Anuradhapura – day 121

Having already checked the bus timetable yesterday, we knew we needed to be at the bus station by 9am. Ate breakfast in our room of bread and Nutella, drinking Milo’s, before finding out that we could have paid to eat breakfast in the guesthouse – rather than eating like mice in our room!! Made our way to the bus station by foot, despite the hotel owner claiming it was too far. Clearly he had already forgotten that we arrived by foot yesterday! Got to the bus station, stowed our bags in the boot (love the second-hand Canadian buses here) and sat down ‘reserving’ our seats by the window. Two other tourist couples got on the bus – and all of us sat on a seat for three people. Jayne and I sat next to each other leaving the third seat free and the other two couples sat leaving the middle seat free. Guess which couple the conductor was really nice to?!? The journey itself was pretty easy – another ‘express’ bus so not much stopping and lots of air flowing through the open windows. I had a little local girl sat on my lap at one point during the journey so that her mum could also sit down with her massive bags – the little girl was fascinated by the elephant and turtle charms on my Pandora bracelet. Arrived in Anuradhapura and stared making our way to our guesthouse. We were given a cold glass of Sprite when we arrived and instantly you could see the hotel owner was looking a bit worried, glancing at us and the older French couple also in reception. A few frantic phone calls later and, having clearly decided we were going to make less of a fuss, she came over to tell us that Agoda had overbooked her hotel but she had found us another one. A free TukTuk ride later and we were checking into a lovely little hotel, much closer to the town centre and the ruins! Both of us had a bit or a rest at that point before using the wifi in the lobby. As we sat there, an Italian girl was in reception, obviously in a bit of a state. Jayne went over to see if there was anything she could do. Turns out, the girl had just arrived and there was no room anywhere for her in town. She had also had her money stolen from her this morning in Colombo so was pretty down in the dumps. Since we had a third bed in our room, we offered it to her and the hotel said she could have her own room tomorrow. We left Anna to have some time to herself after a hectic day and went out for dinner. Ended up at a little restaurant by the bus station – the food was amazing; the Christmas album in Sinhalese playing in the background was quite amusing! We both had chicken kottu and shared a plate of roasted vegetables.  I ate the whole head of roasted garlic… Bet Anna wishes she wasn’t sharing with us now!! Headed back to the room and watched ‘The Hobbit’ before falling asleep in the super comfortable beds!

Friday 5th February 2016

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