Drive to Sigiriya

After a rather pleasant 10 hours of flying we started our decent to Colombo’s international airport. As we flew through the clouds and closer to land I was struck by the lush greenery that surrounded the runway - little did I know that is just an introduction to kilometers of well maintained roads embedded in an exotic forest like setting. It felt like being driven through 'The Jungle Book' especially when a monkey swiftly crossed the motor way.

The wave of tropical heath hits you as you get off the aircraft into 30 degree slightly humid climate. Going through immigration control was pretty straight forward and in a couple of minutes we were walking past duty free. I was amused by the number of shops selling white goods, for a minute my imagination ran wild and I started giggling - imagine carrying a fridge or a cooker onto a flight.

As we picked our luggage and headed towards the exit we approached 4 foreign exchange trading stalls. To attract business sales representatives from each stall took turns to shout that all companies offer the same conversion rate with 0 commission. This was a true representation of a Maltese saying 'L-ghajta nofs il-bejgh’. All major currencies were traded at significantly tighter spreads than what we were offered in London. Last minute changes together with a hint of procrastination worked perfectly this time round.

Ishan our driver for the next two days, greeted us with a beaming smile. As we headed out of the terminal, I felt thankful for the good recommendation by my friend Irina. In minutes we were off to explore Sigirya before heading to Kandy to start volunteering. As we drove I noticed the TripAdvisor sticker attached to the van’s windshield and thought of the astounding ways the internet has transformed the way we live and do business.

Moreover continues to help contribute to the rapid growth in tourism in Sri Lanka. Adding to the economy’s main exports — coconuts, rubber & tea.

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