Touchdown in Sri Lanka

My plane touchdowned in Sri Lanka but it might as well have been Shangri La. This place is crazy different then I could have ever imagined. I’m a little scared and really excited to be here.

Pier along Galle Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka. © Matthew Worden

I left London yesterday morning for Sri Lanka, which had a short layover in Bahrain. We were forced to depart the plane directly on the tarmac in Bahrain and boy was it extremely hot, and it was the middle of the night!

I finally arrived 4:00am at the airport which sits an hour north of Colombo. There was suppose to be a driver with one of those fancy signs with my name on. I looked and looked but I couldn’t find the guy. After an hour of waiting I realized there’s not going to be any driver.

I find a local Sri Lankan military guy and ask him how taxis and such work around here. In Sri Lanka you don’t hail a cab. You have to call and arrange one even at the airport. Now Sri Lanka has taxis so to speak but they are basically 3-wheeler go-carts which you can find anywhere. However, since I’m traveling 40 min into Colombo I need an actual car.

I convert some money and find a kiosk that calls a cab for me. My cab arrives and I’m off to my friend’s house. I’ll will be using their amazing house as a base camp during my time in Sri Lanka.

My cell phone is dead and no way to charge it. So calling my friends to let them know where I was, wasn’t really an option. In the mean time they were trying to figure out where I was.With some traveling skills I made it to their house, which was a relief to everyone, including me.

I was given a quick tour of the house and left on my own. My first move was a shower followed by a 4-hour nap. When I awoke it was dinnertime. My friend took me out for my first meal at Galle Face Hotel. It’s almost a custom to have your first meal here when coming to Sri Lanka. There you sit outside, unwind from your flight, eat, and watch the waves hit the Sri Lankan shoreline.

After all the planning, hoping, and dreaming of this place, I finally made it. I drink to the people I’m going to meet and the adventures to be had.

Cheers Sri Lanka!

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