36 solid hours travelling

Sri Lanka is spectacular, but getting here was no walk in the park. After our 12 hour night train from Udaipur to Delhi (which got in an hour late, leaving us baffled about when we were supposed to get off) trusty Jagdeesh was there to meet us and drive us to the airport. It was sad to say goodbye to him as he was a huge part of our experience of India and such a sweet man.

Delhi Airport has recently been done up, so it’s big, modern and full of Western chains and amenities. Our flight time had been changed to a bit later, so we were hanging around a while, and it was delayed another hour, then I felt anxious for most of the three and a half hour flight. Stepping off the plane to hot, humid Sri Lanka was lovely, but we were a bit stressed as we had a train to catch and were cutting it quite fine due to the flight delay.

We had to get a taxi from the airport to Colombo Fort station about an hour away. Haggling with the taxi drivers was a challenge, and when we had agreed a price with the manager and got in a taxi, the driver then wanted to charge more and ended up kicking us out of the taxi. We eventually found someone who would take us at the price we wanted and by this point seriously thought we would miss the train. We made it to the station and bought tickets and were on the train with about 2 minutes to spare. We rode 2nd class, which was a bit scruffy and made the trains in India look like a 5* holiday resort, but in a way I actually preferred the Sri Lankan ones. Everyone was so friendly, and we were right by a huge open window to watch the silhouettes of palm trees as we passed and smell the earth in the rain. It was about a 5 hour journey and we had the whole carriage helping us figure out when we were at our stop, Hatton. From there (this was 1.30 am now) we had to take a tuk tuk to our guesthouse in Dalhousie, which was about an hour’s bumpy ride. I don’t know if it was the exhaustion or the tablets I’d taken for my upset stomach, but I was hallucinating on and off throughout the journey as well as repeatedly banging my head on the ceiling because of the bumpiness. It was quite unpleasant really. All part of the travel experience though an I wouldn’t change it for anything.