Male’ & travelling – day 145

Woke up feeling slightly better after a good nights rest, despite turning the air conditioning on and off, as well as changing the temperature, so many times it might have been slightly confused!!! I was mid-shower when breakfast turned up so Jayne had to answer the door in her nightie to a slightly embarrassed Maldivian porter/waiter. Ate the ‘American’ breakfast (egg, sausage, jam and toast) before finishing getting ready and heading down to the ferry port to buy our tickets for later on today. Tried to find a quicker and more direct route from hotel to port as carrying our bags in the heat is a little bit more strenuous!! Found a quicker route (past the Maldivian Idol studios, no less) but most of it was in the direct sun so that wasn’t going to work either… Got our tickets for the 15.00 ferry and got chatting to a French couple who had just come back from Guraidhoo – and hated it! As we chatted more to them, it became clear that they were one of those couples who would hate winning the lottery and getting world peace. Think they (she, especially) wanted a 6* resort holiday on a perfect private island for guesthouse prices. Headed back to the hotel, another route, via a supermarket to pick up some essentials for the next few days (read essentials as chocolate spread and peanut butter!!). Clearly the supermarket didn’t want to scrimp on their choice of products and therefore reduced their aisle size down to single person width. So narrow in fact, that you couldn’t pass anyone in the aisle – you had to reverse out of it or force them to do the same to leave if you came across another person. Throw in the fact that the staff were also trying to restock shelves at the same time and I can safely say it was one of the most stressful supermarket visits I’ve ever had (and I’ve taken several autistic children to Tesco on a Saturday!!). Back at the hotel to use and abuse their wifi and air conditioning before the midday check out before heading back to the ferry port with our bags following a third different route. Sat in the ferry terminal waiting for our ferry (with actual Maldivian Idol playing on the tv at the terminal). A little girl asked me what my name was, told me she was 6 years old and then proceeded to have a whole conversation with me in almost perfect English. Really brought out the MFL teacher in me – learning a second language at such a young age is great. She wasn’t embarrassed or shy to speak English to me. Got on a much more crowded ferry heading to Guraidhoo, heading south of Male’. The ferry staff did a brilliant boxing ring show girl impression, holding up the names of each island as we approached. 

We were the final stop again so were able to sit back and relax as other tourists struggled to get there bags off the boat at each stop. Sailed past a few more resorts which, again, we could barely afford to look at them, let alone stay there. Arrived at Guraidhoo and were met by our guesthouse owner who walked us to the guest house. Not as nice as Dhiffushi, but significantly cheaper, we had a welcome drink of (very sugary) lemon iced tea before being shown where we could swim in bikinis and where we needed to swim fully clothed and an explanation of the places to snorkel, swim, sunbathe etc. Went for a walk around the island – much bigger than Dhiffushi and with double the amount of inhabitants (at 1,800 people!), it actually feels more claustrophobic.  

 Managed to find the dive centre that is owned by our Male’ hotel owner so Jayne has booked in to do some diving with them tomorrow. Wandered down the ‘main’ street, stopping to pick up some water before having dinner back at the guest house. Huge portions of fish curry, chicken curry, vegetable rice and noodles which I was only able to eat just over half. Another sulphur smelling shower (the joys of desalinated water!!) before heading to bed.

Monday 29th February 2016

Advertisements

Travelling & Male’ – day 144

Having sampled some island life and seen how the wind picks up during the day, as well as the heat, one can appreciate why the ferry leaves early. One, not us! For getting up at 5am on any morning is a struggle, to do so and leave such an idyllic location seem doubly torturous. 
Breakfast washed down with chilled apple juice, we walked the 268m down the east side of the island, passing up the offer of a wheelbarrow to carry our bags, also passing numerous golf buggies packing up for the lazy tourists. It was difficult to stay awake as the waves rolled gently under the boat and the heat was still tolerable. We both must have read paragraphs in our respective books several times before eventually giving up. A short stop at Himmafushi, giving the tauts a chance to sell tacky souvenirs and tea and we were on the final stretch of open water back to Male’.   
We trudged up the city with our bags, deeming this exercise quite enough for today’s fitness regime and arrived at our accomodation… Where we were greeted by the perplexed receptionist from last time. He clearly didn’t understand us that we would be returning, nor that he had any communication from Nashid whom brought us to the hotel, or Ahmed whom we emailed (and paid). A bit of confusion and scribbling dates on paper with our invoice and we’re a bit more confident this won’t happen on the next visit. 
Up one more flight of stairs from last visit, we had poorer wifi, but the room didn’t smell of cigarette smoke. Caught up on some washing with fresh water supplies and then Katherine enjoyed a long Skype chat with Clare. If Clare ends up getting a boxer puppy we can blame Kat’s bad influence from abroad. Tut tut!
We chilled out in the air conditioned room, occasionally turning it off when it got too cold and on again when it was too hot. This yo-yo a/c routine continued as we watched The Hobbit – Desolation of Smaug. Kat having finally read the book, I was not pestered with a hundred and one questions throughout the film. It was blissful watching it, maybe in part cause ‘someone’ fell asleep with only 10mins left of the movie. 
I went out to find some grub. Having had breakfast at 05:45 and munching biscuits and M&M’s all day, we needed something substantial – my tummy was grumbling more than a dwarf. I was disappointed to find the restaurant I was aiming for to be closed for refurbishment and I hadn’t a clue where else to look for in that part of the city. So, I walked down the main road and stuck my head in a window to a narrow little take away restaurant to order burgers and wraps. A feast was to be had, so I had to return with Diet Coke, made in Thulushdoo (which we passed earlier that morning); it is the only Coca-Cola factory in the world where the drinks are made from de-salinated water. And a good thing that is too, for it was disgusting. But, Milo chocolate bars help make up for that misdemeanour. Sunday 28th February 2016

Dhiffushi – day 143

Got up early and were out in the water snorkelling before the sun was up. Made the local women laugh as we joined them in the water fully clothed only to shudder at the chill in the early morning water – probably not cold at all but we’re used to jumping in after sunbathing!   The current was incredibly strong after yesterday’s storm so there were occasions where we were swimming against the current but not actually moving. Turned out to be a great work out as you couldn’t stop swimming, even for a moment, without getting pushed back a couple of feet. The current and cold water(!) was definitely worth it though when we spotted an absolutely massive eagle ray, followed by a couple more sting rays and a school of damsel fish by a solitude coral.  Given that we swam against the current for nearly an hour, we turned around and, without kicking, made it back to shore within 10 minutes!! Saw a enormous fan tailed sting ray just as we were coming up to the channel used by the local ferry and boats. Watched him for a while before heading in for breakfast. Eggs, sausages, toast and jam we’re devoured before we headed back to the beach to vegetate all day. Jayne went back into the water around mid morning for another snorkel – heading nearly to the wave breakers, finding a coral garden, some butterflyfish, pipefish and other tropical fish.  I opted to snooze on the beach under the shade of a parasol – occasionally waking up to peer into the water to make sure I could see Jayne. We spent the rest of the day being lazy, reading books, chatting and eating peanut butter and blueberry jam sandwiches. Headed in to shower a bit earlier today as we both felt a bit tender – clearly you can still get sunburnt when dressed head to toe in long clothing and sat under a parasol!!! Went to watch the sunset, bumping into the Italian family again who showed us their new (and improved) version of hermit crab racing that Jayne and I had taught them and the kids yesterday.     We continued up the beach after the sun sank slowly behind the clouds and horizon to walk along a stretch of beach which is the southern most tip of the island and uninhabited. With the failing light, we were still able to see about a dozen juvenile stingrays and a few baby sharks. We were just about to wade in to the shallows with the torch on the phone when there was a flurry of activity and the sharks clearly just started their feeding frenzy. We headed back over the island to our cosy cafe for a round of tune kotthu roshi, having already enjoyed a jar of olives with the sunset. We waited patiently until the shop reopened for an ice cream to complete our progressive dinner of the island. Back to the hotel room to pack, relax and enjoy a bit of cable tv before the ferry in the morning. 

Saturday 27th February 2016

Dhiffushi – day 142

Having missed out on our early snorkel yesterday, we forced ourselves out of bed this morning at the crack of dawn and were in the water as the sun was rising. Decided to head to the other side of the island so we went into the water fully clothed (you can only wear swim wear on the tourist stretch of beach). Snorkelled out over the marine grasses and into the deep channel. Jayne saw a flash of a shark like shape so kept snorkelling after I headed back in to do some core strength exercises and go for a run. Whilst I was sweltering on the beach, Jayne spotted 3 juvenile reef sharks in the water. After a while, Jayne got out and we headed back to the reef over on the tourist beach. Headed back to the hotel after nearly 3 hours for a quick rinse off before heading up to the roof top for breakfast. A traditional Maldivian breakfast of tuna with coconut and roti – it was divine!  The rest of the day was spent chilling out, looking at the video footage of the mornings snorkel and reading vast quantities of trashy novels! Went to watch the sunset and were mesmerised as the storm clouds quickly rolled in – a stark contrast to the blue skies.    Saw a few of the locals quickly try to moor their boats, clearly not used to docking up on that side of the island. Crossed over to the other side to see the rain and wind hit the other side of the island. Saw a local struggling to get his jet ski out of the water so we ran into the water to help him – Jayne and him holding it steady whilst I scooped out water as we waited for his friend to turn up with the trailer. Managed to get it out of the water only then to look for the key in the water. We’d been searching for about 5 minutes when the guy ‘found’ the key – think he actually had it in his pocket and didn’t realise it! Headed back to the same tea shop for dinner but got the feeling we weren’t particularly welcome so we headed to the islands other tea shop where we were greeted with a much friendly welcome! Had a very random conversation with our ‘waiter’ about the British Royal family and which countries made up the United Kingdom – not easy when his English was slightly shaky!! Headed back to the hotel (via a quick swing in one of the many hammocks scattered around the island) to watch some TV. 

Friday 26th February 2016

Dhiffushi – day 141

Had big plans of getting up early to go for a run and go for an sunrise snorkel with baby black tip reef sharks. However, the bed in this hotel is so comfortable that we opted for a lie in instead!! Got up by 8am and enjoyed the view of the beach from the restaurant roof top with breakfast of eggs, sausages, toast and jam. Grabbed our snorkelling gear and headed straight for the beach.   The rest of the day was spent either in the crystal clear turquoise waters or lounging on the white sands reading magazines and books. The reef just off the beach is grass, hard corals and a few large concrete blocks as a false reef.   The marine life was beautiful and we saw some huge unicorn fish and trigger fish as well as an incredible yellow (with black spots) juvenile box fish and a really beautiful juvenile oriental sweet lips hiding amongst the coral.  Jayne spent more time out in the ocean than I did which has resulted in a little bit of a sunburnt bum!!! Popped to a island shop around midday to get some water and then stayed in the room for a bit before heading out again to the sea. The current had really picked up so we didn’t stay out for very long, deciding instead to lounge on the sun beds reading our books and catching the last of the sun rays.   Had a shower and walked to the other side of the island to watch the sun set before heading to a local eatery for dinner.      Played chess whilst we waited for our tuna kothu rosi (a local dish) – it was delicious!! Popped back into the island shop to grab an ice cream before heading back to our room to watch TV and download our underwater photos from today. 

Thursday 25th February 2016

Male’ & travelling – day 140

Having turned off the AC in the middle of the night cause it was too cold (travelling has changed us!!), we both woke up feeling better and a bit too giddy about the day ahead. Had a shower and got dressed before having breakfast delivered to our room. A feast of omelette, sausage , toast and jam washed down with an ice cold bottle of water. Didn’t have to check out for over three hours so decided to go for a walk around Male and get our ferry tickets later for Dhiffushi. Wandered through the streets, marvelling at how there are no TukTuks and no beeping! It was wonderful. Popped into a shop that looked like it was selling dive equipment for a nose around only to buy myself a pair of flip flops (oops!). Kept walking until we hit the beach front and followed it down towards the ferry marina. Walked past a local swimming pool, filled with water from the ocean by building up rocks around the outer perimeter. Opposite it, was an outside gymnasium- clearly so you could exercise and then run across the road to wash off the sweat! It was really nice to see locals using the pool, even if you do have to be fully dressed to use it. Continued our stroll, trying desperately to find the cooler shady spots on the street. Came across a driving school where people were being taught to drive a whole range of vehicles, from scooters to pick up trucks! They even had a hill section which is probably the only time any of these learners are going to come across an incline of any size in their driving careers!! Arrived at the ferry port and weren’t allowed to buy our tickets until 10am so we waited for 5 minutes and then got them!! Was nice to watch the mix of people arriving and leaving the ferry port – mainly locals with a massive range of produce followed by backpackers (like us, clearly unable to afford the fancy resorts with the free speed boat transfers!!). With our tickets for the 14.30 ferry, we headed back to our hotel via a supermarket. Saw a class of young children (probably reception age) clearly on a class trip to buy fruit from the shop – each one of them had a 10 rufiyaa note in their hand. Most of them gave us a smile and a wave. One girl kept scowling at me and, much to her teachers amusement, I scowled back as her friends kept telling her to smile and say hello. Got some supplies for the next couple of days, including an assortment of new drinks to try – including an alcohol free fruit beer. They also have Milo here(!) but I resisted the urge to buy every single one!! Headed back to the hotel to cool down and check emails before we needed to check out. Made our way to there ferry port with all our bags and once there, Jayne headed off again to buy herself a (very) early birthday present! Boarded the boat at 14.15 for a super prompt departure at 14.30 (nothing like efficiency to get us both excited!!).   The ferry had a 50:50 mix of tourists and locals, with a massive amount of shopping stacked into the back corner – fruit, coffee, eggs, cigarettes, soap etc. The ferry also had a little shop onboard which was really sweet – a range of things in plastic jars or nailed to the ferry as a display. The 3.5 hour ferry ride to Dhiffushi was lovely. Sailed past several resort islands that, quite honestly, looked like they would be completely torturous to stay on… Not jealous, not jealous at all!!! Three short stop offs at other islands before arriving in Dhiffushi.  Was met by a hotel representative and we walked the 268m from port to the hotel whilst other tourists were collected in golf buggies! We were given a fresh coconut as we checked in and shown our room… Wow! For £45 a night I’m not sure why we haven’t been to the Maldives sooner!!! Took our coconuts for a walk to the beach and followed the coast all the way around the island, watching the sunset and chatting to a pair of Danish tourists. Only took about 30 minutes to walk the entire perimeter of the island (it’s about 500m long by 50m wide) with plenty of photo stops along the way.  Had dinner at the hotel to make things easier for us tonight – will head into the village during daylight to scope out the eateries there. Had traditional Maldivian fish curry and chicken curry for dinner – the base of which is almost like a French onion soup with coconut and curry! As we finished eating, a man plonked himself down at the table and introduced himself as the hotels cousin. He showed us some photos he took of today’s sunset and started chatting about the plans he and the hotel owner had for creating an aquarium. Well… Jayne was in her element and before you know it, he is offering to take us night snorkelling to look for baby sharks. Being a total scaredy cat when it comes to night diving, I decided to give night snorkelling a miss and left them to it. I’m writing today’s blog on the beach, looking up every couple of minutes to follow their torch lights underwater. 

Wednesday 24th February 2016

50 things we’ve learnt during our 28 days in Sri Lanka.

1. Your feet will never be clean… No matter how hard you scrub.

2. A morning shower is pointless… You are covered in sweat two metres after walking out the room!

3. Milo chocolate milk is like drinking calorific drops of heaven – it should be a sin.

4. People genuinely want to help you for no other reason than they can. 

5. They smile… All the time!! And not in a creepy way. 

6. Tourist prices for attractions will destroy your budget and make you weep. 

7. Local food is the best in guest houses and where police men eat.

8. Ice cream and Milo for lunch is perfectly acceptable. 

9. You burn your feet walking around the temples in bare feet!

10. You can be stuck in a traffic jam caused by wild elephants.

11. Sri Lankan spicy is not the same as Indian spicy… We’re bad ass and need more chilli!!!

12. They don’t have Limca, and Elephant Ginger Beer doesn’t quite hit the same spot.

13. There are two types of tourists in Sri Lanka… One dresses in hot pants and crop tops, the others are more respectful – and the locals appreciate the latter one!

14. The Sri Lankan radio DJ’s clearly have a thing for Boyzone, Westlife and Ronan Keating.

15. It is worth getting up at 4.45m… But only to see a blue whale!

16. Umbrellas are used for three reasons… Sun shades, occasional rain and concealment canopies for snogging!!!

17. People don’t give you directions – they hop on their bike to show you or walk you directly to the door!

18. Sometimes Jayne just needs a nap!!!

19. Melted chocolate from home is the best gift ever.

20. Sri Lankan double beds are a European single.

21. When it rains, it rains hard!

22. Sugar doesn’t ‘delete’ itself in hot drinks.

23. Not all ATM’s will accept your card, even if they took it in a different town.

24. We can look at wild elephants for a long time.

25. It is okay to walk along the train tracks to get to your destination.

26. It is illegal to play music in a National Park. 

27. You need a ticket to get into the airport or the train station.

28. Guesthouse curries range drastically in price and often the cheapest ones are the nicest!

29. Both of us still get sunburnt after 4 months away in the sun.

30. ‘Are you married?’ is the follow up question to ‘Where are you from?’.

31. Jayne and I are still cousin-sisters.

32. Those who can, drive. Those who can’t drive, drive TukTuks.

33. Happiness is hearing the approaching bread van TukTuk playing ‘Für Elise’.

34. Everything is endemic to that area.

35. Giant squirrels are pretty big!

36. Pot holes can, and are, filled with coconuts.

37. Sleeping in a car over night is not as easy as it sounds in a tropical climate.

38. The water is very soft in Sri Lanka – our hair has been unruly for weeks!!

39. Sometimes it is necessary to overtake on hair pin bends (and I will close my eyes whilst Jayne does it!). 

40. Policemen are shocked to see a tourist with a Sri Lankan driving license – and all officers nearby will demand to see it.

41. Red buses are driven by Kamikaze drivers or ex-TukTuk drivers (we can’t decide!!)

42. Scooters and bicycles have surf board racks. 

43. Land monitor lizards have stand offs with buses… And win, every time!

44. An automatic car frees up your left hand for snacking capabilities!

45. A beer on the beach watching the sunset is the perfect way to end a day.

46. Women in Sri Lanka tie their sari’s differently than Indian women… And I find the Sri Lankan way more elegant.

47. Flat tyre on an expressway is not fun… Especially when you have to wave down another car for a jack.

48. Stuffed rotis are sublime, especially those loaded with garlic.

49. The expressways are used by tourists and trucks so are always surprisingly quiet!

50. You’ll never have enough time in Sri Lanka to visit everywhere you want to go.

Travelling – day 139

Woke up, showered, dressed and packed the last few bits into our backpacks before getting into the lovely air conditioned car for the final leg of our journey. Headed to the nearby supermarket to pick up something for breakfast. (Un)fortunately, they only had Milo and chocolate Swiss roll as a suitable food item for breakfast… What can you do?!? Headed along the road looking for the signs to direct us to the Southern Expressway. Got about 5km away from our guesthouse when we realised that the expressway is only advertised in the opposite direction!! A speedy u-turn and we were now headed in the right direction. Had been driving up the expressway for about 20 minutes when the front left tyre burst. Having never happened to either of us before, we were both surprisingly calm as Jayne put on the hazard lights and steered the car to the hard shoulder. We got out the spare tyre and started to loosen nuts when we realised that Europcar hadn’t supplied us with a jack… Tried to ask some locals in a house nearby who had obviously heard the wheel pop and came to investigate but they didn’t have one either. Managed, after several failed attempts, to flag down a car that was driving down the expressway (filled with Canadian tourists). Their Sri Lankan driver lent us his jack and gave us a hand to change the wheel over so we could keep going to the airport.   He very kindly stayed behind us for about 20km to make sure we were okay as we drove cautiously slowly up the expressway, knowing full well that we didn’t have time for another emergency! Fortunately, the rest of the drive was without incident, although the getting between the outer circular expressway and the airport expressway made us realise how glad we were that the car was going back. Arrived at Europcar to deliver the car and proceeded to have a small heated discussion about the lack of car jack… A quick rummage by one of the mechanics found the jack under the passenger seat (apparently, it is a sensible place to keep it – although I still would go for storing it with the spare wheel and other tools!). As the tyre was not a puncture, we had to pay £20 to replace it but we took Europcar complaint email address as neither of us feel we should have to pay for everyday wear and tear damage… Watch this space! Got to the airport with two hours until our flight was due to take off and felt a bit rushed going through the excessive amounts of security checks just to enter the check in desk area, only to find out our flight was delayed by 1.5hours! Headed through to the departure lounge to find everything priced in dollars and about 3 times the price of anything we have paid in Sri Lanka. Despite this, I felt that Jayne could use a special treat based on today’s stressful drive so we had a sneaky Burger King before heading to our gate. A fairly painless flight with Mihin Lanka and we were in the Maldives. Slightly giddy walking through the airport with our hotel rep to the ferry jetty – we were the only tourists on board and clearly the only ones excited by the mode of transport we were using!! A short walk to the hotel to drop off our bags before heading back out to grab something small to eat and to check out the ferry jetty we need to get for tomorrow to Dhiffushi.  

Tuesday 23rd February 2016

Hikkaduwa – day 138

Woke up early, without alarms, and decided to head out to Hikkaduwa marine National Park again before it go too hot. Lathered both of us with water resistant sun cream and, stopping at the nearby shop to buy some more sweet bread, we headed down to the beach. Had a breakfast of Milo’s and bread, which gave the local dive staff a bit of a giggle – apparently it is their breakfast of choice too!! Headed back out to sea to snorkel around the big rocks – much the same marine life as yesterday with some baby yellow zebra fish (Sergeant Majors) and some unusual fish that even Jayne had never seen before (or knew their name!!).   Swam past massive shoals of parrot fish which are the biggest ones I think I have ever seen. Saw a couple of cuttlefish, pipefish and a shoal of a type of barracuda. Headed back to shore when we began to feel tired, swimming past tourists in a fishing boat, clearly surprised that you didn’t need to be rowed the 500m to the snorkelling site. Headed back to the guesthouse to get out of the midday sun and do some jobs ready for our flight tomorrow to the Maldives. I got to Skype Clare for the first time in nearly two months so we had a good two hour chat!! Sorted out our bags, reshuffling all the shampoo/conditioner/sun cream that we had bought or stolen from Nicola!! Headed back out to the beach to walk along the coastline, stopping further down to watch a kite surfer zip back and forth through the waves and sitting down to watch the sun set again. Not as spectacular as last night but I’m not complaining – even obscured by clouds, it was still beautiful.     A touch of retail therapy to buy bikinis ready for the Maldives before finding a roti restaurant for dinner. Ate far too much(!) – as this restaurant uses the rotis like wraps. Had a chicken, cheese, tomato and garlic roti (which was so good, we ordered a second one!), an avocado, cheese and tomato roti and, because it was our last night in Sri Lanka, we ordered our favourite chicken and cheese kottu. Feeling very full, it was nice that we had a little 2km walk back to the guesthouse to burn off some of that food! Packed our bags and climbed into bed, both shattered from too much sea and sun!

Monday 22nd February 2016

Hikkaduwa – day 137

Hmmmmmm… Sleeping in the car in a tropical climate is not fun!!! Thought, having parked up by the beach, it would be lovely and romantic – waking up with the sunrise and listening to the waves crash over sand. Reality?!? Sweating to death in a micro oven or opening the windows to be devoured by mosquitos!! Jayne opted for the front seat, whereas I made myself a little cocoon in the back balancing on the spare wheel and wedging my feet between door and boot. Surprisingly, I actually got some sleep although Jayne was less fortunate being on another one of her mosquito murder missions again. Watched the sunrise over the houses whilst the beach became alive with early morning surfers. Sat watching them whilst eating some sweet bread and drinking Milo’s (made everything seem better!!).   Had a chat about what to do over the next few days and decided to head towards the Marine National Park in Hikkaduwa, just south of Colombo. Managed to find a very nice and clean guesthouse just off the main road and after a quick shower to wash off the layers of car sweat(!), we headed to the beach with our new masks and snorkels. The reef just off the beach had some amazing marine life and within minutes of getting into the water, we had spotted a turtle and some massive parrot, unicorn and napoleons wrasse fish.   We decided to snorkel over to the reef by the big rocks that all the fishermen were trying to convince us to pay them to row us over. The reef was nice as it was less damaged by morons walking all over it and the marine life seemed quite large compared to up north in Kalpitya. Decided to head back to the guesthouse after about an hour for a much needed sleep in a real bed (we’re both clearly getting too old for sleeping anywhere other than a mattress!!). Woke up and headed back to the beach, via the wine store to pick up a couple of beers. Found a nice spot with a washed up log to sit on to watch the sun set as surfers continued catching waves around us. Slightly embarrassing moment watching Russian women pose like playboy models in the surf for their boyfriends and a very pasty white surfer trying to show his skills in front of the Sri Lankan ones… Who outshone him in every possible way! Continued walking along the beach until we stopped at an Italian restaurant for dinner. Had a massive three course feast of chicken liver pate, prawn salad, pizza, carbonara pasta, chocolate cake and Nutella with vanilla ice cream pancakes. Waddled back to the guesthouse, past TukTuk drivers who would wait in the shadows until you were about to pass to jump out and ask if your needed a taxi – they were lucky I didn’t punch any of them out of fright! A quick shower to wash off the sea salt and we both passed out!

Sunday 21st February 2016