Our Last Week, Wahhhhhh!!!!

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Hey kids, it’s my turn. Sarah and I left the Marari Beach Resort just outside of Alleppey on Tuesday. On our last day we went on a 40 k bike ride which was hilarious. The hotel gives you a bike and sends you on your way. The bikes are pretty rough but good fun. Sarah had a bell on hers which came in handy quite often. Both of them also had carriages and there were no gears on them. All the while that we were riding down one of the quiet roads people would wave to us and yell out “hello”, sometimes also asking for a pen or some money. It was amusing. When we arrived in the city it was full contact mode. We were weaving in and out of traffic….buses, motocycles, scooters, animals, people, you name it. It was nuts but exciting. We felt like locals. Well, sort of.

The next day we were picked up and transported to Kovalam Beach which is very close to the southern tip of India. The 150 km drive took us about 4.5 hours. It is not worth it to try and explain the utter mayhem on the roads and the extremely lax safety standards but once again it was exciting although we both felt like crap when we got there. We spent our night at the Taj Green Cove which was stunning. It sits on a bluff a couple of hundred feet above the beach and about 500 metres back. There is an infinity pool surrounded by palm trees and the view was amazing.

The next day we were picked up and taken to the airport at 7:15 am for our 9:30 flight. The flight took off at 11:30 and we got to inhale noxious fumes for the 4 hours we spent at the airport. This airport was really crappy and very dirty. Once we got up in the air it was a short 45 minutes to get to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

We arrived in Colombo (the capital) on Independence Day so there were hardly any cars on the road which made for a smooth ride to our hotel. There are military checkpoints all over the city (on any given day) where you can be pulled over by guards with rifles who speak virtually no English, are about 18 years old and probably weigh about a buck twenty. In the lounge of the Hilton we met an extremely interesting guy who runs an NGO in Sri Lanka and also Uganda. We ended up going for dinner with him and talked to him for about 5 hours learning a great deal about the country, politics and his organization. From what began as a desire to help a few orphans has blossomed over the years into schools and medical facilities for thousands of children who would otherwise have absolutely no way out of their dire circumstances. We are going to try and go to 2 schools that he operates near the airport on our last day. Fire up the tears.
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After one night in Colombo we were driven to the hill country which is another 4.5 hour drive. This drive is littered with hairpin turns and switchbacks but the scenery is amazing. We are now in tea country. The temperature is very comfortable (24 C during the day and about 15 at night). The place we are staying in is one of the best we have ever been to. It is a stately 80 year old bungalow that was once used by the tea executives. There are 5 rooms (of which 3 are occupied) and we have a butler, chef, houseboys, security guard and a few gardeners. Not bad. The food is very good and you can pretty much ask for whatever you want (there is actually a bell beside our bed that we can ring if we want anything). Today we went for a 27 k walk through the tea fields. The views are stunning and the people are very friendly. If one kid in a schoolyard sees us, within about 2 minutes the entire school is waving and yelling “Hello” or “Hi”. We have 2 more nights in this paradise and then we move on to Kandy for our last three nights. We wil be home in less than a week. Yes, we know, you fell sorry for us.

Hope all is well with everyone.

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By the way…this is The Peacock, as shown by Gopal our 64 year old yogi!

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~ by sdobbie on February 6, 2009.

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