I’ve always been a sickly child when it comes to car journeys, whenever we went anywhere in the car, grandad would always carry bottles of water to wash down the side of the car after I had thrown the contents of my stomach down it. Hell, I’ve been know to make myself feel sick when I’ve been driving, so journeys for me always seem twice as long as the actually are.
The first part of the journey to our Airbnb was smooth and pretty traffic free but once we got to the inner city of Colombo itself things became very different. I’m not quite sure what the rules are here, there are definitely some, as they have police at most main junctions and they certainly get the most out of their roads by covering every square inch with vehicles. Why use two lanes when you can make five? There were a lot of interesting things to look at, the family of four on one bike (why wouldn’t you), the fabulous way the guys decorate their tuk tuk’s with crazy messages like “you better don’t come in my way” and the wonderful business of the streets themselves.
When we eventually made it through the hustle and bustle we arrived in a slightly nicer part of town and a purpose built block of flats with a barrier at the front. Inside, the aircon hit you like a blast wave and we were greeted by a guard who showed us the way.
At the apartment, out host met us and offered us refreshments, making us feel at home. She gave us a few suggestions for dinner and after a really quick shower she also gave us a lift into town using the scenic route to show us the sites. Saving money whilst getting extra stuff, winner winner!
We decided to eat in the Shangri-la as the reviews seemed pretty good and I’m glad we made the effort. Once inside the main foyer we were welcomed by a lovely table decoration, set up for Chinese New Year celebrations. Above this is the largest light fitting I’ve seen in person, it looks like Swarovski has literally vomited in the shape of flowers, amazing!
The restaurant inside was an all you can eat buffet called table one, I wasn’t holding out too much hope as the all you can eats I have been to before are pretty samey and not the highest quality. This did seem a little different and I got tucked into the sushi & sashimi straight away, whilst not the best I’ve ever had it was still pretty tasty.
After two helpings of sushi, we moved onto the curry and that was really very good. Like curry in the UK only better!
We then couldn’t decide which dessert to have, so we had one of each and shared them. They were small but when you have 10 it’s certainly not going to help me squeeze into my jeans any easier.
After dinner we went to the bar downstairs to sample a cocktail before we braved a tuk tuk home. Quite a cool bar, a live band playing and some ambient lighting which means it didn’t matter that we looked a bit jaded from our travels. They were very very attentive which was nice, something you would not get in a regular bar in the UK, a car forecourt maybe…
After a cocktail we decided we wanted some adventure and got a tuk tuk back to base, when I saw them whizzing around earlier it looked like fun, like a real life whacky races.
It wasn’t quite as much fun as our driver didn’t seem to trust his sat nav and kept going in the opposite direction. After a little direction from us we did manage to get back to base. Always trust the sat nav, it will always get your home! That may not be factually correct but it has a better chance than winging it. I’ve had too many experiences at home when I thought I knew better, turns out, not so much.
Straight to bed when we got in, tomorrow the real adventure begins…….