Sri Lanka 25: Arugam Bay to Colombo


First, disappointment report.  Those custom board shorts I ordered definitely weren’t ready today, so I will be headed to Colombo without them.  Excuse was “we closed yesterday, which was true, although yesterday was also the day I was told I could pick them up.  Fortunately, no money had changed hands, and am I shocked that something on Arugam wasn’t on schedule?  Not really.  Oh well.
Second, a bad belly report.  I had a fantastic dinner last night at Zephyr, a great restaurant on the beach, closer to where the beach curves.  Daina also had a tasty dinner, with a bit of a surprise.
I had a fantastic jaggery beef dish (beef marinated in sugar cane), while Daina had the “grilled seafood salad”, which was mean to be grilled seafood atop salad in a light vinaigrette.
Well, maybe “light vinaigrette” means “mayonnaise-based sauce” over here, because that’s what D got.  And, not doing well with dairy, he also got a killer stomach ache.  Breakfast worked well this morning (cute place called Sham where they were literally putting on finishing touches on the sign yesterday), but he’s still got some rumble guts.

So, let’s get in a van for eight hours!
Pleasant enough drive, which included a stop for some tourist-class curry at Udawalawae National Park, where we spotted a huge elephant coming up from the shore after a mud bath,and some baby elephants sleeping under a tree.  No time for safari, as we has two Israeli girls sharing the van with us who had a flight to catch.
In an interesting twist, our driver, who had been a professional driver in Sri Lanka for 12 years, continually looked shocked as we ran into construction, shitty drivers, and slow vehicles, as if none of those things existed in Sri Lanka before this particular drive.  We took the “surprise” route to the airport, as in “Surprise!  Here’s the airport!”  Literally, could have drive past it and not clued in.  
From there, it was “find the guesthouse” time!
I knew when I booked our place “in” Colombo that it was more “Colombo adjacent” than anything, but reviews told a fantastic story and, when we finally got there, we found a beautiful lobby with a goldfish pond, a picturesque sitting area and a lovely host named Suresh!  He had tea ready for us, asked us about dinner and, upon learning Daina was a vegetarian, invited us out with him!  We were pretty zonked so we politely refused, asking if there were any quick eats in the neighbourhood.
WELL, he told us he had take-out menus for MCDONALDS and PIZZA HUT!!!!  And let me tell you, after 9 hours in a car, you don’t choose the vegetarian option.

Although, of course, when ordering Mcdonalds in Sri Lanka, there is a vegetarian option.  So, really, it’s a cultural experience.
One more day in Sri Lanka! 

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