Mixed bag this morning on our arrival at Sri Lanka. The captain announced last night that due to circumstances beyond his control we would not be able to stay in Sri Lanka after 13:00 so all day trips were cancelled. Therefore our elephant sanctuary visit was called of as was any chance we had of linking up with Andrea. That put to one side we had to make best use of our trip time from 0630 to 1230. We got the six of us together and rented three motorised tut tuts. We spent three hours zipping around the intense Colombo traffic. My first sight of the Indian sub continent was like I thought absolute chaos. How do they survive. There is absolute poverty on every street corner. Modern tower blocks for multinational banks alongside shanty towns. Beautiful colonial buildings alongside corrugated iron shacks. Through this the many many people smile all the time. If you visit a shop there will be a ten people doing what one could easily manage. You see soldiers and Police guarding seemingly innocuous statues. There are security guards on any shop modern enough to actually have a till.
Wendy was able to feed an elephant at a Hindu temple in the city, it was a really good temple visit as there were several hundred Buddhist monks there and whilst it was only just off the main street once inside it was strangely peaceful and quiet. It is nearly impossible to shop in Colombo as every vendor offers you whatever you want before dragging you off to their shop where you discover that they don't sell what you asked for but they persist I offering you something else. Hygiene is non existent I don't think you could even eat the fruit they sell on the stalls as they are prepared with rusty old knives by old men who hold the fruit in both their hands and feet. Health and safety is not even a pipe dream here. People get off and on busses whilst they are moving and anywhere. Many cars and lorries don't even have doors and any kind of mark on the tyres is considered a bonus. Busses at the harbour had the cord on
The tyres visible! For all of that and despite the great poverty that prevails here the people are really polite and appear happy with the simplest of things. I would dearly like to have spent more time here and look forward to doing so in the future.