Well we had enjoyed our arrival in Colombo immensely and originally we had thought we would stay in Colombo while we got acclimatised but the friendliness of the local and the ease of speaking English gave us confidence and we decided to set off south towards the beaches. First stop was going to Galle but we read that there were some beaches well worth exploring before then so we decided to visit a place called Aluthgama where we were assured we would find beautiful empty beaches.
First things first, we had to get there and the train looked like the most exciting option. The trip to the station from the hotel was a pretty interesting start as we loaded our bags into a tuk tuk and set off weaving our way through the traffic. We have already decided that we have to get one when we get back just the perfect vehicle for negotiating traffic!
Now we have travelled on quite a few trains in the last six months but I have to say that the experience of travelling on a train in Sri Lanka was the polar opposite of travelling across Russia! Firstly the temperature difference as we had a chuckle while standing in 35 degree heat reminiscing about the snowy platforms in Siberia. Secondly there was quite a buzz about the place with loads and loads of people. Not only locals but plenty of tourists too all heading south so we soon decided that our chances of getting a seat were slim to none so took our time getting on the train.
Lucky we did because sure enough we didn’t get a seat but set our bags down at the end of one of the carriages and Sarah sat on that while I got the seat with the best air conditioning in the train!! Yes we couldn’t believe that we were able to hang out of the side of a train quite so early in the trip!! Better than that for as we trundled down the coast the train tracks literally hugged the coastline and we were able to gaze out onto the blue sea. We couldn’t help but sit there grinning at each other watching the goings on as we passed by.
We weren’t sure what to expect from Aluthgama and to be fair I am still not sure how to describe the place. The town is based around the main Galle road (which stretches from Colombo to Galle) and both sides of the street are lined with shops selling just about everything and while there is a tourist element I would describe the shops as more functional than touristy.
Our host at our guest house was incredibly friendly and excited to have us stay and immediately offered us a book with a whole host of tours he was prepared to take us on. In fact he could have taken us on day trips to just about everywhere we had planned to go while here in Sri Lanka! We politely declined his tours but took him up on some advice on where to eat.
It turned out he was also a tuk tuk driver so was available pretty much as a private taxi driver and would take us anywhere around town for 100 rupees, even I didn’t feel I could haggle that one! His food recommendations were spot on too as he took us to a locals place which offered a buffet of incredibly tasty curries!! So far the food in Sri Lanka has been nothing but superb and we have only really been eating at roadside cafes!
The afternoon’s plan was to head down to the beach and when we got there we couldn’t believe how quiet it was. The town was positively full of hustle and bustle yet there was hardly anyone at all on the beach so we hired ourselves a sun shade and lay down to enjoy a relax. The beach was beautiful, lined with palm trees and pandanus and there were just the right amount of vendors wandering around selling their wares.
We had definitely picked a great spot to spend a day at and plan our next few days. The combination of beautiful scenery and beautiful people really does leave a huge smile on your face. T
The train station in Colombo, before it got busy.
One of the best seats in the house, the guy hanging out the side didn’t have the correct ticket so the inspector kicked him out a we moved in!
So this is why it’s meant to be one of the best train rides!
The houses were built right onto the train tracks and in places there were stalls backing onto the tracks too!
We had heard the beaches on Sri Lanka were beautiful and they really were stunning. The water was especially welcoming after the heat!
Plenty o fruit available so far.