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2nd Test Match, Day 5, Colombo

A right result

sunny 35 °C

It should be an excellent, if somewhat tense final day to the test match. England must be massive favourites but the Sri Lankans have shown they can bat right down to number 11. Two of their wickets have also been nightwatchman so they still have some good batsmen to come.

In an amazing stroke of good fortune, the Landlord of our apartment, Palitha, has kindly obtained two complimentary tickets for us in one of the nicer stands :-) His cousin sits on the Board of Control of Sri Lankan Cricket!

Tomorrow we leave for Chennai and will post our experiences and pictures of Colombo when we arrive.

P. Sara Oval, Colombo

P. Sara Oval, Colombo

Posted by Rivercity 20:32 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

Day 1, 2nd Test Match, Colombo

Another captivating day

sunny 35 °C

We didn't go to the first day of the test and are maybe regretting it now. Oh well, we're £50 better off and had a great time watching it in The Cricket Club Cafe. A really impressive establishment full of cricket memorabilia and great Aussie hosts.

Phil in The Cricket Club Cafe, Colombo

Phil in The Cricket Club Cafe, Colombo

England were well on top after the first hour (Jimmy is a legend) but, in an amazingly similar set of circumstances as the Galle match, England conspired to capitulate and gave the advantage back to Sri Lanka. Mahela Jayawardene scored another well composed century. He's some player.

However, Graeme Swann bowled a beauty late on that turned sharply to trap Jayawardene leg before. He was shaking his head as he walked off the field but it couldn't have been more out.

In the final throes of the days action, Steven Finn got one to seam away and it was well taken by Prior behind the stumps to dismiss Prasanna Jayawardene. Advantage England but only just. All-in-all, a fairly even days cricket although I think Sri Lanka will be the slightly more disappointed team having been in a strong position with an hour to close of play.

Posted by Rivercity 10:25 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (2)

Wijaya Beach

A beautifully quiet beach with reef and lagoon

sunny 35 °C
View Asia Adventures on Rivercity's travel map.

A picture from Wijaya beach, a few miles from Unawatuna which we visited on Saturday. It's a spectacular spot and not as busy as Una. The lagoon, which is created by the reef, is full of sealife. On the far side of the reef, the waves crash in and is a really good spot for surfing. It looked fairly dangerous to us!


Whilst we were having breakfast in the beachside restaurant, some huge sea turtles appeared in the surf. Occassionally they would raise their heads above the water to take in air. It was quite a special sight.

Posted by Rivercity 06:49 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (4)

10pm, Colombo


storm 30 °C

We arrived in Colombo this afternoon and as we settled into the "Woodpeckers Treehouse Apartment" at around 8pm an almighty storm broke out. We thought it may have been the beginning of the monsoon but it has receded now (not sure there is ever a definitive start to the monsoon?). Anyway, we have never seen rain like it, it was sooooo heavy.

Now, at 10pm, you would never have known it had happened. Hopefully an isolated storm and not a taste of things to come....

ps. we've seen the largest bats ever flying around outside the apartment. Think eagle-sized.

View of South Beira Lake from our apartment

View of South Beira Lake from our apartment

Posted by Rivercity 09:46 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (1)

1st Test Match, Galle & Unawatuna

Very hot...

Hi Everyone

What a great test match!!! Unfortunately England came off worse but it was still an enthralling game. England have never won a test match in Galle so it wasn't unexpected. In typical England fashion though, they gave us a glimmer of hope on the fourth day when Trott and Prior were going nicely trying to chase down 339.

There's been a real furore over the ticket prices here as Sri Lankan Cricket decided to charge one price for Sri Lankans (free or next to nothing) and one price for the English (£25 per day). You can read more details here

Luckily, in Galle, you can watch from the fort for nothing and the view is fantastic. We walked into the ground on Day 1 and didn't pay a rupee but the security was tightened up for Day 2 so the fort it was. The atmosphere up there was great. Some estimates have said there are 8-9,000 England fans here so everywhere is pretty busy. I think the Sri Lankans have shot themselves in the foot as some people have said they won't come back. One of the attractions of watching cricket in the sub-continent is that it is cheap to get in whereas a test match at Lord's will cost at least £90 per day.

England fans on the fort

England fans on the fort

Teresa on the Fort

Teresa on the Fort

Our view of the cricket from the Fort

Our view of the cricket from the Fort

It's been incredibly hot and we seem to get burnt even when wearing t-shirts and using an umbrella and it really takes it out of you when sat in it all day.

Unawatuna is about 3km from Galle. You can get an auto-rickshaw for around SLR300 or the bus for SLR19. The exchange rate is dead good at the moment; around SLR200 to the pound so it's quite cheap (it was SLR175 only two months ago). A 1000 rupee note is roughly a fiver which makes it easy to work out how much things cost and how much we are spending.

Galle Old Town, which is inside the fort, is very nice although we haven't explored it much as it's just too hot in the daytime. We're going to have a look around tonight when it's a bit cooler.

Galle Old Town

Galle Old Town

The beach here is superb. We have never seen the sea that colour. You usually see it airbrushed in on a glossy photo but it really is that gorgeous turquoise colour. Today we are going to a nearby beach - Wijaya - it has a reef which creates a lagoon in the bay apparently. Will post a picture of it soon.

Tomorrow we are going to Colombo for the second test match (Stuart Broad out injured). It will take around 3 hours on the bus to go only 115kms (SLR275). It wasn't a pleasant journey down last time after getting off the plane with heavy luggage in the middle of the day. Hopefully it will be easier tomorrow.

If the ticket prices for the game are still high, we may not go to all days. There will be no vantage point to see the ground from like Galle. I can see the ground being half empty. A lot of the England fans will have come on organised tour packages costing upwards of £2000 so they will have tickets included in the price I expect. Those, like us, who have "done it ourselves" haven't budgeted for it so will probably watch it on TV.

All the best
Phil & T x

Posted by Rivercity 03:09 Comments (2)

The adventure starts here...

sunny 32 °C

Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna Beach

We seem to have woken up in paradise :-)

Posted by Rivercity 19:06 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (3)

We've arrived - 29 hours later

A short note


Well, we've arrived in Unawatuna just outside of Galle. It's extremely humid but the heavens opened just a few minutes after arriving at our guesthouse; hopefully the rain will clear the air for tomorrow.

Door-to-door, it's taken us 29 hours to get here and we've used seven different vehicles (not including Peter giving us a lift to Royal Well!) - one coach, two aircraft, three buses and an auto-rickshaw.

We got off the last bus in Galle just opposite the cricket stadium so we know where we're going on Monday. We've only had a brief look at the scenery but it looks stunning. Will go exploring tomorrow and report back.

Posted by Rivercity 19:16 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (1)

The beginning of our travel blog

Only a few weeks to go now and lots to sort out.

The squad for the test matches in Sri Lanka has been announced this morning and to Teresa's delight, Monty Panesar is going.

We will provide another update when we arrive in Sri Lanka.

Posted by Rivercity 07:51 Comments (0)

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