Holiday in Sri Lanka (14): on the way home

On my last morning (Tuesday) at the Trinco Blu Hotel, I checked the news online and was horrified to learn of the suicide bombing in Manchester, the city where I grew up and where my brother still lives. Following an exchange of texts with him, I learned that four schoolmates of my niece had been at the concert but fortunately all were safe.

My Sri Lankan holiday was effectively over and it was time to go home – but this was quite a journey. First I had to travel from my hotel north of Trincomalee on the north-east coast of the country all the way over to a hotel north of Chilaw on the central west coast of the island.

Shaleen picked me up at 9 am and – seven and a half hours later – just after 4.30 pm we rolled up my hotel. Driving was five and half hours – via Anuradhapura and Puttalam – but we had two breaks of an hour each, one for coffee and the other for lunch. It was a ride of around 170 miles (275 km) but we chatted all the way on a range of subjects from movies to palindromes.

My hotel was the Anantaya Resort & Spa at Bandadeniya, just north of Chilaw, and by the ocean. It was the eighth and last hotel of the holiday. Even more so than the other hotels (except the one outside Trincomalee), I was aware that we were out of season because for a time I was literally the only person having dinner in the hotel restaurant. Fortunately, later a German mother and daughter came into the restaurant, I approached them, and they kindlly invited me to join their table for a chat.

Tomorrow I fly home and my driver has offered to take me on the way to the airport to his home to meet his wife and daughter.

It has been a amazing holiday full of different experiences and I hope that you have enjoyed reading my blog posts about the trip.

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