Saturday, May 1, 2010

12 Kilomter Walk to Mount Lavinia

When we lived in Montevideo we enjoyed long walks along the rambla, which was a very wide boardwalk that went along the river for 22 kilometers. Sometimes we would walk to Ciudad Viejo (The Old City) about 11 Kilometers, it was such and easy walk we sometimes walked back. Have lunch there, visit the flea market, listen to the musicians and maybe have an ice cream while people watching.

We had talked about walking to Mount Lavinia, it's about 13 Kilometers away (About 8 miles), it was just a matter of doing it, well today we decided we would do it.

So we packed up some beach gear and sprayed on the suntan lotion. I put on my hiking boots and my Baghdad hat and we hit the door at around 10:30, it was already scorching hot.

Our first goal was Marine road, Marine as in ocean. This road runs along the ocean and has much less traffic than the main road through the city. It was difficult just getting to this point. We were dodging buses and trishaws, other people. Probably the worst part is the bus horns. The bus horns just cut right through you.

We stopped twice for coconuts along Marine road, they are very refreshing when your hot. Speaking of hot my t-shirt was just drenched in sweat, soaked. I had a towel around my neck that I used to constantly wipe the sweat off with.

Back to the main road and the traffic had really picked up. Along with everything else Colombo has no real sidewalks to speak of. There is no just "walking" your going around cars and poles, and holes and on and on.

Our next goal was the overpass, I considered that the halfway point although it is much past that.

It wasn't long after we passed the overpass did I see our first official sign for Mount Lavinia and we found the sign for the beach road.

We walked down the beach road and kind of haphazardly made our way to the Mount Lavinia Hotel beach. We had to pay 600 Rupees apiece (About $5.50) to use the beach, but that was okay as we got a nice lounge chair and cabana, towels and use of the showers and the pool.

The beach there is not much to speak of, in some ways it's rather dangerous as you have these big crashing waves that come down just a few feet from the beach and the water is very deep. I kept getting knocked down just trying to enter the water, in the end I only went out a few times. The pool was much more relaxing.

There was no question how we were going to get back, grab a trishaw. We found a driver to take us back, didn't even negotiate, tossed out a price and he accepted (Never in Colombo).

We had not gone very far when we came across a police checkpoint, no big deal, they asked the driver for his identification and we figured we would be on the way. Next thing I know a face is leaning into the trishaw asking me for identification. I hate to say that I was a bit shall we say, upset at this. I handed him my identification card when I hear the word passport, I would have hit roof if they asked for my passport. When I handed them my card I told them where I worked which should have been end of story but the next thing I know another guy is on the other side of the trishaw and he wants to see my identification card. now I am really mad. I hand it to him then grab my company ID card and show it to them, they finally hand them to me and smile and say "No problem" and we are on our way again.

We stopped and got a big Indian dinner and some ice cream for take away. The food went down quickly and sleep will come upon us soon,

Pictures in another post.

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