Contributor: Karthi Pillai
2017, I decided to cycle Sri Lanka, the small tropical island country just below India, which is fast becoming a holiday destination.
This trip really started of on a bad note, due to a delay by a particular airline (not mentioning them here, as that’s not what this blog is about 🙂 it had a knock on effect to other flights I had to catch to get to Colombo, Sri Lanka, which as you may have figured out by now, I had arrived good to get on with the cycling minus my luggage which contained all my cycling gear.
On arrival I had met the local Exodus crew and lead guide (Suresh) and briefed him on my lack of luggage, and we made a plan stopping along the way to the hotel to pick up some clothing to keep me going.
Luckily I had opened a case at the airport, and Suresh had taken it upon himself to call up the airlines every few hours to get a status update on my luggage. After much effort from him, I had my luggage 2 days later and all my cycling kit to make the trip enjoyable, as I had lost my sense of humour without my luggage, and had I not received it 2 days later with Suresh’s assistance, I was ready to cut the trip short and head home. Again credit to the local Exodus crew and the effort they go to, to ensure you feel welcome and comfortable in their country.
The cycling continued, and being a tropical country, you can imagine we would definitely encounter some rain along the way, I remember one day were had cycled about 45kms or so, and had another 13km or so to go to the B&B, and we had torrential rain, where we could literally not see a meter in front of you, Suresh made a call in the interest of safety and got us all on the bus and into safety a the B&B as it was too dangerous to continue cycling.
One of the highlights of the trip was cycling 86kms in a day, but 66kms of this was uphill, gaining about 2200 meters in that distance, up to a tea plantation. It was a really difficult day in the saddle, with stops along the way for tea and cake, going from extremely hot and humid weather to cool and windy at the peak of about 2700m above sea level. That was certainly a day to remember.
The trip took us counter clockwise around the island from Sigiriya back to Colombo, with the last part of the trip on the bus back into the city.