and then find out the train is delayed by 1-2.5 hours.. Bit more info later reveals there is a strike on. Finally the train and off we set 2 hours late at 11:30.
As we rocketed towards Colombo on a very dirty, dusty train we did manage to make up an hour or so but managed to catch some of the rush hour commuters going home... Some trains were a bit crowded! We got to Ragama and switched from the express train to a suburban train to get to Negombo (closest to airport). One last stop before flying out of Sri Lanka for Kuala Lumpur. Havingsettled in, I headed out to get something to eat.. Lots of lovely street food - hot, spicy chick peas, fish roll and a coconut honey cake - all very acceptable and made for a yummy dinner.
24 July Colombo - Kuala Lumpur
Early international flight at 7:40, and what better way to get to the airport than via a tuk tuk. Off we set as the sky was beginning to get lighter. Set down at a special tuk tuk drop off place and I'm on my way to Malaysia! Colombo airport was strangely organised with all the shops, restaurants and some duty free around the check in area. Once through customs there wasn't much at all so I had to make do with a Dome cafe for my lunch. Hmmm...
Arrived in Kuala Lumpur about 2pm and there was a very efficient train that whisked us from the airport to Sentral in 30 mins. From there a transfer to a local train and two stops later I found myself in Masjid Jambek. Made my way to the Ahyu hotel (very good) in an area that has loads of Islamic architecture around it. The area seems to be mainly Indian food so I decided to explore China town for some noodles!
Wandered around to Meerkat square then down to China town for dinner. Loads and loads of stalls selling shoes, watches, bags, tops, trinkets....all with high level brand names. Know where to get my Gucci from! Yummy outdoor dining stall where I could choose my satay stick (veges, seafood, meat) and either they would fry it or I could cook it at my table. Three sauces available to accompany my selection. Yummy!
25 July Kuala Lumpur
Awoken by a knocking on the door to find Lis, Rich, James and Ella had survived an overnight flight and were dropping off bags before heading to the Indonesian embassy for visas. Time to get up and explore... Spent the morning walking around to the KL tower, the Petronas towers and the park nearby. Caught the monorail back to China town and found Lis and Rich. The afternoon was spent exploring the Islamic area around where we were staying. Dinner at a hawker stand and an early night.
26 July Kuala Lumpur - Singapore - Brisbane
Had a brief walk to the botanic gardens which is a lovely bit of green peace and quiet in the midst of a bustling metropolis. Took a while to find my way out of the park and by then it was a bit of a rush to get back, pack, shower and say goodbye before heading back to the airport and my trip home.
Great trip and a lovely way to catch up with old friends. Sri Lanka is an easy place to travel around with lots of variety to cater for everyone's taste. In hindsight we could have easily spent another week there but the trip covered everyone's requirements and was a great taster of Sri Lanka and its people and culture.
Thanks Lisa, Rich, James and Ella! Great memories and long may the backpacks keep on travelling!
And... With that I've finally finished the blog so I hope you enjoy reading about our travels and here's to the next trip!