Polonnaruwa + Dambulla

What our first cycle tour lacked, our second made up ten-fold. After breakfast, we took a local bus, which was mercifully empty four hours to the lakeside town of Polonnaruwa. There we picked up bikes and rushed off to explore temple grounds before the forecasted rain.

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The first few days in Sri Lanka were filled primarily with meeting new travel companions, dodging periodic rain and eating more rice than any human reasonably should.

Our group is diverse, though pretty much everyone is from Australia or Europe. Ages ranges from 22 to 81. It’s mostly all women. So far, there don’t seem to be any “high risk” travelers. Everyone is nice, extraordinarily well traveled (my 45 countries ranks firmly as “average” for this crew). And, of course, everyone is interesting. We’ll see how this progresses over the next few weeks, naturally, but so far so good. And when it comes to group tours the enjoyment is 80% or so dependent on fellow travelers. And for me, a big draw.

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Evidently, I fly to Sri Lanka tomorrow night. Well, first to Abu Dhabi for a day, then onto Colombo. In keeping with my recent tendency of minimalist travel prep (read: laziness) I’ve prepared for Sri Lanka by looking at my packing list and trip notes about a week in advance. And of course, securing my visa. I’m somewhat on top of things, even if I had no idea where I was going until two nights ago. Except Colombo, I knew that. My lackadaisical preparation however, does not represent my level of excitement. I can’t wait to touchdown, meet my fellow travelers and go explore! And then onto meeting family in India, where I am much more prepared, which is probably best when three other people are depending on me to make sure they have somewhere to sleep.  Continue reading