Getting all geared up

The flight tickets we bought 4.5 months ago to Sri Lanka are finally materializing tomorrow in the afternoon. Only now, I am beginning to really get excited about the travel. This will be my first inter-continental independent travel as an adult (Finland doesn’t count as I sort of moved there), and I am so curious how it’s going to be. Since last month, I’ve spent hours and hours researching everything about this little island country on the Indian Ocean. It wasn’t easy to come up with a 12 day itinerary, but finally we have a concrete plan on what we’ll be doing in the 12 days!

Sri Lanka, although small, has many interesting sites. Initially I had planned on covering all major attractions such as the cultural triangle, the tea estate Ella, the elephant orphanage center at Pinnawala, cultural city Kandy AND the coastal towns. But obviously that was too much for 12 days. So, we slashed everything and decided to tour just the coastal areas, as our main interest is the ocean and everything related to it. We’ll be missing almost all the inland attractions which should be about 60%-70% of the attractions in the country, but it’s all about priorities and time.

We’ll be staying at the following places:

  1. Colombo – 1 night and 1 day of sightseeing, shopping etc.
  2. Hikkaduwa – coastal town on the South where we’ll be swimming and snorkeling.
  3. Galle – an interesting fort city on the South, where we’ll do some sightseeing for half to one day.
  4. Unawatuna – the most famous beach town  in the country on the South, where we will be swimming and exploring the area for more beaches.
  5. Tangalle – a less popular area with fabulous long stretch of less-crowded beaches where we will be exploring the area and taking a tour to a beach in the area where turtles come to lay eggs.
  6. Mirissa – A vibrant beach town on the South where we will be lazing on the beach, swimming, exploring, doing whale watching tour and taking a day trip to Sinharaja Forest reserve to enjoy the flora and fauna there.  A day trip to one of the tea hills nearby also is a possibility.

That looks already pretty packed for 12 days, but I feel like I’ve made a detailed plan suiting our interests. The Forest Reserve was my boyfriend’s idea, as he loves animals, including reptiles. I find snakes very creepy and scary, but I have decided that it’s time to get over that irrational fear. I have only seen snakes in the wild 2 or 3 times in my entire life, and was so scared/creeped out that I cried like baby, although they had just quickly slithered away out of my sight. But this time, I will be seeing a lot more of those creatures in the forest reserve, and I am mentally prepared for that.

Shopping and packing wasn’t easy. Only one shop in the whole city of Lodz had sunscreen creams with very limited choices. The heat is going to be very strong with 30 plus temperatures. I hope the sunscreens and hats will protect us (especially my boyfriend) during the journey. After about three times of packing and modifying, we finally have our backpacks ready. I have packed very few pairs of clothes, but still the backpack is kinda heavy with other stuff! I hope we won’t have to walk so much with those backpacks in the heat.

The journey itself is very long, and I wish I was in Sri Lanka already. We’re leaving tonight, for Warsaw where we’ll take an overnight bus to Vilnius. After a couple of hours of waiting at the airport in the Lithuanian capital, we’ll be flying to Istanbul where we have a layover of almost 10 hours! After that, we’ll board the plane to SL which is 10 hours 40 minutes long! So we will be in SL on Wednesday evening! It will leave us very exhausted and jet-lagged, I am sure. I have loaded some books into my kindle and I am looking forward to killing such humongous amount of free/boring time during the journey with those.

I am really excited to visit the country. I always thought it was a nearby neighbor, but it’s actually farther than Thailand from Nepal! I especially look forward to noticing and observing a lot of things, as SL is one of the only countries in the region with high HDI and very high literacy rate. Hmm.. I am also interested about the cultural side, obviously. Shame I don’t speak a word of Tamil or Sinhalese. The food there is something that I am thrilled about as well. I have lost about 5 kgs over the last 3 months  from dieting and exercising(yay!!), and I think I will gain those kgs right back after SL.  I won’t be updating the blog while I am there as we are not taking laptops. I do have a diary and pen where I will note the highlights and later update the blog with them.

 

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5 thoughts on “Getting all geared up

  1. All the best for this adventure. Planning a trip is always exciting and it is even more interesting to see what things you might be able to visit which were not advertised anywhere online but only known location by the locals 🙂

  2. Hi Pooja. I’ve been to those places in Sri Lanka and I must say that I love that island. I noticed that you missed out Kandy but you must have some reason for that.

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