We've been back in Sri Lanka for two weeks now and spent four nights in Colombo whilst England got humiliated by India. We then took the train to Kandy for the Super Eight games. England didn't fare any better there and were knocked out of the tournament. For some inexplicable reason I only got tickets for two games in Kandy when in fact there were three. So we didn't have tickets for the all-important crunch game against Sri Lanka. Luckily, we bumped into a nice couple from Newbury who were spending two weeks in the country and had bought more tickets than they needed and offered us their spares free of charge (if you're reading, thanks again Chris & Amy).
The train ride through the mountains was amazing. Here are a couple of pictures:
In Kandy we stayed in a rather basic but charming hotel called The Olde Empire. It was adequate but we did find a cockroach in the bathroom one morning. The price and quality of accommodation varies massively from place to place. In Phuket we had a room which wouldn't have been out of place in a four or five star hotel. It was £12 a night and had air-con, TV, fridge, balcony and a reasonable breakfast with top-quality coffee. In Kandy, for the same price, the room had a fan and that's about it (plus mosquitoes and cockroaches).
We stayed at Karon Beach in Phuket which is the next bay along from Patong where all the party-goers head. The beach was amazing but again, due to the season, the sea was incredibly rough. The week before we got there, they held the Quiksilver Surfing Championships at Patong so that's an indication of how big the waves were.
It's been a busy few weeks for us in terms of the number of places we've visited and miles covered - we haven't stopped in the same place for more than three or four days at a time which has meant the blogging-action has been a bit slow of late. I've started a few entries on our slightly ill-fated boat trip to Koh Phi-Phi Leh and the temples at Angkor but haven't quite managed to complete them yet - will hopefully have them done over the next week or two.
It has been a breath of fresh air coming back to Sri Lanka as we can easily strike-up and have a decent conversation in English. There have been times in SE Asia when we have walked into a hotel or guesthouse and asked "do you have any rooms?" and have been met with blank faces!
We found out that our flight from Bangkok to Colombo had been rescheduled to later in the day via an email from Air Asia. It was originally due to depart at 07.00 but was put back due to Colombo airport being closed for reasons that are unknown to us. It wasn't a problem, however, as it did us a favour as it meant we could take the cheap airport express train to the airport rather than paying for an expensive taxi in the middle of the night. And we could get up in our own time! In Bangkok we stayed in The Atlanta Hotel which has to be seen to be believed. We had read about it in a book and felt we just had to go and stay there. For central Bangkok, it was a bargain at £16 a night. It was pretty basic but comfortable enough.
So, what with the cricket ending sooner than we thought, we have found ourselves back in the place our adventure started out some six and half months ago; Unawatuna. We have landed on our feet though, having got accommadation for 1500 rupees a night (£7.50) with kitchen included. This means we can make tea and cook our own food. This makes a big difference as we don't have to spend silly money at expensive bar/restaurants. And it's only 10 metres from the beach and high enough up that we should be okay if a tsunami hits!