follow arabella's extraordinary journey
Natural World Safaris Sale Manager, Arabella Lakin, has headed off to Sri Lanka where she will spend the next three weeks exploring the best of this beguiling island, known for it's famous tea, ancient ruins, friendly people and the fantastic wildlife that you can encounter in its national parks. Follow her journey with her day-by-day trip report as she travels.
Day 1 - Galle
The trip got off to a great start with VIP fast track upon arrival at the airport, straight off the plane into a separate visa line and VIP lounge whilst someone got my luggage then straight into a Mercedes with my driver Rowan. I could get used to being treated like royalty! We headed south along the highway to Galle - an exotic city where the sea-side air carries the scent of spices in the breeze. I check into Why House, a beautiful retreat just outside of Galle.
After settling in I head into town for a walk around the Fort. It was bustling with local people, enjoying the cooler weather at the end of the day. I paused to watch some locals playing cricket in their flip flops by the fort walls and they pretty much took over the streets. There was lots of cheering and a cup was presented at the end; they even had a DJ, music and loud speaker adding to a lively feel!
While in the town I explored with a friend, checking out several bars offering fantastic sea views.
After joining my hosts at Why House for a dinner party I was ready for bed, feeling the glow of a very warm welcome to Sri Lanka.
Day 2 - Galle
It was an early start this morning for a bicycle ride around the local villages and rice fields. It is the Sihala and Tamil New Year and the local villages were celebrating; we watched them playing Avurudda (New Year) games including being blindfolded and trying to hit a coconut - I guess its their version of pin the tail on the donkey.
We paused on our cycling trail while our guide scaled a palm tree and bought down delicious coconuts to quench our thirst. The ride captured plenty of culture as we cycled past rickshaws and locals and also delivered some wildlife too, seeing buffalo, large monitor lizards and peacocks.
Later in the afternoon I headed to my next accommodation, the beautiful Cape Weligama, where I was introduced to my butler, Pradeep, who told me he would take me to paradise. Which he did. As our buggy turned the corner there was this incredible crescent shaped infinity pool with the Indian Ocean backdrop. What an amazing place. My room has a large verandah with sea view and a huge bathroom (probably the largest I have seen). I'm currently waiting for my "high tea" - would I like to take it in the main library or would I prefer to get Pradeep to bring it to my verandah? That's my current dilemma.
For now though, a dip in one of the pools is in order. Maybe I'll take tea by the pool....