I must have passed out last night, as Kat and Nic were commenting on how cold they were during the night, while I didn’t even hear the other guest arrive in the early hours. Apprehension started to build about my long drive and breakfast was a blur. I knew I had to get petrol before hitting the expressway and was hoping (and managed) to find some before continuing on the route I thought I needed to go. I passed through several hamlets, street traders setting up for the day and bus all ready at the depots. I was on the southern expressway soon enough travelling through varied landscapes but not appreciating the view with all the concentration.
I did pull over at one point. The car was rattling slightly and a passing car was either pointing to the wheels or describing something obscure between themselves. The only thing I could see of concern was a repaired puncture on the back right wheel, but nothing that would cause a racket. So, on I went and pulled over after paying the exit fee for the toll booth and turned on the wonderful maps.me app to direct me the final 8.5km to the hotel. Sure enough, a silent engine driving through tiny villages meant I needed to start using the horn a bit, I had to swerve for a dopey monitor lizard who was kamikaze and I arrived… nowhere! No sign of the accommodation and some locals said it was straight on, others backwards, until eventually a kind gentleman jumped on the back of a bike and we went on an adventure.
Parked up down back roads while they went knocking at doors and showing others where I suspected the hotel to be on the map. It was only when they were calling it a break did they hand me back my phone and I got to search through photos for a screen shot of the accommodation and the address. They felt like right idiots, so the bike was now zooming down the road and the local in the passenger seat was finally learning that I wasn’t moving till he put on his seat belt. Back to where we originally were the two lads went shouting for guest owners to wake up/ come out and they didn’t seem all best pleased at the interruption. The gentleman and myself were put out that there has never been a sign on their house and the locals didn’t even know it was called ‘Grand Villa’.
Bags dumped, a pointless attempt and exchange of words seeing if they wanted/needed anything in Galle and I was back off, driving down the coast road to meet Katherine and Nicola so I can tick off UNESCO site #6 from Sri Lanka’s list. The sea was beautiful – the ocean waves breaking a frothy white over turquoise – it reminded me of one of those foamy bath bombs that fizzing and turns the water extraordinary colours and a layer of bubbles. Continuing through more villages and hamlets the surf schools lessened and the fish stalls increased. Parking down a side road in Galle, I marched to the train station knowing that I’d be there before them and put some literary creation to my part of the day’s blog. Sunday 14th February 2016