Our bus from the airport to central Colombo dropped us off in a market. It was heaving with people and a whole host of sites, smells and feels hit me all at once. Where are we? What are we doing here? Where can I get some of that delicious smelling curry?
I’ve been in Sri Lanka for about a week, and in that time, I’ve found it to be a country of contradictions. The people are friendly, polite, well spoken and have the biggest smiles. But they are also cunning and always looking for an opportunity to make extra rupiah. For example, the man you thought was being a Good Samaritan to wandering travellers is actually angling for a tip. The food is incredible, probably the best cuisine we’ve had since Bali, but you can only get the amazing rice and curry at lunch time. Like the chap said, it’s like going to Italy and only able to have pasta at lunch time. In Nuwara Eliya, where we are at the moment, dinner options are limited to Chinese or Indian food, which seemed bizarre to us. I came to Sri Lanka to sample the curries, vegetarian dishes and rice flour breads. They are harder to track down then you might think. Luckily, our guest house is providing dinner for the next couple of days, so we should get a proper Sri Lankan feast this evening.
One thing is for certain, the landscape is so beautiful. Even the urban places are a riot of colour and life. The countryside with its dramatic hills covered with tea plantations are beautiful, and even in the rain the lush land glistens, making all the train journeys and tuk tuk rides worthwhile. You can see more pictures from my time in Sri Lanka on Instagram (link on the right @cookinginthenook).
Once I have found my feet more in Sri Lanka, I can see it being one of my favourite places I have visited this year. Now someone pass the dosas and dahl!