We found ourselves with 3 nights left in Sri Lanka so decided to head to Negombo just north of Colombo where we booked in to a hotel with a pool to enjoy a few peaceful days before the craziness of India. The trip to Negombo wasn’t the greatest of bus trips as it was hot, took us three and a half hours and Tim had to stand for a lot of it as the bus was so full. But we made it in one piece and spent the afternoon in the pool.
Negombo is a place where most people start and finish their Sri Lankan holiday and it is situated on the coast but unfortunately its beach isn’t the nicest. It does have a really fun main strip of shops and restaurants that come alive when the sun goes down and the heat subsides.
The next day we headed into the main part of town to check out the fish market. A pretty primitive affair with the fishermen or their wives selling their night catch on wooden tables. Everything was on offer from octopus to lobster to king prawns and giant tuna. The fish was certainly fresh but years of the market being in the one spot certainly produced a smell that wasn’t that pleasant. Out on the beach kilos of fish were drying and the fishermen were out cleaning the last little fish from their nets. It really good to see a part of the Sri Lankan culture that hasn’t been affected by tourists. This is what they have done for hundreds of years and are probably still doing it in exactly the same way.
In the afternoon we had decided to spoil ourselves and go for an Ayurveda treatment which is an ancient form of medicine. According to Ayurveda, the body has 3 doshas air, fire and water/earth and your body should be in equilibrium of these 3, therefore the treatment aims to restore the balance. To do this you either do internal purification which is as horrible as it sounds such as fasting and enemas and/or you get herbal massages. No prizes for which ones we went for! For a grand total of $45 each we got 3 and a half hours of treatment. We were picked up in a taxi and driven a few kilometres inland to a beautiful building which had a lotus pool courtyard in the centre.
We started off with a full body massage which included an amazing head massage. They don’t miss the oil here so by the end we were covered in it. We were then hustled into a herbal steam room where we then proceeded to sweat rivers until we could no longer take it and actually left before we were supposed to get out. We were then thinking we would get a cold shower but after some water, tea and a 10 min sit we found ourselves blindfolded and underneath a swinging oil dispenser which produced a constant flow of oil onto your forehead and it was slowly moved around in a figure of eight. It was a really weird sensation and Tim described it as being subjected to Chinese water torture but to be fair he still hadn’t gotten over the sweating part so wasn’t in a very open minded state.
The treatment finished with a floral bath in a candlelit room and i must admit I felt really great after it all. I felt cleansed and smelled fantastic. Back in the town we headed out for another great curry and were both feeling pretty relaxed and ready for our upcoming India adventure. S
The customary shot of the railway tracks.
The fish market in action.
A sample of the catch.
Fish out to dry.
The fishermen cleaning their nets.
Now that’s a knife.