Our trip to Sri Lanka started in Negombo and after a ‘soft landing’ we headed north by train to Kalpitiya peninsula. We had a bit of a ‘hard exit’ from Madurai with a state wide protest taking place the day we left India. Road blocks meant that we had to walk the last 2 kilometres to the airport but luckily the airlines were not affected.

We spent a few relaxing days by the sea in a small village where we did some walking and kite surf spotting as well as enjoying the home cooking by the father and son team at our guest house. We caught the tail end of the northeast maha monsoon so it was a bit wetter than expected but we still enjoyed our stay.

Jaffna, in the very north, reminded us of Tamil Nadu as the majority here are Tamils. We had some lovely masala dosas and thali meals during our days here.

A visit to the Nallur Kandaswamy Hindu temple was a must and not only do you have to take your shoes off but all men has to take their shirts off too. We managed to time in one of the daily ceremonies which was great to experience and afterwards we went for an ice cream in one of the parlours that are conveniently close to the temple.

We did a day trip to the island of Delft from Jaffna where there are nearly 800 wild horses roaming freely. Other points of interest are a ‘growing’ stone, Adam’s foot step and the remains of a Dutch fort where the main building material is coral stone. On the way to Delft we travelled on one of the ferries operated by the Sri Lankan navy, equipped with life jackets and proper seating while on the return trip it was an old rickety fishing boat. No life jackets to be seen and the seating was on the bare deck. It got us to the shore though, so we were happy.
From Jaffna we moved to the east coast and Trincomalee where we stayed in a lovely guest house by the beach. Trinco turned out to be a little haven and we spent a few days exploring the town with its temples and narrow streets.