A Travellerspoint blog

3rd DAY

Negombo-Chillaw (Cycling)

sunny 31 °C

3rd Day:6.12.2009

While we were in Negombo, we didnt even took time for first swimm in Indian Ocean and this was the reason why we decided to cycle first day or two on west coast. Our first goal was Anuradhapura in north/central part of island buit we couldnt reach it in one day. After breakfast we hit the road. It was still extremly hot with few clouds. We soon realized, that roads in Sri Lanka are not perfect for cycling. Sri Lanka has 22 milion people concentrate on relatevely small island, so it is logical that there is a lot of traffic. No metter that drivers drive like crazy we werent afraid of most of the traffic. Everybody is driving mostly 70km/h and we didnt see a single accident (but accidents happens a lot in rain season). Bigger problem are bus drivers in old Indian made Lanaka Ašoka Leyland buses. These are as we called them "kings of the road" and everybody respects them. They drive 100km/h and dont stop for nothing (only for passangers). This is because there is a lot of buses on the roads and they can not afford to let single bus to overtake them. Besides vehicles, it is normal, that also people and animals are on the road. There is plenty of vagabond dogs on the street sleeping or searching for food. Most of them are not agressive, but some are. We were really afraid of the agressive dogs first few days and run away when they start following us...Otherwise they are building new roads and in few years all main roads will be renewed. Some of the roads are still old and this are in really bad conditions but it still possible to cycle trough.
After 55km we reached town called Chillaw. Next bigger town with accomodation was 60km away and this was to much for us on first day. Chillaw is small town on each coast with no any special sights. We decided to overnight in 1 of only 2 pensions we saw in this town. I dont remember the name, but pension is placed on the beach on other side of the bridge. It is located 50 metters from coast with nice view on Indian Ocean.It is not possible to swimm here because of unstable floor which caused Tsunami 5 years ago.This pension is in bad condition, but we needed only a place for sleep with mosquitos net and ventilator.
After first day of cycling we got both sunburn on the face, but this is nothing unusuall for ciclers and we are used to it.

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Posted by Mitja 11:00 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged bicycle Comments (0)

First 2 Days

Maribor-Vienna(car) Vienna-Colombo(airplane) Airport-Negombo(cycling)

sunny 31 °C

Soon after I returned from previous bicycle trip I realized, that I can not wait till spring to be able to go again. I knew that I will lost my job anyway, so I decided to go somewhere on a bicycle travell to use my payed vacation. I decided for Sri Lanka because it is warm and also relatevely small. It was possible to cycle whole island in 1 month...I also had a friend who was interested to go with me, so I decided that maybe it is better to go with someone since I go first time in Asia. We purchased plane tickets in beggining of September trough www.expedia.com and payed for return tickets from Vienna to Colombo resonable 630,00 eur and counted the days till start of the trip.

If you want to visit Sri Lanka you need to get turistic visa for 30 days. Slovenians doesnt need any visa up to 30 days visit, so I didnt have to buy it and I dont know how much it costs.

1st DAY:4.12.

My friend Saša was so kind to drive us 250km with my car to Vienna Airport. There we wanted to pack bikes in boxes and we noticed, that I forgott key for taking pedals off. I had to run to nearest gas station and they didnt want to sell their only key. I had to leave 50 eur for guarantee there and they finally gaved me the key I desperately wanted. Gas station was 1 km away so I lost at least 20 minutes for way there and back. We were to late and check in desk was already closed. Somehow we managed to get on the plane anyway and flew in direction Doha and later to Colombo. It was long flight (arround 10 h) and we also had to wait 4 hours for connection in Doha.

2nd Day: 5.12.2009

We landed arround 7 in the morning. Because of the time difference, here is +4,5 hours. I was travelling for more than 20 h and was really tyred but glad, that it is over. We unpacked the bikes and placed things from our personal lagguge to bycicle bags. It is possible to take only 20 kg of luggage and this was almost exactly bicycle, bags and box(if you go over limit, 1kg=50 eur).We thrown boxes and small bags for personal luggage away. I regarded later for box because it was not easy (at all) to get it last day before return to home. We had again problem with key for pedals. I asked airport stuff to borrow us one, but unfurtunately they didnt have it. they gaved us tongs to be able to screw at least a bit to be able to cycle to hotel.
When we camed out we noticed that it is really hot already althou it is only 7 in the morning. In Sri Lanka weather is hot with humidity 70%. They have 12 hour long day whole year. It is day fromsix and get dar at 6 in the evening.
Airport is placed 30km out of Colombo. We didnt want to go to Colombo at all. It is big dirty overcrowded city...We reather cycled only 7,5 km to turistic town Negombo.
Negombo on the west coast is for most travellers or holiday takers first destination. Ussualy they stay day or two and than they go to different destination. It is nothing much to see here. Beches are nothing compared to south. Town compared to the others is good developed and you can find nice shops also.
We stayed in pension Ocean View for 2500 Rs(Sri Lanka Rupie) for double bed room with AC. No ocean was visible from our terace, but the room was nice.

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Posted by Mitja 14:18 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged bicycle Comments (0)

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