Friday, January 31st ~ Negombo, Sri Lanka
Yesterday was primarily for relocation. After breakfast we packed up, checked out and put in a request for Uber. We tried to get a vehicle large enough to accommodate all six of us and our luggage, but ended up needing to split into two cars.
Interesting tidbit: We had three different Uber cars cancel on us. The cars would arrive, then without stopping, would zip around the corner, cancel and drive off. Found out from one of the drivers (who picked up Tim, Jan and Gary) that the reason they were canceling was because the hotel name we were departing from was Grand ORIENTAL Hotel. Once they saw that, they were nervous that the riders might be from China. With the fear of the Coronavirus on everyone’s mind, they did not stick around to find out who we were.
Our new hotel in Negombo is listed as 5 star and is lovely. After passing through security, we were warmly greeted and offered a cool cloth to freshen our hands, a flavorful fruit beverage and invited to rest on comfortable chairs while they got us checked in.
The lobby is adorned with massive flower displays. Full glass windows provide a panoramic view of the swimming pool, fountains and sandy beach. Our room is clean and roomy with a sliding glass door that opens to a patio and grassy area. Both the pool and beach are only steps away.
Our afternoon was spent in the pool, sipping a margarita at the swim-up bar or stretched out on comfortable lounge chairs. Yours truly did not put on any sunscreen (yes, I do know better), and today my chest and arms are not quite lobster red, but I am both warm and tender.
The balance of our tour group arrived something in the middle of the night and we all met up this morning at 10:00 for a tour of Negombo.
I feel like they took pity on our jet lagged companions as the morning tour was gentle and we returned back to the hotel before lunch.
I want to keep this post a bit shorter, so simply posting some pictures from each stop:
Fishermen unloading their boats
Cobra and Monkey
Sunset on the beach
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that our trip has officially begun. We met Kris and Bob from Santa Barbara who had previously traveled with the Theil’s and Jantzen’s years ago. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better. There are a total of 22 in the group. I think all are from the USA. Our guide is making us feel welcome. Off to a good start 😁