Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Day 1: Clothesless in Colombo

I arrived safely in Colombo at four this morning. My luggage didn't. Etihad managed to lose it somewhere en route last night.

Most of my bike did turn up, though that's more of a hindrance than help: the pedals and tools to reassemble it (and mend the minor damage such as trashed mudguards and bottle cage) are in that fugitive baggage. As well as all my other clothes.

So, with my bike left at the airport, I bussed into Colombo and checked into the hostel for a frustrating day of waiting. At least I used the morning efficiently, walking to the (luckily nearby) Ministry of Defence to get my permit to visit the north of the country. It involved picking my way through the crowds jammed along the seafront for the open-air mass by Pope Francis (pic, nicked off the web).

With the rest of the day I did a few tourist essentials – visiting a Buddhist temple with a relic (the actual Buddha's actual hair), scoffing a fiery devilled chicken and rice (under £1) from a local cafe, getting ripped off by a tuk-tuk driver etc. And a delicious coconut juice (25p), sucked through a straw from a fresh nut macheted open on the spot by the friendly stallholder (pic).

All very nice. But until they deliver my bike, luggage and clothes, I'm knackered, smelly, and stationary.

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