Trip to Sri Lanka 03-3 – my account

Thursday – day 5

I’m now updating this in Jaffna.
The tuk tuk was on time, and it took only 10 minutes to the bus station.  I’d booked a hotel tuk tuk, so it was trustworthy, and I had no problems. I was there at 5.45,  for a 6.10 departure.
bus seating

bus seating

The bus wasn’t yet full when we left – at 6.08, but soon was full and had people standing.  Being early traffic was OK.  It was urban and hilly to Matale, which took about 45 minutes.  And still urban for the next half hour, too, but greener, and some fields between towns.  The bus was clean enough, and the seats were also in good condition.  Configuration was 2, aisle, 3.  By 7.45 more rural – fields, some streams, mountains in the distance. At 8.30 there was a rest stop, but there were a few vacant seats, so no worry of losing my seat if I disembarked.

scenery

scenery

20 minutes later we were on our way again.  There are bus stops probably every 1/2 KM, and the bus will stop to pick someone up, or if someone presses one of the buttons on the ceiling, to drop someone off.

getting close to Trincomalee

getting close to Trincomalee

on the road

on the road

We arrived about one hour early, in 4 hours 40 minutes instead of 5 1/2 hours. After being harassed by a tout I found the information booth and checked bus times.

arrived

arrived

Not trusting the Lonely Planet hotel recommendations enough to book, I went to look first at the only hotel they recommended for this town – about a ten minute walk.  But they were full, and couldn’t recommend anywhere.

a hindu temple I walked past

a hindu temple I walked past

I continuing walking, and the first hotel I found was OK, if overpriced.  But it was so hot I was in danger of heat exhaustion, so I checked in and had a nice hot shower.

a hotel that I came across that had rooms

a hotel that I came across that had rooms

My Trincomalee sightseeing plan was formulated over lunch in the air-conned restaurant, and feeling good again I set off on foot.

more veges

more veges

Pretty well everything was a few minutes walk away…

this is now a museum

this is now a museum

St Marys Cathedral

St Marys Cathedral

the beach at Dutch Bay

the beach at Dutch Bay

stag at bay

stag at bay

deer - so many cute deer

deer – so many cute deer

while I was admiring the deer a monk came out and asked for money and pointed - from my viewpoint I couldn't see that there was a temple up there, and the money was the admission

while I was admiring the deer a monk came out and asked for money and pointed – from my viewpoint I couldn’t see that there was a temple up there, and the money was the admission

quite a big buddha

quite a big buddha

about a kilometre up the road, at the end, is a big Hindu temple that many locals were visiting

about a kilometre up the road, at the end, is a big Hindu temple that many locals were visiting – just follow the crowds

To enter the temple building, men had to remove their shirts.  One could carry it inside with you, though.

the temple

the temple

After I went for a long walk through the town and to look at the railway station.  I saw the clock tower on the way – the time was different, depending on which face you looked at. The clock tower is right next to the bus station, anyway. While there I checked the bus times for the morning again – to Jaffna and Anuradhapura.

back in town - the clock tower

back in town – the clock tower

I found a stall selling these on the street right near the clock tower.  Not so hygienic – I ate them later in the hotel – and luckily I didn’t get sick.

prawns covered with a kind of hummus

prawns covered with a kind of hummus

On the way back from my walk to the train station the moon had come up.

nice moon

nice moon

I walked along the bay behind the town on the way back to the hotel, and cut through the leafy suburb, about a 10 minute walk to the hotel from the bay.  I found a little shop that sold devilled egg rolls and bought some for the bus trip the next morning. (They were delicious.)

dusk over the bay behind Trincomalee

dusk over the bay behind Trincomalee

 Tomorrow I had to decide tonight whether to go directly to Jaffna, or go to Anuradhapura on the way.  If I could book a room in Anuradhapura I would go there, if not, directly to Jaffna.  I’d ring the next morning at a civilised hour – after 7.30am – and decide from there. The Anuradhapura bus left at 9.45, and the Jaffna ones left frequently, but there was one at 9.30am, so either way I could leave the hotel around 9am and stroll to the bus station.  Sounded like a plan.
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