6 April 2013

Kandy

Negombo Beach
Lady Pudding was duly deposited by tuk tuk at Colombo International Airport, following a night at Gomez Place near Negombo Beach. Funny why there were no other women in that hotel and we wondered why the two middle-aged German chaps were holding hands at breakfast and furthermore why was the intense  middle-aged English fellow in such deep conversation with the young Sri Lankan beachcomber? Mmm... quite fishy if you ask me but a certain Welsh chicken farmer of our acquaintance might have felt curiously at home there.

Our last dinner was at the lovely "Ice Bear" close to the beach - described by "The Lonely Planet" as a "colonial anachronism". There was a rusty old gate that led directly through a white arch to the fading Indian Ocean sunset. On the veranda, we ate fresh tuna steaks (grilled)  and french fries with local salad, all washed down with delightful "Lion" lager - one of Ceylon's best kept secrets. Shirley and I fell back into our comfortable patterns.

With Shirley safely through security, I travelled back to Negombo bus station to catch a public bus bound for Kandy - the old colonial capital which is where I am now writing - in bizarrely - "The Prince of Wales Internet Cafe".The bus fare was the equivalent of seventy five British pence and the winding, perspirational journey up to the central hills took three and a half hours. Now that's value for money!
Royal Bar and Hotel, Kandy
Arriving in Kandy, I was determined to walk the mile to my humble accommodation but a hundred tuk tuk drivers seemed intent on thwarting my plan... "Want tukk tuk sir?", "Where you going? ...Very far - take tuk tuk!" and "Oi! Whitey! Jump in me tuk tuk or I'll have you!" (Not in the Gomez Place sense of the word I hasten to add!)

So I'm here and it feels cooler than the coast. I had two pre-dinner beers in the exquisite Royal Hotel - a throwback to the languid days of the British Empire. Afterwards I met Enzo - a restaurant pimp dude who led me to a locals' place for an authentic Sri Lankan curry. I gave  him a hundred rupees for his trouble.Did his wife and youngest child drown on Boxing Day 2004 at Trincomlaee? You know, I really believe they did. There was a genuine sadness in his eyes as he told me the story.

5 comments:

  1. A totally gay hotel
    Couldn't think of anywhere worse........ Too many queens in a confined space.....spells trouble

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  2. You're really brave the way you eat the local food... and really lucky that you've only had that one bad experience. I'm sure it enhances your experience of the country but I wouldn't be game to do it.

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  3. I think he's braver travelling on local buses...

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  4. EARL GRAY You know you'd love it! Nuff said.
    HELEN Sad to say we met the most egotistical and obnoxious Australian gentleman we have ever met - in Negombo. He hates his fellow Aussies and is planning to resurrect a bar in southern France. Welcome to "Gwynn's World" - trucker for mines in WA.
    HIPPO I realise that you are an a/c limousine kind of guy - splashing Angolans with muddy water as you surge past. Ah well!

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  5. I've just been watching 'The Blue Planet' which suggests to shouldn't eat Tuna any more, but apart from that, I'm glad you and Shirley had a nice week.

    There was a 'gay pub' in Christchurch when I was at Uni there about a million years ago. Everyone knew but me... They laughed at me when I suggested we meet there and I never knew why until recently.

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