A slice of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka – what an undiscovered gem. Beautiful white sandy beaches, delicious seafood and the friendliest of people.

First up, we visited Colombo – a place I will not be rushing back to any time soon. From its shady streets, to dodgy tuk tuk drivers and a night of robberies in the hostel – Colombo definitely threw everything into the mix. But despite all the mishaps, we met a proper good bunch of people.

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A few days later, we took – and luckily managed to cop a window seat on – the world-famous 7 hour train ride from Kandy to Ella to catch a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s surreal countryside. It was only then that we realised we were going to be in for a real treat. It was only then we realised Sri Lanka was going to be one of our fave places. No train journey will ever match it – ever.

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Ella was without a shadow of a doubt the most stunning place in Sri Lanka. We stayed with the loveliest family – who insisted on providing us feasts for breakfast – up in the mountains overlooking Ella Rock. Honestly, it was a proper ‘pinch me moment’ every morning waking up to such incredible views without a soul knocking around the place.

Here was where had our first taste of real Sri Lankan food – and bloody hell it didn’t disappoint. We found a tiny place called Matey Hut – a literal hut shoved on the side of the road – which had THE tastiest mango and pineapple curry (and hands down the best poppadoms known to man).

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From here, we headed down to the south coast to have a nose at Sri Lanka’s untouched beaches. Our first, and longest stop, was at Mirissa. Mirissa Beach
soon became a place we made home and gave us a chance to be cabbages for a week (… I mean re-energise). It’s cheap bottles of Lion, flavoursome seafood and crazy waves were enough to win us over.

No-one can talk about Mirissa without mentioning THE roti shop – fact. Let’s put it this way, we paid the place a visit near enough twice a day for the whole week it was that good. It was like Starbucks for a coffee addict – the woman knew our order off by heart. The avocado, tomato and cheese one and the banoffee rotis were unreal. What I’d do to have another one right now…

 

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Then there’s Unawatuna – a place which definitely lives up to its name. From its completely unspoilt beaches to its quirky beachside cafes – it was hard not to fall in love with this place. And of course, a fitting place to sink my teeth into some tasty tuna too! God damn, it was good.

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It was also the place where I discovered my newfound love for turtles. We stopped off at Koggala Sea Turtle Rescue Centre where we met a bunch of injured turtles and also managed to grab a hold of 1 month old ones as well.

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So, in a nutshell Sri Lanka was a cracking place and somewhere I’d most certainly return to sometime in the future.

 

 

 

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“There’s no smell like Smelly Dehli” – India 2017

After months of saving, planning and talking the ear off people about my travels, it was finally time to pick up my giant orange backpack (which is slowly killing me already) and start my adventure around South-East Asia – something I’ve been itching to do for as long as I can remember.

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First up to tick off the list was India. Having been so curious to visit India for so long, I knew it had a lot to live up to. I knew it had so many sides I couldn’t wait to discover. Of course, it did far from disappoint. From its delicious food, incredible architecture, and most importantly, the humblest of people you’ll ever meet, I feel it will take an awful lot for any other place I visit after this to match up to it.

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Our first stop was Dehli; a place I’d heard so much, but knew so little about. I’ll never forget my first impressions of Dehli – the smell. Bloody hell it was smelly. I mean EXTREMELY smelly. Like, imagine the worst smell you’ve ever smelt, times it by ten, and you’re not even close to smelly Dehli. Piles of rubbish (along with whatever else) was left to fester and swelter in the sun on every street corner. It was chaotic – even more chaotic than the bullring at Christmas. Yeah I know, hard to picture it. More often than not, you’d find yourself squeezing into the smallest (…and smelliest) space to make way for the odd cow carrying carts through the skinniest of streets. This was when it hit me. This is India.

 

 

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Madhogarh village, without a shadow of a doubt, was my favourite spot – and a refreshing break from the bustling city. We stayed in Fort Madhogarh – a converted 400 year old fort – overlooking a stunning backdrop. But the highlight of Madhogarh was definitely meeting the village people. Little children running from every corner to pose for a picture, the most beautifully dressed people inviting us into their homes and watching the crafts people going about their daily routine. I’ve never seen so many people, despite having nothing, so happy. It was an incredible experience.

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Another place I loved in India was Udaipur. After watching the sunset on the lake, we went to a traditional Rajasthani dance show – and what a show it was. Picture this, a tiny, 71 year old woman dressed up to the nines in the sparkliest sari and jewellery covering every inch of her body. Got it? Ok. Now picture the same woman balancing 8 ceramic pots on her head while dancing on shards of glass – she was a machine.

Looking back, there’s so much of India I still want to see. Well, I guess it’s another excuse to come back. So, until next time India

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