We left the next morning and headed south, stopping at Ravana Ella (another beautiful waterfall) to take some photos. We made the long drive down winding paths and long straight roads once we were out of the hill country, before coming to our hotel, the Lake Side Inn in Tissamaharama. We went for a quick swim whilst our room was being readied, and then set off for an afternoon Safari at Yala. I had wanted to do it the following morning, but our schedule dictated that this was necessary. We had a fantastic driver, Dinesh, whose eye was razor sharp, and we saw lots of amazing wildlife. We didn’t see a leopard, but we didn’t go in thinking that it was make-or-break as I’m sure some people do. Animals are animals, and if they fancy keeping hidden in the jungle, then they will do.
From Tissa, we drove along the coast to Mirissa, stopping off at Matara for some lunch at Brown’s Beach Rest. The weather in Mirissa was overcast, and the sea was rough. The beach looked like it would be lovely in the sunshine, but unfortunately we didn’t see it in all its glory. We had been due to stay two nights in Mirissa, but Lucky suggested that we move on to Hikkaduwa the following day as there was more to do and since the sea was the only attraction in Mirissa, it being rough would leave us option-less. The room in Mirissa was adequate, nothing more, and the food was very nice indeed (although we were told what we were having for dinner rather than asked).
We moved on the following day to Hikkaduwa, stopping on the way in Galle to see the Dutch Fort and so that I could visit the cricket ground. We had been due to stay at Seethani Guest House, but Lucky said that he knew someone who had a place that could give us a room with air conditioning and could also do breakfast (Seethani was undergoing repairs and could give us a room but no a/c and provide no meals). We agreed, and it was a good thing we did. The place was the Hotel Lanka Supercorals, which was a cut above what we had been used to. The room was excellent; very clean, very spacious and with the first air conditioning unit of the holiday that worked perfectly. We immediately went down to the coral reef area of the beach, notorious for turtles, and sure enough we found ourselves standing in amongst a handful of them before long. We also saw many crabs and tropical fish, as well as finding some beautiful shells on the beach. We came back and rested before dinner, which we ate at the Farm House Restaurant (341, Galle Road; 091-2277082). The food was excellent – the best rice and curry of the holiday. Very impressive indeed.
We went for an early-morning walk on the beach, which was beautiful, much more so than Mirissa’s had been (granted, the sunshine helped a lot). We looked at the shells on the beach, which all then started to move thanks to the hermit crabs living inside them. We did some souvenir shopping and had lunch at the “No. 1 Roti Restaurant” (373, Galle Road; +94-91-4921540) which was absolutely brilliant. We had a swim in the hotel pool in the afternoon, and packed our bags in preparation for leaving. In the evening, we went to a restaurant called Blue Note, where we had comfortably the worst meal of the holiday. It was cooked badly, it tasted horrible, none of it was fresh, and Laura found two hairs in her meal. We were in there barely 25 minutes. We went to the Roti Restaurant to rescue our evening, which they did with another delicious meal.
We took full advantage of Supercorals’ amazing buffet breakfast, before leaving for Negombo. We drove through many of the resort towns which all looked lovely, and stopped at a Turtle Hatchery in Bentota South. The baby turtles were lovely, and the place seemed to be treating them very well. We drove on to Colombo, where we were shown through the centre of the city. The traffic increased and the driving became more erratic – it’s easy to see why tourists aren’t advised to drive in Sri Lanka. We took a detour so that I could see another cricket ground – the R. Premadasa Stadium – and drove through and out of the city, and on to Negombo. We stayed at the Ocean View Guest House, which was really lovely and was the first place on the holiday to have a cable TV in the bedroom, which was useful because England vs Pakistan from Lord’s was on! We ate dinner at the restaurant run by Lucky’s wife, Bolonghe’s Restaurant (186 Lewis Place) where the food was delicious.
The hotel needed the room by 12, so we packed up our bags and left them in the lobby whilst we went for a walk. We walked into the centre of Negombo, which was very interesting, and then took a tuk-tuk back to the hotel. We ate lunch at Japan Lanka, directly opposite our hotel, where the food was lovely. Lucky took us for a short tour of Negombo, encompassing the lagoon and the fish markets. We spent the afternoon watching the final of the cricket series at Lucky’s house, before he drove us to the airport for our evening flight. We saw lots of bats flying overhead as dusk fell on our way to the airport. We both thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Sri Lanka.
I hope that this has been useful and/or interesting to read. If anyone would like any further details of anything, please let me know.