As I mentioned Sri Lanka really is Travel101. There are many options of how you get around the island, some ridiculously cheap and some a little dearer. You want a bouncy a bus you got it, you want to be chauffer driven, well you got that too. So, the options are…
We are certainly not talking bullet trains here! However, without a shadow of a doubt my favourite mode of transport. This slow sedate way of cruising through the countryside is simply magic. Most of the trains I have been on offer only 2nd or 3rd class and that’s fine by me. The windows are open the fans are whirling and you feel that you have been transported to a different era. Even when I have had to stand I have found it magical. Couple of tips on the trains…
Get your tickets the day before.
Once you’ve done a Sri Lankan bus trip you’ll find it becomes a nice little conversation starter! The trip will become a badge of honour that you can wear proudly stating that you are a real traveller! I have chatted to people who have become wide eyed in amazement when I have told them that I travelled to a certain destination by bus. The buses as you will soon find out once you arrive in the country are crazy.
There are the red government buses and then there are the primarily blue private ones, which if I was to be told were possessed I’d not my head in a way which communicated that I understood. The buses will sometimes have a high powered screeching sound, they blow horns that are part of a symphony, they have drivers who struggle with a steering wheel that is wider than their reach and of course they travel and overtake at break neck speeds. Having said all that I still love getting on a bus. They are entertaining and other passengers particularly the school children will stare at you with a look of what the hell are you doing here which I love. Music will often be blaring and some will even have a TV screen playing musical movies or some sort of talent show. I’m still unsure as to whether it’s there for entertainment or to keep your mind off what is happening on the road! I had one bus trip on the south coast where the volume and base were turned up so much the windows rattled like a dodgy nightclub you’d frequent in your younger years! Couple of tips on the buses...
Finally, the buses tend to be so bouncy that if you’re wearing a fitbit it will do wonders for your averages. On one trip from Mullaitivu to Trincomalee I literally added 20,000 steps to my days total!
A Bit of Background!
My first ever experience at backpacking back in 1984 was in Sri Lanka, I thought it apt that that’s where I start again! I’ll not go on about how much it has changed, it obviously has, and I don’t want to start conversations with...back in the day.
Sri Lanka is travel made easy. No matter when you go, somewhere on the island will be in season and somewhere not. Places will be crowded and other spots like ghost towns. I am currently in Trincomalee and many restaurants and even hotels are closed until the season starts in April. However, head to Mirissa and it will be a different story. I had an excursion down to the rather stunning Marble Beach which I had pretty much to myself as you can see below