It is 6.30 in the morning and it is the first day when I wake up home. There is no explanation of this feeling but you and me we all know how good it is to wake up in your own bed and have everything around you in the way that you remember your home to be. It is a pure feeling of happiness. And before continuing with this feeling, I though I should have some closure on the trip that has now ended. At least on physical level 🙂
Way there and back
Travelling to Sri Lanka and back is rather easy. You can make all kind of combinations of stop over places (like, if you would like to see the Dubai airport, for example, or fly a particular air company that has stuff that other don’t. I hear Emirates has showers in their planes for the economy class.Of course, that is something heard over a dinner and I have not checked that out myself) and still get the ticket for a decent price.
I flew with Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi and then with Srilankan Airlines till Colombo. On the way back: Srilankan Airways till Milan and then Brussels Airlines to Brussels. Whilst Etihad and Brussels Airlines were more comfortable and better taken care of (inside), I think Srilankan Airlines could have been the one that makes the price so attractive (it seems that their planes have had a certain experience in their lives already). But in the end: as long as the plane is safe, what do I care 🙂
On your arrival and departure you’ll have to fill in immigration papers. This goes rather smoothly: you get the paper on the plane, you fill it out, clerk afterwards checks your passport, keeps the immigration card and that’s it. Nothing to pay or no other big formalities. Easy and nice. The same (only opposite direction) goes for when you are leaving the country.
If there is nobody who is expecting you to bring you where you need, expect to encounter a great chaos in the airport. Because of the amount of people living there and because of their mentality it is one of the loud countries. And busy ones. That goes also for the traffic. Firstly: they drive on the opposite side of the road than in in Belgium (and most of the Europe for that matter) and secondly…. it seems that there are almost no rules how they are driving. Many of the times it seemed to me that they live every drive as it would be their last one. They keep telling that there are almost no accidents though. Which is more than surprising, trust me.
So, if you think that 58km is something that you could do under 1h time, think again: there are no good roads yet and if you are traveling past Colombo (where traffic is even more dense), count 2 to 3 hours for this stretch… Honestly!
Beside nice? Besides smiling? Besides kind? I think most of them are also very very very poor. So, a good idea, when going to Sri Lanka (or any of the poorer countries for that matter) is to take things with you that you would not mind giving away: clothes, shoes, pens, pencils, whatever comes to your mind. I gave some of mine clothes away and so have almost everyone in the resort, as I heard… Sometimes it is heartbreaking to see how little they have. And each of us can make only that much difference. But at least we can make some!
Basically Sri Lanka is a good destination all year round. There are two monsoons although they occur in opposite halves of the country. The western and southern areas experience their monsoon during May to September while the northern and eastern areas experience the monsoon between October to January. The central highlands can be much cooler throughout the year and warm clothes will be needed.
I was in Weligama (SW coast of Sri Lanka) for 2 weeks and only the last day there was a rain that seemed will last forever. Besides that, temperature every morning was around 27 degrees, which seemed like a perfectly good temperature and then during the day it went up to 34 degrees (I am just guessing, I suppose, because all I saw was temperature in the shadow and that said from 30 to 31 degrees C every day).
Barberyn Reef resort
As my experience in this trip was all about ayurveda, I have no real traveling tips for the cultural activities. However I can share what I feel was good and what was not so good about my stay.
Let’s start with the good side. Well, firstly, the place is a small paradise. Literally at the ocean embosomed by the reef, it gives you the feeling that this is one of the most if not the most beautiful place on earth. Then of course, you have to appreciate the kindness of the staff that work there (and they work heavily – every morning the start anywhere between 6.30 and 7 and finish around 8 or 9 in the evening. And like that: 6 days a week. Some of them are saving up their 1 free day to be able to take a longer brake later on. That just reminded me how lucky we are in Europe in this matter). There was not one request that they would not attend to no matter how weird that would look to them.
Then the procedures. Of course, it is something that you don’t have every day back home here and you would be excited to have a 4 hand full body massage every day back home as well, but then, as the time passes, you can appreciate the quality. And it is amazing. Those girls work in a total harmony. And they give you 100% of themselves. At least that was in my case anyway… And also all the special procedures are done in a way that you feel comfortable and good about it.
On the negative side for me it was that I did not get enough explanation on the medicines that we were getting (the same opinion I heard couple of more times later on). We were just told that these are special medicine for our requests/illnesses or a special liquid or a special food that we have to eat. But not more detailed explanation. And that is something that I was missing. Also.. I think that when you go there, you have to remember that this is more of a spa experience. If you really have some health issues and you would like to address them through Ayurveda, I would suggest to look for a more hospital than a spa… That way you can really put the expectations.
As for me: I am happy that I have had these 2 weeks in Sri Lanka and in the resort. I am happy that I had every part of it. Because all of it has taught me something. And I have rested. And I have this enormous happiness to be back home. It is all good for me, all good 🙂
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