Diary Entry

Finally, after a short stay in Dubai, we finally reach Sri Lanka. We land at Colombo’s airport, Bandaranaike International Airport. Only the airport is not in Colombo, but in a city north of the capital: Negombo. Sounds similar, but it’s not.

It is hot. Midday, evening, night, outside, inside, wet and dry. Just always. If there is no air conditioning then it is hot. Negombo was only intended as an intermediate step. Since we arrive in the middle of the night it would be too long a drive to Colombo. So why not spend two nights in this small town and get a first taste of Sri Lanka? The city is even right on the sea. And we actually remember Negombo as a beautiful destination and an ideal start to the country.

When we land we first have problems entering the country. We were able to apply for visas online, but I actually managed to make typos in our passport numbers in our visas. Leon also needed a visa, even though it was stated on the internet that his entry was free. But no problem, despite the long queue, the lady at the border is totally relaxed and sends me to an office around the corner, where a man solves our problems with two clicks on his PC.

Ayubovan Sri Lanka!

At the airport I try to get a SIM card for mobile internet, but unfortunately the provider Dialog, whose tariff I want to book, is having a problem. Okay, tomorrow then. We take a taxi that gets lost in the city at night and finally finds the right accommodation half an hour late.

Finally Sleep!

Overnight Tip!

Cheap, right by the sea and the people are very nice.

The accomodation is awesome!

On our first morning in Sri Lanka we see what our “intermediate step” Negombo has to offer. We have a great view of the Indian Ocean from our accommodation. At sunrise we can watch the fishermen on catamarans.

As soon as the sun has risen, the fish caught are offered for sale. The fishermen then take care of their nets after pulling the boats far onto the beach.

It is hot. Midday, evening, night, outside, inside, wet and dry. Just always. If there is no air conditioning then it is hot.

Sara, Leon and I came to Sri Lanka from Germany. That same night, Ethi and Maryam, Sara’s mother and aunt, also flew to Negombo to accompany us on our trip.

We’ll meet her the next morning. They also took a taxi to our accommodation early in the morning.

Leon is overjoyed to see Ethi and Maryam, but unfortunately he caught a cold and fever on the flight here from Dubai. The heat and mosquitoes aren’t particularly helpful here either. Luckily he will be fit again after two days.

Although Sri Lanka is a holiday paradise, the majority of the people live in abject poverty. But poverty has not corrupted the people. We meet incredibly lovely people. Leon in particular attracts the attention of all Sri Lankans and people simply pick the little one up without asking.

Especially in Negombo, people often ask me if I would like to visit them to take photos. They’re hoping for some money. The man is a fisherman and doesn’t earn much, while the woman looks after the children and has no income. There’s not much money left over.

First I’ll get us the SIM cards for mobile internet. In the afternoon, Sara and I explore the city in a tuk tuk. Our spontaneous guide at the helm shows us where people dry the fish and where the catamarans are moored.

We visit a herb garden with Ayurvedic plants as well as vanilla, cinnamon and other varieties that we know from the spice rack.

There are only three modes of transportation in Sri Lanka: tuk tuk, mini van taxi and train

The place is Christian, although the majority of the country is Buddhist and Hindu. The legacy of Western colonial rule.

We visit the local fish market, the large church and a few smaller Hindu temples.

Here churches and Hindu temples stand peacefully side by side

At the fish market we see the animals that otherwise swim off the coast.

James, our driver, also takes us to a monument. In 2004, a terrible tsunami hit the coast of Sri Lanka, among other places. Around 30,000 people died.

This event is deeply rooted in the bones of coastal residents. James shows us many places where the force of the water simply washed away a harbor, a church or other buildings.

The entire coast was destroyed by a tsunami in 2004

We are amazed by the variety of fruits on the markets. As in South America, in addition to the well-known varieties, we also find a number of tropical fruits that we have never seen before.

We test the fruit on site and choose our favorite varieties. Even though we are near the equator, there are seasons for some fruits. For example, we don’t get mangoes.

Negombo is very exciting for us because we get a good impression of Sri Lanka. The city is nothing special for Sri Lanka, but for us because it is Sri Lanka.

People welcome us openly and try to make money from us, but fairly.

Negombo is the door to Sri Lanka. You shouldn’t ignore it!

In the evening we conquer the deserted roof terrace of our accommodation and order food. But the food is also extremely spicy. A dish called Kottu is very tasty:

Kottu Roti

Kottu Roti is a popular dish from Sri Lanka or Tamil cuisine.  A roti is chopped into strips, mixed with curries or other spicy, briefly fried vegetables, eggs or pieces of meat and served hot. Roti is a flatbread that is often found on the menu as a side dish. (Wikipedia)

The food is very spicy!

Tomorrow we have to get up early and have a long day of travel ahead of us to get to the south. We will take the train to Matara and take a taxi to the small town of Mirissa. This is where our accommodation is for the next ten days.

Hopefully Leon will feel better soon.

On the beach, locals meet playing volleyball and having campfires. It is very nice.

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