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Singapore - Colombo - Thursday, 25 January 2018

A rest day before the tour begins in earnest

sunny 29 °C

Hotel - The Wallawwa, Minuwangoda Road, Kotugoda - Room 5
We boarded our flight to Singapore and on the way to the gate started chatting to two octogenerians who turned out to be part of our group. Eddie and Ron are from Erina on the Central Coast of New South Wales and as Ron is blind, Eddie is his "guide dog". They are nice guys and are going to be fun.

They were in Business Class with us and the eight hour trip just flew. The food was really, really good and before too long we were disembarking at Changi Airport and undertaking the train ride and very long walk to our departure gate for our flight to Colombo.

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Eddie and Ron at Changi Airport in Singapore

Singapore Airport is getting geared up for The Chinese Year of the Dog which will be happening within the next few weeks.

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We reconnected with Sharon and John and have also met Elizabeth from Sydney who is also joining our group. Elizabeth is also an Emerald Member of Scenic. Eddie and Ron will be Emerald after a couple more trips.

The flight to Colombo from Singapore is almost three hours long and we were a bit late taking off "due to a technical issue that will be fixed very soon"! I hate hearing that from the Captain. It conjures up all sorts of problems and fears.

Anyway, it was an uneventful flight with heaps more food offered, which I declined and we found ourselves arriving in Colombo at about midnight, Sri Lankan time. Here we met up with Viv and Bruce from Whyalla and after leis were placed around our necks, we were off to our accommodation. Unfortunately, because it was dark, we couldn't see a thing, so I have no first impressions of Colombo to give at this stage.

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Our hotel is a small bungalow style place built on one level and is quite lovely. We have been told to watch out for mozzies and Viv and I are getting nibbled at our welcome drinks.

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So, we are escorted to our rooms and even though we have been on the go for about 24 hours, we are not feeling too tired as we slept a lot on the plane. The room is lovely with an enormous bathroom and a mosquito net for the bed.

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So, after unpacking a bit and settling in, we were probably in bed by about 2pm and once my head hit the pillow, I was out like a light. Breakfast finishes at 10 am so I set the alarm for 8.30 am, just in case we overslept, which we almost did. The temperature in the room was just right and the bed was divine. What's not to like.

And this morning we were greeted by a lovely warm 29 degree day, with not much humidity at all AND THIS.

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I think I am going to love it here. It is about 200 years old, built during the British Colonial period. I can see myself being a memsahib here!

Breakfast was a very laid back affair, with a fruit platter, water, fruit juice and an enormous basket of assorted breads brought to the table and then we ordered from a menu. It was all very nice but took absolutely ages to come, so we'll have to be mindful of that tomorrow when we have to meet our guide in the library at 9 am!

A few of our group have decided to participate in a cooking class/demo today at lunch time and we eat the end result for our lunch which is probably not a bad idea, because no meals are provided today. And we haven't even ventured down to the front gate yet, but Sharon and John have gone by tuk tuk into the town to change some money so we will get the drill from them later.

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Yes, yes, we understand!

Sharon and John are back from the bank and were going to spend some time looking around the town but there was nothing to look at - just a couple of banks and it was quite hot in town.

Sharon and John, me and Elizabeth (and Phil later as he was watching the Australian Open tennis) attended a cooking class and then we ate it for our lunch. The aromas were just divine and the spices so fresh as they are using them every day. On the other hand, our spices sit in the cupboard for years so they lose their potency.

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The chef and his assistant made a Lufa Curry; a Beetroot Tanport; soft ocean fish curry; Dahl Curry; an Eggplant curry salad and a Chicken Curry. It was all very delicious and coconut milk features prodominately in every curry. I am not partial to spicy foods but this was very easy to eat, EXCEPT the chicken curry was a bit too spicy for my taste. However, being such a "fuss bottom" with food, as I am, watching and tasting the ingredients as the food is prepared, makes it all seem perfectly normal and edible.

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The kitchen here is shiny and spotless.

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After lunch one of the staff took us on a walk through the vegetable garden. It is a bit dry at the moment as we are in the dry season and the ground doesn't look very fertile but the garden is full of wonderful spices, herbs, vegetables and fruit, such as black pepper, basil, jack fruit, cauliflowers, red cabbage, huge passionfruit, paw paws, and lots of other things that were a bit foreign to me.

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I am now writing this by the pool. Everyone said the pool was very cold but it isn't (by our standards) and is lovely and refreshing. It reminds us very much of the pool area at our Waka Di Ume hotel in Ubud in Bali. It has been good to have a rest day today and we believe there are only 11 of us on this trip, which will be nice. It all begins tomorrow.

We have just discovered that afternoon tea is served on the lawns at 4.30 pm. How terribly British and very couth! We rush from the pool and arrive at 5 to 5 - too late - but the staff is so obliging, that they bring us some cups and very delicious biscuits anyway.

We had a lazy hour reading, dozing and watching the Australian Open tennis and have decided to have room service for dinner, plus a G&T. I am having chicken and ravioli and Phil is having a pizza.

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The food here is really top class.

Now an early night as we are meeting our tour guide tomorrow in the library and commencing the tour with a day trip to Negombo.

Posted by gaddingabout 06:36 Archived in Sri Lanka

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