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The long haul south

sunny 36 °C
View Sri Lankan shindizzle on goldenmaverick's travel map.

It was our last day in Jaffna yesterday so we hired the same tuk-tuk drivers again. Two nice fellas - one Hindu chap and the other a Christian. Our first stop was a Hindu temple that we've passed by a couple of times but today we went inside. Unlike the Buddhist temples where they expect you to cover up in the Hindu ones its tops off for all the lads. You can see the locals aren't used to the white farmer-tan bodies of us Irish lads.

After that we took a trip to a beach near Jaffna. Women are required to cover up so most of them get in the sea fully clothed or in some Burkini style get-up. It seems so odd from a Western perspective but when in Rome and all that. It has become very apparent that Sri Lanka is a very unequal society - the rich are downright rude to everyone, the emerging middle class are even more rude to the poor and the domestic help. There's definitely a caste system in place and the whole thing stinks from a moral perspective if you're not used to that type of thing. On top of those problems the country is a bit of an environmental disaster. Any good arising from recycling rates in Ireland or the EU is being undone here. Litter is everywhere you look around you. Plastic waste is in abundance. The diesel used in the vehicles spits out dirty noxious fumes. The country's natural beauty is being spoiled everywhere you look. It's a damn pity.

This morning we departed Jaffna on a public bus to Pollonaruwa. Jaffna was an experience but I'm not sure I'd classify it as a holiday. Their 25 day festival has been in full swing for the last couple of days and continues for the next twenty or so. One of our last sights leaving the outer limits of Jaffna was a Hindu devotee hanging with hooks through his back from a juggernaut float - mad shit is an understatement. Our bus journey was long but again the kids played a stormer. We were up with the lark and breakfast was had at the bus station to ensure we got a seat. The first three hours of the journey had some mad movie called Singam 2 playing. The hero was an all-fighting all-dancing fella with a great moustache. I'm tempted to get Singam 1 out on DVDs when I get back home. The next three and a half hours wasn't the worst and we eventually made it to our destination. We hopped off the bus at the side of the road outside Pollonaruwa and a nice gent was there waiting for us. We'd booked in at a place recommended by friends (cheers Richie and Nadette) and his brother was there waiting for us. The owner of the guesthouse turned up two minutes later and next thing we're in a jeep with our bags. It turns out the guesthouse was full so now we're in a villa owned by his brother about 200 metres away. It's newly built and is in tip top shape - far and away the nicest place we've stayed in so far. Super fast wifi, satellite TV channels, a wonderful shower, new mattresses - it really is a godsend after a week of hard travelling. The kids cannot believe their luck. And it's all just in time for Harry's 15th birthday tomorrow.

To celebrate we're off on safari in Minereya National Park. Things are looking up and it's already starting to feel more like a holiday again. I'm really glad we went to see Jaffna - it's an extraordinary place - but now we're looking forward to a little more rest and relaxation for the remainder of our time here.

Posted by goldenmaverick 09:13 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged pollonaruwa jaffna

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Ah a breathe of fresh air, glad you are on holiday within your holiday. It might be hot there but here it's feking freezing with a gale of a wind to cheer us up. Ger and Maurice are here for the weekend. A plus

by Richie

It never rains in Docs! I'm sure Mo is taking shelter there.

by goldenmaverick

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