Arrival at T4March 18 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C
Never seen the airport so quiet. Good to be back but not sure what to expect.
We made it to a quiet airport, little traffic. Another beautiful day in paradise. SL closes its borders at midnight amid the crisis measures to deal with the virus. Our journey looks to be ok but who knows what we will find when we land at Heathrow?
Another beautiful sunny day! The air clear after yesterday’s storms.
Last proper breakfast as we have to leave 06.30 tomorrow. We will miss the fresh tropical fruits.
We are checked in for the flight home despite all the uncertainty. We hear all incoming international flights stop at midnight tomorrow!
At breakfast we learned of the need to register our presence in Sri Lanka. First we walked a half mile to Selyn an excellent craft and clothing shop run by a friend of Savi. We had some difficulty finding a tuktuk on the way back which is unusual but seems to be part of the wariness.
Dropped off our purchases and then got a driver to take us to the police station. Turned out he is the chef at Ceilao Villas! It was a fun ride as they generally are. He was very helpful and eventually found the right place and we duly sat under a tree with two policemen who filled in a register. Midway he asked why we had come, to which I replied we were told to. At the end he asked how we were. Duty done we returned to the house and had a spot of lunch which the driver/chef prepared.
A little pool time followed before Chris & Savi picked us up for afternoon tea at the Galle Face Hotel. Hugo was in his element. Very special and followed by cocktails at sunset.
A fitting end to our trip. Wish we could stay as the virus continues to wreak havoc in the uk by all accounts.Read more
A quiet night in our lovely room. Excellent breakfast. Chris picked us up and showed us where he used to work and lunch when he lived in Colombo. We arrived and were greeted by old friends from Savi’s family. So nice to see them after two and a half years.
A really tasty lunch was served and later we walked up to the local temple for a spot of sketching.
Then back for a dip in the pool and intension to visit the temple together. Just as we were leaving the heavens opened with an almighty thunder storm and power cuts. All that would pacify Hugo was a performance of the Gruffalo and Gruffalo child with Nanny narrating and Chris and Myumi doing the actions. We left in darkness and there was a large tortoise in the drive! but thankfully the hotel has full power and cooling.Read more
We breakfasted a little late with many wedding guests in good form. Heading north to Colombo we passed the Galle Face hotel before turning past official buildings, lakes and many new developments calling at the gem museum and a souvenir shop. We stayed at Ceilao Villas on our last stay, a very individual former private house tucked away down a side road near the ministry of irrigation. It has changed a little and now boasts a restaurant: 47 Spice.
We chilled in the afternoon enjoyed the pools then tuk tuked to church, only to find all services cancelled. An early meal at Asylum near Independence Square and stroll back by the Ministry of Irrigation.Read more
Excellent night. We met for breakfast then entertained Hugo while Savi (bridesmaid) went to get ready. I painted a picture of what I hope is the Barn House (wedding venue) for Ransi and Rakesh later. Turned out not to be, so now they have a painting of a wedding venue where they might have wanted to be married. No idea where. Power? of the internet.
Then it was down to the pool and a snack lunch before preparations begin in earnest.
We all caught a coach at four for a 30 minutes drive to the venue with ever tighter corners to negotiate. On arrival we were greeted with a fruit punch which was delicious and welcomed. Gin or arak cocktails followed. The wedding ceremony took place outside with Savi one of the bridesmaids and consisted of a speech by the chief bridesmaid, a reading of the Little Dinosaur and vows/rings. The official part took place on the table to the side.
There followed more cocktails, welcome ice cream and snacks.
We then went into the barn which was highly decorated, many flowers and joined a table of locals. Guests were from many countries and were all very friendly.
Speeches were fun, food excellent and the drinks flowed. Dancing ensued and continued till midnight when coaches eventually arrived to transport us back to Blue Water. Hugo was exceptionally good throughout and great dancing moves, finally falling asleep outside in the warm.Read more
After a leisurely rise, bird spotting from the balcony including Painted Stork, Brahminy Kite, Little swifts and breakfast, it was time to head towards the wedding. The giant dolphin was guarding the beach. On the way we stopped at Brief, home and garden of Bevis, brother of Geoffrey Bawa renowned architect. A very tranquil spot and house dating from 1929, and seemed like he had just stepped out.
We arrived at Bluewater early afternoon. We had been upgraded to a Club Suite which is very spacious and well equipped indeed! Time for a little lunch at the Nautilus at which the appetisers proved very tasty and sufficient. In the afternoon we met with Savi Chris and Hugo in the very warm pool and were introduced to many of the guests including bride and groom.
Our evening buffet was delicious and done in relays to enable Hugo to get to sleep.Read more
A beautiful morning although the sea had got up overnight. At 10 we met Malick and first he took us a little way up the coast to Ahungala Sea Turtle conservation and research which cares for injured turtles and fishes and rescues eggs for hatching. Next we had a boat trip on the Mandu river which contains 64 islands and is surrounded by mangroves. We saw land and water monitors, cormorants and little terns, pond heron monkeys kingfisher and at the sea end a jellyfish.
We visited a fish farm where my feet were given a tickling and a cinnamon island where we saw the process of stripping the layer of cinnamon and tried some cinnamon oil, which has medicinal properties.
To complete our morning we visited a traditional mask factory and museum. All very fascinating.
Afternoon spent around the pool.
At 5 we were picked up and taken to Bentota where we met Aleem of Earth Trip and Amith who jointly run newly formed Lanka Island Tours, and their staff before visiting Pearl Ocean fish restaurant for drinks where we were joined for a very pleasant evening by their other halves, Hasanthi and Isabella. Lovely food and company and a late evening.Read more
We have moved on from one beach to another via the Catalina Grill, with an Afro 748 on the edge of Koggala airfield (100 Rupees) and Galle. This beach hotel is busier with loads of sunbathing going on. Galle was very hot and busy around the court house. Since we have been there before we just had a little promenade along the ramparts by the old 1938 lighthouse before heading on. We passed the cricket ground which isis due to host the England Test next week and the road is dug up!
The Shinawaga Beach hotel has a very grand entrance hall themed on the dugout fishing boats used from the beach. Although modern ones are fibreglass. We watched one arriving back and it took a good dozen to get it up the beach.
Lunch was amazingly filling and very well presented. The pool is lovely and refreshing on a pretty hot afternoon and the sea variable in waves depending on the tide.
Our evening meal started with sunset beers at candlelight and then real fine dining with cape Chenin blanc, sadly disappointing when it came to the main courses.Read more