Friday, 3rd of November 2017
Happy landing in Colombo.
Leaving the plane and boarding a bus that brings us to the arrival zone. The temperature and humidity strike us as quite pleasant.
Reaching the immigration hall. Heading straight for the immigration desks because we prearranged our ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization). But rejoiced too early! The ETA is not enough. The officer sends us to the back of the queue to fill in an arrival form. For each of us.
Back to the counter, back into the queue. This time the officer is happy with us and we are officially allowed to enter Sri Lanka.
Grabbing our bags from belt no. 2. All three pieces turn up. What a relief!
Making our way through to arrival hall looking out for Lali, the manager of our accommodation, who agreed on picking us up this early in the morning. There’s a whole row of men standing there with name signs in their hands. And there, we spot mine: Nicole Martin. That’s a first. I have never had someone holding a sign with my name on at the airport. Feels pretty special;-).
Entering the mini van, getting ourselves comfortable and looking for seat belts. We find ourselves in another country that doesn’t take buckling up too seriously. No seat belts to be found. To the joy of the girls: They literally lie down on the back row and fall asleep.
A 2.5 hours drive to “our” residence. Passing lush green scenery, peacocks, rice fields, cows grassing in water… quite a change to what we’ve seen in Oman. Some of the passengers miss it all. I doze off every other minute.
Arrival at Residence Muhuda Watta in Matara, the southern tip of Sri Lanka. A wonderful pool-palmtrees-beach-sea-view and a tasty breakfast with fresh juice, exotic fruits and scrambled eggs awaits us. How lovely!
We try to have a little snooze, but none of us really manage to drift of.
First jump into the pool. And then it is a constant in and out of the pool for most of the day. At least for the kids. John and I feel very flat after another night with no sleep and we just lounge around.
Sophie and Lilly are getting too excited about the idea of riding a tuk-tuk. They race to the tuk-tuk, Sophie trips up, falls and scrapes her knee on the rough floor surface just a meter away from the tuk-tuk. Tears and blood.
First aid treatments on Sophie’s knee.
While John and Sophie stay at the house, Lilly and I take the tuk-tuk to the supermarket to buy some cereal and other little nibbles. Lilly loves it (well, me too, but I knew that before).
At the supermarket: Realization that imported foods are very expensive here in Sri Lanka. We end up with not buying the over-priced special K’s.
First Sri Lankan dinner cooked by Lali’s wife: Chicken curry with spicy green beans and rice. Superb! Something to look forward to on a daily basis from now on.
Pyjama-time. John and I, we win the bad parents award of the day: Sophie has not just an open knee, we discover a sunburn on her back as well.
The girls slip into their bed which – thanks to the mosquito nets – looks like a Princess bed. We follow shortly after and sleep… until the storm hits. What thunder. We have never heard anything so load before. Even John jumps out of bed. And the girls? They are still sleeping.