Journey: Nuwara Eliya to Trincomalee

Despite its social and economic issues, with a political backdrop analysts define as a “humorous mess” there is something about this place that grips the seasoned tourist. Something – to be precise – some things you don’t find in other countries, yet offered in abundant here in SL seems to be attracting the same visitor repeatedly, over the years.

One of these ‘somethings’ we have already heard of; the natural friendliness of Sri Lankans, with their warm, perpetual smile. There is another, little known, more an environmental factor than a social one; the ability to transmit different climatic zones that prevail, Sri Lanka, within a short period.

Enjoying the sunny sea breeze, you can have a wholesome European style early morning breakfast in Colombo. Move inland and sit down to a delicious lunch with fried fresh-water fish and vegetables with ripe fruit for dessert in the dry zone. Sip beer and bite into a crispy chicken wing for supper somewhere in central highlands at cold dusk. Have a sumptuous dinner full of perfectly cooked lobster and crab under gently swaying palm fronds by the eastern coast as twilight dies beyond the horizon.

Travelling 5 hours and 300km from NE to Trinco you can feel the change we mean. So dramatic; the beginning of a cold day in the hill country with a hot Cappuccino for a start and arriving at a dry beach to sit around a cheery barbeque, waves crashing softly close by, sea breeze lightly fanning your tired face.

Mark you, plenty of things to do here in Trinco. Worshipping Koneswaram Temple which is more than thousand years old. Whale watching with Sail Lanka. Paying your respects to the fallen WW2 (doctors, nurses, civilians and soldiers, many of them in their early twenties, passed away in this region in the very last days of WWII) at immaculately kept Trincomalee War Cemetery. Admiring the undersea world with Angel Divingiving owned by Suri. Play Beach Football at Marble beach. Watching deer in Fort Frederick. Visit the Hoods Tower Museum (named after Vice-Admiral Sir Samuel Hood), a naval museum of the Sri Lanka Navy in Trincomalee. This list could go on.

You can also follow aerobic lessons at Aqua Yoga and have a refreshing hot bath at Kanniya Hot Springs (seven of them), worship Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara and enjoy a round of golf at Eagles’ Golf Links. The list is endless.

Travel Tips

You have three main modes of travel available in Sri Lanka for this trip; road, rail and air. The path is relatively short, being less than 300km while rails offer you a massive de tour of nearly 350 km. You have to go back along your tracks towards Peradeniya, Polgahawela and select Trinco rails via Gal Oya. It would cost you an unreasonable amount of time. Useless.

Then Cinnamon Air takes off from Gregory Lake Aerodrome and touches down at China Bay, Trinco. Nice option, but expensive. Their fleet is not big either, so you have to book early, to avoid unnecessary waiting.

We recommend road travel. It is less than 5 hours ride. You have the Trincomalee Highway all to yourself, put your foot down and let the car coast along A6. But pay heed to road signs and Bon voyage!

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