posted on Thursday, February 18, 2016

Negombo Beach


It's the turn of Sri Lanka who would have said! Promises of cheap and good food, smooth roads and hot winter temperatures and not too great distances and I was immediately sold! Quite a shock to be so suddenly thrown from a wintery Italian bike ride wrapped up with scarves, gloves and hat, to this sweltering anarchic traffic mess. With all the tiredness from the travel and after assembling the bike under the staring eyes of the  Airport security, I proudly set out from Bandaranaike international airport, heading north and desperately trying to get to the coast. Ways to and from any airport in the world are always bound to be not the best of places for a relaxing cycling ride, this was not an exception. I had to quickly adapt to the wild rules of the road here where the largest of trucks rule the pecking order followed by buses and cars. I seemed to rank pretty low in their consideration probably well below those three wheels tuk tuk and Italian Ape tricycles that abound around here. I must say that the awful disorder was not too frightening after all with most drivers hooting well ahead and slowing down when overtaking and most importantly never doing it too close! I thought negombo beach would be easier to find but I followed the A3 longer than I should in the end finding some kind of coastal civilisation after turning into little country roads often getting to a dead end. Yes I admit it, I found a guest house by the beach, having dinner at a local restaurant yet still joyfully unaware of my exact whereabouts, just a tiny little lost! I am not alone as asking people's direction while cycling they all seemed to not be entirely clear of their location either, including the local traffic police which explain the total mess. Lots of stray dogs all over the place but so far they seem pretty tiny and exhausted, and have not taken the slightest interest in my spinning calves. They do seem to realise I am exotic around here and unlike locals I definitely produce more barking fits...time to rest my jet lag before the first full cycling day tomorrow.