When I started telling people we were going to Sri Lanka for a family holiday, anyone who’d been had a twinkle in their eyes as they told me how much I was going to love it. And they were right. I loved it. I bloody loved it. We all did.
|Returning from a swim to the Elephant Orphanage|
I am now a firmly committed, twinkly-eyed Sri Lankan passionista! Steve and the boys are too.
How could we not be? It is a magnificent country and I can’t wait to celebrate the next big birthday with my pals on 1st January 2020. Start saving!
|Buddha’s feet in the Royal Rock Temple|
Sri Lanka is a country emerging from civil war and it’s now enjoying close to 10 years of peace. I took the impression that today, it’s a place of hope and growing prosperity. I loved being in a place that felt like this when the whole world seems to be going off its rocker.
A predominantly Buddhist culture, it’s a very spiritual place. You feel it at the core of society, and it’s a gentle spirituality. This isn’t something I’ve found to be common around the world.
Equally, the environment is central to its culture and a huge part of its attraction. The best part about it though, is how the Sri Lankan people love and honour their environment. This – again – is not always the case. Sri Lanka is a wonderful example of prosperity and environmental sustainability working together, hand in hand. The safaris, forest adventures and ocean activities were all exceptional.
And the Singhalese people – magical! Gentle, easy-going, big beautiful smiles, and they loved the boys. Lex and Jax were mostly cool about all of the attention, but the photo-face-monster, Jax, sometimes wasn’t having it. Fair enough.
|Jax getting some loving|
We all got travel belly fairly early on in the adventure – Lex first – and he got an IV after a night of vomiting and spraying out the other end. Poor love was a bit surprised by what his body was capable of doing. I had a session of vomiting too – Steve and Jax skipped that fun – but it was the other end activities that provided lessons for the boys. In fact, the greatest lesson of this trip for the boys was: if one feels a pop-off coming on, it’s best to sit on the toilet until one is sure they won’t shit themselves.
They also learnt the term arse wasps and fully appreciate what that means.
|This was a heavy bugger, Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation|
I had some pretty spectacular vomits – the first off a two story balcony while the boys were swimming in the water five meters away. The second, right at the dinner table, which the boys thought was hilarious. It was after my dinner table vomit that I realized we were witness to a field of fire flies doing their nightly show. That was truly awe inspiring, but it was impossible to get the boys to shut it. Bloody kids.
We traveled across the country, embracing its natural wonders and incredible history. From 2,600 year old ancient cities once lost under jungles, to Buddhist temples, seeing bears in the wild, lots and lots of elephants, mongoose, Birds of Paradise, eagles, scaling the sides of mountains (not fun when you have a fear of heights) and so much more. It really was the holiday of a lifetime and we relished every minute of it. We feel very very lucky to have the opportunities we have, I can assure you.
|Train journey to Nuwaraeliya|
Something I’m really loving is the boys are turning into great little travelers, and while it’s impossible for them not to be annoying shits too, they really seem to love it. It feeds Lex’s massive curiosity, and Jax started showing passion for photography and archaeology. That made me happy.
In preparing for the holiday, Steve and I independently came to the conclusion that the best way to see Sri Lanka is through a tour company. This is something we have never done, but Bluelankawere just awesome.
|Pattipola Railway Station|
We didn’t just get a driver – as we expected – we got a tour guide too. Suneil was an amazing driver, and Chanaka won us over when we noticed how caring and beautiful he was with our boys. Top fellas and they gave us an incredible experience.
If you’re interested in our itinerary, here you go:
- Colombo, Galle Face Hotel – a spectacular hotel and I loved Colombo
- Galle, Coco Bay Resort – beautiful beach side boutique hotel. Very peaceful
- Yala, Jetwing Yala Hotel – this place is amazing and the safari was spectacular
- Ella, Ella Jungle Resort – this is when I got sick. It wasn’t fun heading down a winding, dirt track on the edge of a mountain, followed by a mini cable car to the hotel, but it was worth it to see fire flies
- Nuwaraeliya, Hotel Blackpool – way up in the mountains and unexpectedly freezing. I loved it
- Kandy, Amaya Hills – Kandy is beautiful and this hotel is stunning
- Sigriya, Aliya Resort and Spa – probably one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever stayed in – spectacular
- Passikudah, Anantaya Resort and Spa – where we chilled for four days. On the beach, peaceful, beautiful
- Nilaveli, Nilaveli Beach Hotel – our least favorite hotel, mainly because the others were just so spectacular, but the fishing village in Trincomalee is definitely worth a visit
- Anuradapura, Forrest Rock Garden – spectacular hotel in the jungle, beautifully built with the architecture inspired by the ancient city of Anuradapura. The limestone pool was stunning
- Colombo and home
|Women’s work – tea plantation in the Central Province|
The hotels were all spectacular, and if you’re in the events business in Asia and want to impress your customers, go and check out Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. An amazing hotel and place to stay.
Sri Lanka, thank you. I am now firmly in love.
Have you been? Let me know your favourite bit? We will be back many many times.
Yours, without the bollocks
Photos by me. Pretty happy with some of these and there’s a few more below if you’re interested xxx
Thank you for reading my ramblings. My brain and heart are a work in progress, always. I’d love a comment if it stirred any thoughts or feelings and of course, please feel free to share it with anyone you know who might be interested or entertained. I sure do appreciate it when you do. If you want to connect, I’m on Twitter here, Google+ here, Instagram here, and Facebook too. I share loads of stuff, not just my own xxxxx
|Craftsman at Royal Rock Temple|
|Making tea at Blue Field Tea Factory|
|Praying under Buddha’s tree – grown from a seed of the original and a very holy place|
|The amazing fishing village of Trincomalee – a must visit place|
|Just an elephant crossing the road|
|Lex and Jax at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple|
|Helping mum prepare for the celebrations|