Friday, November 22, 2019

Sri Lanka We Are A Go

"Don't let your schooling interfere with your education"

Sri Lanka is booked! Country number 47 is now squarely in my sights.

Sri Lanka has long been on my radar. (I refuse to use the idiotic term "bucket list"!) I can remember it being called Ceylon. There was the civil war that started in the early 80s. The Tamil Tigers, who fought for an independent state were always in the news much like the FARC guerrillas of Columbia. But I think it is one of those places that has always held my imagination. Mysterious, remote and a huge part of the ancient Silk Road routes which is something that I have become fascinated by since I lived in Xi'an China. Xi'an, the start of the Silk Road in the East.

** Important Note**  I am well aware of the terrorist attack in Colombo in April of 2019, only 8 short months ago. Now known as the Easter Bombings, killed 259 people include 45 foreign nationals. I am heading there with my eyes wide open. Remember, I currently live a 20 minute walk from the Holy Artisan Bakery. Site of the 2016 Terrorist attack that killed 29 people including 18 Foreign Nationals. I also drank at the Leopold in Mumbai, India which was the first place shot up during the attacks there in 2008. I feel that the bullet holes still in the windows and walls are more a nasty tourist attraction then a subtle reminder. Anyways, do not mistake my knowledge of these events with some sort of ego driven desire to brag that I have been to a previously dangerous location. This is just the world we live in now. Remember England, France, USA, Canada, New Zealand, nobody is immune. Here is a full list of attacks to get a better understanding. To add a bit of perspective, a terrorist attack in 2019 killed 259. The Tsunami of 2004 killed 35,000.

I have put together a decent itinerary with lots of variety. I fly out on Dec 17th and I have 3 glorious weeks, returning Jan 4th. I will fly into Colombo I have booked 4 dives which I am really excited about. Most of the dives around Colombo are deep wreck dives. Its then a train ride south to Hikkaduwa where I will again go diving. This time 8 reef dives over 4 days. From there it is time to chill on the beach in Mirissa for a few days. I might even have a beer.

From Mirissa it is the longest trip of the travels. About 4 hours north to Ella and into tea country. Here there are suppose to be some fantastic and challenging treks that lead to incredible vistas. Then a great journey by train to Kandy and back into city life for a few days. As I move back towards the capital I will spend a few days at the National Park to see some Elephants doing their wild Elephant thing,  near Rambukkana and finishing back on the beach at Negombo.

Everything is pre-booked, a rarity for me. I am going to do my absolute best to stick to my itinerary....Stop laughing dammit!

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