For the final part of our Sri Lanka adventure we took the bus from the main road turning near Sigyria.  We caught the number 49 bus at about 6am which is the ‘fast’ bus from Trincomalee to Colombo.  It cost us 180 rupees per person (approx. 90p).  At the start the bus was absolutely rammed full of people, but after a couple of stops we were able to get seats, it then got even fuller until about 1.5 hours into the journey when we could finally sit together.  This was easily the fastest driving we experienced on our trip, no slowing down for pot holes and most of the time was spent on the wrong side of the road overtaking!

At about 9am the bus stopped for breakfast/toilet break for about 10 minutes. This was a welcome break to stretch our legs and have a snack.  There were good samosas!  The final stretch of the journey took about 2 hours, even though we weren’t far from Colombo, because the traffic was so bad. The final destination was at the bus stop by Pettah Market which looked absolutely mental!

From the bus station we took a tuk tuk to Cinammon Red Hotel, we made sure we took a metered one, as the others try and rip you off. We paid 200 rupees but a non-metred one had tried to quote us 600 rupees!20160408_184450We checked into the Cinammon Red Hotel at 11:30 am, we were on floor 16 and the view was amazing across the city. It was such a luxury to have TV, excellent WiFi and free bottles of water and tea and coffee and Air-Con!IMGP1951 co

IMGP1950 coFrom the hotel it was possible to walk to a nearby park and we found the art market on the street next to it. This market was amazing, basically an art gallery at the side of the road. We splashed out and bought two paintings as mementos from Sri Lanka as they were such good value and so impressive.20160408_154755

20160408_154800We treated ourselves to some strawberries and ice-cream from an amazing Simply Strawberries outlet near Cotton. We sat in the park and enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere. This area of Colombo is far more relaxed and a bit more upmarket.20160408_143002

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20160408_144117We really enjoyed strolling around some shops, this was such a treat to look in real clothes shops after living in the Seychelles for a few months. We highly recommend House of Fashion which we journeyed to in a tuk tuk for a multi-storey exploration of seconds clothing and lots of fab makes.20160408_155914When we returned to the hotel we grabbed our swimming stuff to watch the sunset from the rooftop pool. This was a very romantic once-in-a-lifetime experience for us looking out across the city to the sea and seeing the sun retreat over the horizon. It was lovely with a mojito, though there was a bit of a cool breeze!20160408_181309

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20160408_184405For dinner we ate at FlavoRed on floor 8 of the hotel which offered a delicious buffet, expensive by Sri Lankan standards but very convenient if you’re staying at the hotel and there was plenty of choice.20160408_200201

20160408_203220We only spent one night at the Cinammon Red as the next morning was Stu’s birthday and our day of departure. We enjoyed a lovey early morning swim at 7am in the rooftop pool, we enjoyed lovely morning city views and the pool was very quiet.20160409_072457We then enjoyed the buffet breakfast with a huge selection of cooked breakfast, continental, fruits, cereal, juice, tea and coffee and much more.

From the hotel we got a taxi for 4100 rupees (approx. £21) to the airport, it took about 40 minutes using the highway which is much quicker and quieter.  At the airport we made sure we exchanged all of our money back again as you can’t do this outside of Sri Lanka.

We were sad to leave Sri Lanka as we had an absolutely awesome 2 week holiday exploring here, the country of beautiful sandy beaches and stunning hills. Next time we’ll have to head further North….20160331_175919

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