Cycling with a smile in Sri Lanka 

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They advertise Sri Lanka as the wonder of Asia. I never been to other countries in southeast Asia but Sri Lanka is indeed wonderful. Maybe they should change the name to the smile of Asia as I will explain.

My cycle journey in Sri Lanka took me almost everywhere on the island. I only missed the east coast. 

I started from Negombo where I reassembled my bike back together, It’s getting easier everytime. I stayed at a guesthouse runned by a local family. They cooked amazing srilankaan food. The day I left they said ‘next five days rain and thunderstorms’. Hoping for some rain I did a little dance but it didn’t work out no big rains for my entire stay.

I set of the reach Kandy where I was staying with a guy from Warmshowers, Benjamin. First day was amazing instead of cycling thru dessert areas there was jungle everywhere. Instead of being alone there where people everywhere. I liked the changed and even better, most people where smiling to me and the people that where not smiling looked amazed to see me and my bike. The last hour was hard and had to climb some hills but I made it just before dark to Kandy. Benjamin lived with his family in on a mountain next to the city. There where all kinds of birds and some monkey’s. 

The next day I applied for my Indian visa what was very easy and had to come back after 9 days. I stayed another day and visit the jungle sanctuary next to the city. Here it was very quiet and there where a lott of animals. Next two days I rode to Ella. It’s in the middle of the mountains and a really touristy place. I meet some other travelers and we hiked and went out together. The last day with one friend from Dubai we had a guide on a hike. This men was 84 years old and walked barefoot thru the fields with us. 

I had to go back to Kandy to get my Indian visa in my passport, I didn’t want to cycle and heard the train ride is amazing so I took the train, it was only 6 hours. The views where amazing, rice fields, teaplantations and amazing view’s everywhere. The train goes really slow and it’s medium comfortable.

In Kandy i stayed one day and reported in the morning at the visa office, at the end of the day I could collect it with the visa. Next day I took the train back. This time I couldn’t book a reserved seat, this is no problem because second and third class can’t sell out but when boarding the train it was overcrowded. I had to sit in the door opening with my legs out. This was quite nice, only after couple hours you get bored of it. After being back in Ella I climbed the Ella rock again with a Dutch girl I meet. The next day I was back on the bike.

It was a long downhill to the south, I had planned to reach the coast that day and cycle in three days to the place I was meeting my family. At the coast it was a little hotter ofcourse. I had to drink and eat every hour to fuel my body. Riding along the coast is nice. In the morning you see the fishermen selling the fish and octopus’s on the side of the road. During the day more people selling stuff like vegetables, fruits and other things. In the afternoon the corn lady’s show up. The make little fire’s and cook corn. I don’t like corn so I never stopped, but sometimes it smelled okay. Getting closer to my destination I was noticing more and more tourists. They mostly stayed within the place the had there hotel. Some go out further with a tuktuk. The only other tourists I meet outside the town’s where surfers on scooters with there board on a cart. I stayed one night before meeting my family at Merissa beach and meet up with a German friend I had seen in couple places before. Had some beers at the beach. 

Family day, finally I would see my family again. Mom,dad, sister, sister’s friend Marc,and her two kids. We had a big house in hikkaduwa for two weeks. It was an amazing time, jumping in the pool, go to the beach, some touristy stuff etc… Or just hanging on the couch. I had a blast going out with only my sister to a bar. Or with the whole family going to the beach. But after two weeks my sister, Marc and Tije and Mare had to go back to Holland. With my parents we went to the north, they are staying till third of January. So my dad wanted to climb Adam’s peak, it’s around 6500 step’s up a mountain to see the sunrise and the food print of Adam or Buddha or Shiva depending on your religion. But before we where on top you have to get up around 2 am. And it was a long long climb, as a Sherpa for my dad I couldn’t curse to much to the top, my dad needed some motivation the even get to the top. But after 3,5 hours of torture we made it to the top. And it was amaaaa no it was not amazing it was crowded and cold. Also the clouds covered the sunrise. But the positive thing was, going down and looking at people that where in more pain them yourself was quite amusing. After couple hour’s sleep we went to a teaplantation because my mom wanted to do something and we walked another 10 km. 

The next destination was sigiriya.a ancient place with some temple’s and rock’s. It’s nice but the UNESCO site is highly overpriced and overrated. Next to the UNESCO rock is another rock you can climb for $2 instead of $25 and people said to me it was better then the UNESCO site so I didn’t go there. Together with my parents we had NEWYEAR party, but the srilankens to really celebrate it. So we barely made it to 12 o’clock. Next two day’s we did a jungle tour to spot elephants and there where a lott 150, and visit some temple’s. then it was time to say goodbye to my parents and get back on the bike again. 

First I rode to Anuradhapura, ancient city with a couple big stoepa’s, underway to the city I came across a French girl that was also cycling, she took a plane to Colombo and just rented a bike from someone and was cycling around for 4 weeks. She forgot to give the key back to the hotel and gave it to me. I went there got a good price and stayed two nights at this hotel. Because Anuradhapura is an UNESCO site the price was also $25. I though it was for not big stoepa and skipped that one so I don’t have to pay, cycled around all the other site’s and when I was almost done got stopped by security guy that wanted to see my ticket. Because this ancient city is not fenced of and open roads go thru it I made up a hotel name and said I was going there and tomorrow will get a ticket and visit the site. He let me go, bam $25 still in my pocket. 

The north, I left Anuradhapura to go to Jaffna in the hope to find a ferry to India. On my way I didn’t see any tourist or white people for day’s. Finally in Jaffna I spotted a couple, German tourists. The hunt for a ferry was going bad, they stopped it when the civil war broke out and never started it again. So to bad, I visited a Dutch fort and another one on my way back to the capital. I was just following the coast down when I hit a national park, it was okay to cycle thru as long as I stayed on the big road, this big road was a bumpy dirt gravel road of 40 km. But I saw a wild boar, birds and at the end a elephant family. It was a nice day.

Back in Negombo I had to find a flight to India, spicejet was the best option with the bike. So dismantled the bike again and packed everything. 

Now I’m in India, Madurai. It’s more crowded then Sri Lanka and a little dirty but it feels good. The bike is back together, changed some money and tomorrow I will head towards Kerala, to go in the mountains to cool off, because it’s hot here. And it supposed to be beautiful. 

I will have a new simcart end of the day but now internet is slow, so no pictures yet, but most are already on my Instagram and Facebook.

Hopefully you liked the storie.

Goodbye

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