I love visiting new countries but sometimes it’s nice to return to a place you’ve been before, especially when you have good friends there. Rob and Jolanda have been coming to Sri Lanka nearly every year since they first met (and even longer for Rob). It’s like a second home for them. Rob says it’s his happy place. The surf and the weather are just perfect and there are so many friendly familiar faces.
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Colombo, the bustling capital city of Sri Lanka and home to 5.6 million people, might sound like an unusual place to go scuba diving. There are only a few reefs and it’s certainly not a tropical paradise but what it does have is a surprisingly large abundance of little-known shipwrecks. I visited at the end of November and dived with Island Scuba, a relatively new dive shop that’s trying hard to put this spot on the scuba diving map.
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Sri Lanka is an island nation of 21 million very diverse people. It’s a mix of Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, and Hindus who speak Sinhalese and Tamil (as well as quite a bit of English). A violent conflict smouldered and flared between the Tamils and the government from the 1980s up until 2009, making parts of the island quite dangerous to visit. Thankfully, the country seems to have put that struggle behind itself and is now a safe and very culturally rich place to visit.
Continue reading “Sri Lanka Cycle Tour with SpiceRoads” →
I’m exploring Sri Lanka by bicycle with a great group of people, visiting Buddhist temples and ancient ruins while cycling through remote rural areas that few people ever see. One of the highlights so far has been Wasgamuwa National Park. Wasgamuwa is home to a large population of Sri Lankan elephants (which means you have to visit on a jeep safari since the elephants might trample cyclists).
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Tomorrow I begin a 12-day cycle tour of Sri Lanka. I arrived a few days ago to give myself some time to work through the jet lag and do a little sightseeing. So far, I’m really impressed! My good friend Charles thought I might be in for another very trying experience like our trip to Bangladesh two years ago. Where we found rancid air and chaotic traffic jams in Dhaka, here in Sri Lanka I feel much more at ease. A fresh sea breeze blows through the trees, mixing with the aroma of curry and spices. The touts are even some of the friendliest and most respectful people I’ve met in all my travels!
Continue reading “First Impressions of Sri Lanka” →