This year's choice for our winter holiday was Sri Lanka. Last year's trip to India was a success, and hopefully Sri Lanka would be as good. Research done, as usual, but a lot less planning and mostly looking forward to rest this time.
The start of our trip was not ideal, with a 3 hour delay and a long wait at Heathrow between the two flights. It also got my day (or should I say sleep-) rythm ruined and I used the first few days just to recover from the travel.
We didn't live near any town centre, which probably made a lot of the difference I felt from my trip to India last year. There were few restaurants and shops nearby the hotel, some along the beach but a good walk or tuk tuk trip to the nearest actual town. In addition, our both having a cold during our holiday, we ended up staying alot in the hotel area soaking up the sun (and the warmth when it was clouded), with only a couple of short trips, one for lunch in the nearest town, and a day trip to the southern town Galle to see a fort from the time Sri Lanka was a Dutch colony.
We went out to different beach restaurants near the hotel for lunch, and soon learned that food takes time. After a couple of days we stopped expecting orders to be taken shortly after sitting down, and knew that food would appear eventually. The fare was typical Sri Lankan with some European choices, and we had a lot of curry, rice and noodle meals.
We made one longer trip, and that was really cool. It was a two day trip to the Uda Walawe national park with a safari there. We got to see loads of elephants, birds, crocodiles, monkeys, buffalo, deer and peacocks. The drive across the mountain to get there was also nice, and we got to taste some local food. Because of my cold I was a bit too tired and didn't get to enjoy it as much as I would have, but it was still a good experience. The hotel we stayed at for one night was actually luxurious cabins, with a modern bathroom outside at the back of the cabin!
After the excursion to Uda Walawe we ended up spending the rest of our time relaxing in the sun, only heading out to the beach restaurants for lunch. The last day was actually spent mostly inside because of rain, and it felt like time to go home. The return trip fortunately went a lot better than the outbound one, and we arrived home fairly rested and ready to face a few days of freezing temperatures before spring.