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On the Road to Galle

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I think I mentioned in the last email that I was heading to Galle. The road took us into the interior of Sri Lanka then back to the coastline which we followed until arriving at Galle on the south west side of the island. There are only a few main highways so in order to stay on the better, smoother highways (they are narrow and mostly very major curves as they meander throughout the countryside connecting cities and villages) we go way out of the direct route. The drive takes a long while as I mentioned before but due to the hazards of driving in Sri Lanka I am quite happy we are going slow. Plus I really enjoy driving because I get to see lots of the countryside. The interior has many high mountains; some rocky but mostly very lush and green. We drove through areas of trees that they extract sap from to make rubber. Some areas are so lush and green with the trees forming tunnels of shadows as we drive through. Some areas are flatter with stumpier trees and then there are the cultivated areas of rice fields. Some of the trees remind me of the forests at home but many are tropical. We again were fortunate to spot elephants three different times. One was right at the roads edge but we could just slow down to allow me to snap a picture because although they are used to moving traffic they would charge if one were to stop. Especially the lone, male elephants. Along the way we drove through the hometown of Sri Lankan’s president. It is just a small town but because he is second time in power (his 8th of 12 years he can be president) a lot of money has been put into the town. It is on the coast so a harbor has been built. Along with it’s other developments there is a major racetrack, and even an airport! Many people love this President because he was able to put an end to almost 30 years of civil war. Internationally he is not as popular due to humanitarian issues. The jails (not our standard of prisons) are still full of people that have been incarcerated for decades and their case has not even been put in front of a judge. Many are under suspicion but have not been told what that suspicion is! On the edge of that town was a Chinese restaurant and thus began a Canadian style eating frenzy. I had 4 meals in a row that reminded me of home before I was outvoted and headed back to a Tamil restaurant of spice and rice! Did I mention the beer that went with the meal? Big bottles and also very welcomed! We arrived in Galle around midnight and thought it would be easy to get a beach front hotel. Not so. On the 10th or 11th try we tried the other side of the main road and as luck would have it I found myself curled up in a canopied king sized bed sound asleep by 1 am.

Easter Sunday was spent touring and enjoying a beautiful beach, last easter was spent at Bondi beach in Australia! Hummm where will I be next Easter?

Galle is home to a fort built in the 1700’s. I posted many pictures of the site on facebook. After a morning of touring the area we drove up the west coast to Hikaduwa. A well known tourist area with beautiful beaches. We sat on the beach, under an umbrella having a drink and lunch. Yummy prawns and fries! I wanted to go into some of the roadside shops and browse. I did some bartering and buying but I think Rajeeshan outdid me! When he phoned his wife I heard him say, “Sonia said it looked good on me!” He is so enjoyable and so good natured to travel with!

That evening we headed to Columbo to be at the immigration office bright and early to extend our visas. It took all morning but other than waiting dead easy, $55. later we were again off on the road home.

This week I have been busy. When I am not teaching I am at the computer preparing for my 2 day teacher inservice! Tomorrow I will run off booklets I’ve made and get everything organized. Saturday is the womens meet that I am chairing then the inservice is Sunday and Monday. One of my students measured me today and is sewing me a sari to wear on Saturday. They also have teardrop beads to stick on my forehead (my choice if I want to wear one).

It’s 7:30 and dark so I am heading home now to curl up and read. I am half way through THE BOOK THIEF and want to read for a bit before I fall asleep.

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