Being up at 4.30 is never great fun and feeling a bit knackered too it was tough getting up and packed ready for my 5.30 taxi to Kandy train station. Had some hassle finding the right queue for a 2nd class ticket on the 6.35 to Colombo but once on board it was great, very comfortable and fantastic scenery on the 3.5h trip which cost only 60p! Got the expected mob of tuktuk drivers and got one to the Galle Face where I am booked in for 9 nights.
What a fantastic hotel. After almost 6 weeks at budget places it was great to walk into 4/5* with all the comfort that goes with it. Lovely pool overlooking the ocean, great room with all mod cons, gym, steam/sauna/jacuzzi etc and some posh restauarants and bars. More than a bit above my budget but worth it, particularly just after my birthday!
Following day I got a tuktuk to the SSC Cricket Ground for the 1st day of the 2nd Test Match, a nice little ground with some grass banks and small stands. Sat next to a Palace fan on the first day, both of us agreed with our feet up with a cold drink that this was better than freezing in the Holmesdale Stand! Got back and went to a pub next door to the hotel, that may have been a grave mistake. Woke up at 1am, then 2am, then 3am etc etc each time violently sick - I blame the dodgy salad. Felt dreadful the next day, totally drained and didnt go to the cricket. Made it to all days after that feeling better quite quickly, and generally crashed out on the grass bank with my ipod rather than in the Barmy Army area - they are a good crowd but the chants can get on your nerves after a while. England clung on for a draw in the match which was quite slow but a good last day where some rain helped us out. Some of the locals were good fun to chat to on the bank as well.
I've been using the gym a lot to work off some of the big buffet breakfasts, and generally staying local in the evenings trying various places - foods been good, well except that one evening. Last night met Dogs mate Geggy and his crowd at Mount Lavinia on the otherside of town for an excellent traditional Sri Lankan meal, top stuff. Had an interesting taxi ride over though, except for crashing twice and nearly knocking a couple of lads down it was OK...! Got used to going out on my own now, and its no problem particularly when the crickets on, when I'm almost certain to bump into someone ive met either here or in Kandy.
Weather has been a bit cloudy sometimes but warm and humid - but its pouring with rain today, so my plan of a day by the pool looks off at least for a while.
Thanks for the emails/messages, its great to get contact from home. For 99% of the time its great travelling about but there are times when a beer and a chat back at home would be great!