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Friday, 24 June 2011

#8 Leaving on a Jet plane

So with this shocking weather this week it has made me and the girlfriend start thinking about booking a holiday away. She really wants to go visit Mexico. But there is one place I would love to take her. Somewhere I visited when I was young, free and single. But gave me the most rewarding month of my life. The place the locals call Ceylon or how we know it better, Sri Lanka. 

Back in 2006 i had the Opportunity to visit perhaps the most beautiful country in the world for a friends wedding, They had come over to the UK to save money so they could afford an amazing wedding, and my oh my was it amazing. Me and my friend at the time were the guests of honour at this wedding. 2 of only 4 Westerners at the wedding it was quite daunting an experience. But ill tell you something. A Buddhist Wedding, there really is nothing like it. From the extravagant frocks we all wore. To the amazing feast we all devoured. My personal memory of the night is bringing the capital city, Colombo to a standstill whilst we dispatched the newly weds onto their honeymoon, in a home made cart.

After the wedding we visited many a place around the island off the beaten track. Staying at basic hostels and local peoples spare rooms and floors. The people were so welcoming and friendly. And its so horrid to think all they have gone through in the civil war since. The War between the Tamils and the government is a horrific story and really tarnishes a beautiful beautiful country. Along our travels we visited many towns and villages. And the one thing we picked up on was the incredible foods you get in Sri Lankan cooking. There curries are sort of a fusion of Thai and Indian, and out favourite thing was the fact that its seen as rude to use cutlery with a curry as we learned ourselves within a couple of days. Its not all Curries and Dahl in Sri Lanka though, Maybe my favourite dish i learnt about whilst there was a Sambal. Which is a mix of chilli, garlic onion and coconut, a must try for any spice lover. 

Whilst there i consumed a lot of Arrack, The Sri Lankan Spirit which is made from coconut flower sap and is similar to rum in taste. A lovely summer drink if mixed with Lemonade. However it certainly knows how to destroy your head and you pay for that the next morning, But within a week we had discovered the perfect hangover cure, The king coconut. The juice from the king coconut in my opinion is the perfect start to a day after a heavy night before. Within an hour the said hangover would vanish then you would be ready for lunch. Mango with Salt and pepper is not to everyone's taste but there was something strangely interesting about the taste.

Half way through the month we treated ourselves to some 5 Star living. At only £50ph per night we stayed at the beautiful Kandalama Hotel. A Honeymoon hot spot as we discovered, this hotel is set into the Hills and is one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the world, with views to die for. 

The food was incredible here. Fine Dining at its best at an all inclusive all you can eat style of dining. Certainly not like London restaurants ideas of fine dining when you get minimal amounts of food.

But to be honest over the whole month the greatest meal we consumed was the cheapest. We
had booked into a elephant sanctuary for two nights. Having outside bedrooms this was always going to be an experience.

I remember waking up one night to find a wild monkey sitting on the end of my bed. Not a calm situation as you can imagine.

At the bottom of our accommodation there was a river. Which we spent many an hour at. This is where we found our best meal of the journey, walking up the river we found a couple of local fisherman who had caught some fish for a small fee we got them to catch a couple of fish. I cant say the type because to be honest i cant remember but all i can remember is that when we barbecued them they were by far the best fish i have to this day ever eaten.

To finish this all I have to say is after writing this is,  I WANT TO GO BACK!!!!

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