Train Tracks in Galle, Sri Lanka

Observations from Backpacking Across Sri Lanka

  • After just three weeks in Sri Lanka, Carrie and I have exhaust ed the options of traditional Sri Lankan food and are quite ready to explore the cuisine of Southeast Asia.
  • We saw a woman who was just returning from having her hand amputated faint on a bus. Locals revived her and many gave her money to help. We did too.
  • Food in Sri Lanka
    Food in Sri Lanka

    The botanical gardens were filled with couples canoodling every five feet. I guess they can’t do that at home so the gardens are like make out point for locals.

  • People everywhere use umbrellas for shade
  • When I took my hat off at the monastery in Kandy our guide looked at my head and asked me if I was a monk. Hardee har har.
  • I don’t think hitchhiking is too common, as one time while standing on the side of the road with my thumb out I got a car full of thumbs up back.: all accompanied by smiles.
  • We wanted to see a cricket match, but after the national team was bombed in Pakistan we were unable.
  • There was very little English, or even Roman letters, on signs. And we don’t read Sinhalese.
  • On one road we saw spice gardens every 20 feet. Literally, dozens of spice gardens all offering spices and tours all within a few mile radius.
  • After three months in India we found ourselves mentally converting our currency into Indian Rupees instead of dollars to get a feel for how much things cost.
  • I think that the road is a stray dog’s favorite place to lay, as they were always running out of the path of our oncoming buses.
  • It’s amazing how people stare at us just because we are white. Could you imagine that back home? It gives us some perspective on what life as a minority must be like, though it is far more socially acceptable here.
  • A guard at the Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba
    A guard at the Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba

    In order to get into some monuments or temples we had to go through three different security checkpoints. I mean really, do you think I put a bomb in my bag in the past 50 steps?

  • I had my testicles full on grabbed during a security check at the Colombo airport leaving Sri Lanka.
  • The roads are pretty good for the most part, but every once in a while the pavement ends and the road is dirt for a little bit. I assume paved roads are still to come in those spots.
  • Adam's Peak
    Carrie and I on the way down Adam’s Peak. We were literally pulling ourselves up those same railings a few hours earlier

    I think that the standard bed size in Sri Lanka is six feet, which means that my feet are always dangling just a little off the end.

  • Everyone uses the phrase “local price” to let us know they are not ripping us off…which they clearly are.
  • Plates at restaurants are usually wrapped in plastic . This minimizes cleaning for the staff and also makes taking home leftovers quite easy, as when you are full you just pull the plastic off, tie it up and head out.
  • We had local dogs following us during our Adam’s Peak hike. We should have used them as a guide too, as every time we took a wrong path they stopped following us. Yet we still kept going.
  • Kids LOVE saying hello to us…just like in India.
  • A door inside the Temple of the Sacred Tooth — Kandy, Sri Lanka
    A door inside the Temple of the Sacred Tooth — Kandy, Sri Lanka

    It’s funny…there seems to be some unwritten code amongst travelers here. Like, wow, you guys made it to Sri Lanka too, huh? Every time you see a fellow traveler there is some sort of exchange of smiles or hellos.

  • Carrie and I are constantly amazed at the different attitudes towards hotel check in. At some places they need copies of our passport and sheets of info filled out. Others just say hello, pay me and have a good night.
  • At one hotel the curtains were held on by safety pins.
  • Sri Lanka has far less flies than India.
  • We met a Muslim man on the train who apologized for 9/11 before striking up a casual conversation.
  • I saw the sunrise on the east coast and the sunset from the west on the same day.
  • I was hit in the arm by a motorcycle. On this trip that makes motorcycle, rickshaw, pedestrian and bicycle that have hit me. Let’s hope there’s no car or bus in my future.