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Colombo, Round 2

After checking in I spent a couple hours, sitting on a verandah, drinking tea, and staring out at the Indian Ocean. Decompressing. Relaxing. Wiping the slate clean.

 

Yes, I am aware that I am writing in boxing terms.

Yesterday was a challenge. The ‘in your face’ part of Colombo has hard to ignore, but picking up a temporary stalker along the beach in Mt. Lavinia was enough to put me on edge. I didn’t feel safe. I felt as though I couldn’t walk around that area (night or day), without this man finding me, and following me. It was not an ideal situation. I was also tired (up at 4am to catch my flight to Sri Lanka), which compounded things even more.

So, I ran to the Hilton for a night, and it was a nice way to shake off my day -especially after they greeted me with a cold wet face cloth, and a champagne glass of fresh lime juice, with a touch of sugar.

This morning I changed hotels, and moved into a heavenly room at the Galle Face Regency Hotel. It sounds fancy, the room looks fancy, but the price is not as ‘fancy’ as the Hilton. It’s a win – win, if you ask me. A great little buffer for those ‘in your face’ moments, here in Colombo.

After checking in I spent a couple hours, sitting on a verandah, drinking tea, and staring out at the Indian Ocean. Decompressing. Relaxing. Wiping the slate clean. When I felt refreshed, I grabbed my camera and my bag, and I headed outside, where I met a very nice man, who put me into a tuk tuk because there-is-a-festival-going-on-that-no-other-foreigners-know-about, which I learned was a scam.

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Yeah, I’m shocked too, how on earth did I fall for that one?! I did get to see the Gangaramaya temple, but when the tuk tuk took (ha ha, tuk tuk took…what? it’s funny) me to a gem shop, I gave him some rupees and walked away. I had no clue where I was, or where I was going, but I knew I wasn’t going to be riding inside that tuk tuk any longer.

Somehow, things didn’t bother me today, the way they bothered me yesterday. I knew what was happening, and I was able to tune it out. I am finally able to be here, in Colombo. All of me. I can walk along the street, and take in the scenes around me.

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There is something beautiful about the old, crumbling, buildings. It gives the city character, and each time I look at them, I hope to hear a whisper of their history. But buildings don’t whisper, so I just stand and stare, with a camera in my hand, looking like a spy. This would not be suspicious, but there are police all over the city. Some have normal size guns, and some carry what looks like, a Mauri Vz61 Scorpion (Impressed? You should be). So yeah, walking around with a DSLR, taking pictures of architecture, or standing and staring at a building, is not the best choice. They haven’t said anything to me yet, so I’ll keep doing it until they do.

Colombo was a lot better today, and I’ve decided that although I consider myself a budget traveller, I deserve a getaway from time to time, where I can treat myself to a nice hotel, with a stunning view.

Four days in Sri Lanka is clearly not enough time. I know this. But, four days is enough time for me to know that I need to see more – outside of Colombo.

 

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I'm a travel writer and photographer who specializes in bespoke travel experiences. I write about boutique, savvy and cultural travel. My writing has been featured in Outpost Magazine, Travel + Escape, and UP! Magazine.

1 comment

  1. I’m so pleased you had a better day. My 6 weeks in India ends Friday when I fly into Colombo. I’ve got 2 weeks south if Galle at an Ayurvedic retreat (treating myself after india) then 2 weeks to check out the island. Would love any suggestions on places to visit in Colombo and any budget accomm you came across.

    Cheers
    Lynne

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