Sometime in November 2015.
Sometimes, wedding invitations can get really annoying. Like, are you ready for that? Are you sure? Bro, your life’s going to change. But this one, it was a little different. A cousin’s.
Had to plan a crazy bachelor’s which he would remember for a lifetime. We have a bunch of common friends and we thought we’d head to Sri Lanka. We rented two self-driven cars in Sri Lanka for the 8 of us who confirmed and were ready to board our flight. Surprise, surprise. Two other friends decide to surprise us at the airport. Well, 10 people, 2 cars. Not bad, thought I, until one more friend turned up and we had to book a third car in Sri Lanka. We arrived at our hotel in Negombo, at Araliya Beach Resort. The next day the friend surprised us from Dubai, so we had to book another car.
Hotels in Sri Lanka are not owned by big corporations but are small establishments or bungalows converted into hotels. Mine was one such. But, was it beautiful! Services no less than any great established hotel, and did it evoke grandeur!
The third day we drove down to the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka facing the Indian Ocean, Galle. A huge infinity pool, a view of the vast expanses of the Indian Ocean. Awesome December weather complimented with slight rain. Nothing could be better. We stayed for 4 days at this establishment right next to the Dondra Lighthouse.
A destination bachelor party, fun, friends, and frolic ensued. A day or two into the stay, I happened to speak to the caretaker and he told me about the unfortunate incident during the 2004 Tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean. The damage done to Sri Lanka was not adequately represented by the media, and the damage it did was un-imaginable. The boy had lost his entire family and house, Galle being at the tip of the Indian Ocean, closest to the lashing waves. He was away from Galle for work, and he was heartbroken hearing the news about his hometown and he had to return heartbroken. He rebuilt his life in the same space he had lost, although, without his family. This caused me to stop and think for a while of the unpredictability of life.
They say, that the more you think about something, the more it is known to come true. The journey then on, was unpredictable at every step.
As it turns out, the two friends who surprised us had to leave early, so they took one of the three cars to the airport. They were self-driven cars and they would drop them at the airport for the driver to come and pick up. The car started giving trouble on the highway, and after some attempts to drive further, the radiator gave way and burst. They sure were stranded. We advised them to call the Sri Lankan Highway Assistance and much to their delight, the Highway Assistance arrived within 10 minutes. They even booked them a cab and their flight was not missed. The police officer took the car in his custody and asked us to reach the stationed point before his duty was over. We had to leave Galle shortly after our friends had left, so we were packed and all ready to leave. We took the other two cars and left for Colombo we had to pick up the broken down car on the way to Colombo.
On the way, we spotted a Barista and thought it would be great to get some caffeine going, so it happens, as we got the coffee and tried to take a turn from the sloped parking area, the car’s bumper hit the ground and came off. From both the sides!!! God knows what kind of a bill, the car rental owner is going to show us!! We fixed the bumper back on to the car somehow, and by the time we reached the stationed point where the previous car was parked, the officer had left. As luck would have it, we had to wait another couple of hours before the next police officer on duty would allow us to tow it to the owner’s address. Phew, we’re on holiday, God! Finally we got the cop to release our car and we called for a towing van soon to know that we would be charged INR 15,000 to tow the car just for an 8-10 kms distance. On depositing the car to the owner’s place, he drew us quite the bill for the damage done to the car because in the fine print of the terms and conditions of his contract, it said that we’re responsible for everything that happens, even if the goddamn radiator blew up.
Once we got out of that mess, we reached the Colombo hostel to take a nap. By the time we reached the hostel, the sun had come out and it was 6:30 AM. We tried to grab some sleep as the next day was the only day we had left to return to India. We left the hostel in the afternoon to find a few good places to hang out and chill. While exploring and finding a casino we saw a club called Bollywood Lush. Looked like a nice hang out joint, so we decided to stop there on our way back from the casino. Turned out the casino had one helluva buy-in on the poker table, so we decided to head to club ‘Bollywood Lush.’ Two of us guys decided to check out the place before we entered. A back door entry to the club, and a few stairs, led us to the entrance. The bouncer looked at us up and down, and we were wondering why. When we entered the club, we saw a whole another scene. It was a run-down bar converted into a dance bar. Like Sheila ki Jawaani, like for real. Haha, we went back and convinced a friend to go check out the super-cool club with some cool firangs hangin’ out. Some fun at his expense. 😉
Besides these stories, Sri Lanka is a wonderful place to visit and tourism is just about catching up, so you will get great deals.
We had gone for a walk to the beach near Galle, Mirissa beach, and enjoyed the panoramic view. We even went on a short boat trip, which turned out to be really long as the wait to get in the boat was about 3 hours. But it was definitely worth the ride. We saw a pack of dolphins and a couple of whales swim through and a huge ass turtle swimming in the middle of nowhere. Seemed like he just wanted to sun-bathe.
Sri Lanka has the cleanest and most maintained roads that I may have come across. The landscapes are complete with sparkling blue beaches, equally blue skies, beach-facing gardens, a long coastal railway with the most scenic route one can find, and picture-perfect affordable stays. Paradise for the sea-food lovers!
Check out a few pictures and from my journey:
More pictures at my Facebook page.
Video coming soon. 😉