Sadly our last day in Sri Lanka had arrived and it was time to start heading home. After a lazy morning of last chance birding from our balcony, we paid the bill and went down the road a few metres to wait for the bus to Kalawana. Since it was a Sunday, there were fewer buses and we waited almost an hour but a bus finally did show up. The trip to Kalawana was around an hour with stops and we easily found a bus for the next leg of the journey to Matugama. The road was in terrible condition with apparent rock slides and bulldozers everywhere so this relatively short leg (40km) actually took over an hour.
I love how this bin kind of looks like a bird!
In Matugama we had an easier task because there were a lot more choices to Colombo. I was actually more interested in a non-stop trip than the AC so we chose this bus hoping for a better experience.
It was pretty good and the man behind us spoke English so we chatted a while but he got out before we did. We took the road along the seaside to Colombo.
I wasn’t sure where to jump off the bus and no one else spoke English so we stayed on to the end. It was around 3pm and we hadn’t had lunch so were pretty hungry. I remembered the name of a shopping centre – the Dutch Hospital so we grabbed a rickshaw and asked to be dropped there. He actually dropped us in front of the adjacent TGI Fridays and we were both in need of a clean toilet so we went in and ended up having a late lunch there.
After stuffing ourselves, we walked next door to the Dutch Hospital (it used to be a hospital but was now a trendy shopping centre) to have a look around. There were several boutiques and a snall branch of Odel, a local department store. I ended up buying a green kaftan top.
There were some newlyweds taking photos outside. It’s interesting to see the different styles of wedding clothes!
I wanted to buy some Sri Lankan art, preferably with birds so I asked some locals and was directed to Laksala, a huge craft shop a few blocks away.
I bought a few batiks since they were easily packed in our carry-ons, then we went out and got a rickshaw to the airport bus stand. It was still a bit early but we didn’t have anything else to do, at least not anything we could do while shlepping all our stuff around! You get a choice of AC or regular bus and we had plenty of rupees left over so went AC as it was still pretty hot and humid.
It took well over an hour to get to the airport………….and this was a Sunday evening! When we arrived, we discovered that we would have to wait about 3 hours until the Singapore Airlines staff arrived for check in. Ina sat with the bags while I scouted the shops for something worth blowing our last few rupees on. It was nice to see all the Christmas decorations!
Sand paintings were tempting but I was afraid they wouldn’t allow them in Australia.
T-shirts were too small.
Ah yes! Here we go, bird batiks! I snapped up a couple and liked them so much I not only finished my rupees, I had to top it off with Visa.
The waiting area was poorly placed where you couldn’t see the board where flights open for check in were displayed. The seats were really uncomfortable and I was desperate to get past the formalities and go to the business class lounge since we had J tickets on SQ.
Not the best lounge in the world but they did have food, drinks and internet! I was pretty sad to leave Sri Lanka as we had had a great time and seen some amazing birds but with so many options especially with One World, I am sure we will be back some day!