6 April 2013


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.


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

  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.

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

  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!

  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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