Planes, Trains and Automobiles – The Ultimate Travel Day

29-12-17

In order to maintain momentum of the blog without it becoming an onerous task, we tend to take alternate days. However we lost all sense of time, days and space recently, thanks to an epic 24 hours of travel that consisted of:

  • 2hour taxi ride to airport
  • Colombo – Kuala Lumpur flight
  • Kuala Lumpur – Manilla flight
  • Manilla – Caticlan flight
  • Caticlan – Borocay boat
  • Tricycle to air bnb

The 27th was sadly our last day in Sri Lanka, as we headed on to our next country of adventure, the Philippines. We’ve found Sri Lanka to be fascinating with such an incredible variety of regions, cuisines, nature and climates all in a country no larger than the size of Ireland.

We were fortunate enough to spend the last day at our nice hotel, soaking up the sun and relaxing in the pool which we would often get to ourselves.

We set off at 7pm for the 2 hour journey to Colombo airport and plumped for a taxi as opposed to public transport – it’s Christmas after all!

Our flight wasn’t until midnight but we’ve found that official systems and processes tend to be slightly haphazard here so we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time. This was a good move. We ended up going through 3 security checks and bag scanners before we’d even reached check-in and the security guards seemed incredibly perplexed by my deodorant and insect repellent aerosols, which are pretty standard items in tropical climes.

Flight one was delayed by a good hour which left me particularly twitchy, given the tight schedule we had with just an hour or so for each connection. Thankfully much time was made up in the air.

We connected seamlessly to our flight from Kuala Lumpur onwards to Manilla and even snatched an hour or two of sleep.

We then had two hours to get through customs in Manilla airport, collect our luggage, find an ATM, exit that airport terminal, get a taxi to a different airport terminal and check in to our domestic flight. As we joined the back of an ever growing queue for passport control we realised we’d been optimistic with timings. Fortunately we’d procured our extended visas at the Philippine Embassy in advance which speeded our entry in. Our bags were also some of the first to come out which was a particular relief, given that we’ve both experienced the dreaded lost luggage before. We got a taxi to the domestic departures terminal only to find that our taxi driver had no change for our large note. Following a slightly manic run around the terminal for change with no luck, the taxi driver let us off which was very kind and a positive first impression of the kindness of Filipinos.

Third flight went smoothly leaving a walk to the port and a quick ferry over to the tropical, party island of Borocay. Sounds pretty straightforward but the arrivals ‘lounge’ (and I use that term loosely) had the smallest luggage belt known to man, and 3 domestic flights full of weary travellers all fighting for position. Manic scenes of jostling and pushing to get to the front. We eventually loaded up and walked to the ferry to join a massive line to purchase 3 individual tickets required to board the ferry and we were herded through multiple queues, security checks and eventually onto a very old looking boat with the creakiest gangplank known to man which we boarded with trepidation. By this time the wind had really whipped up and the skies clouded over to create the most foreboding of threatening skies. Not the most perfect of arrivals but perhaps we were just weary from the day’s travelling.

The final leg of our journey was a tricycle to our Airbnb. Sri Lanka has tuk tuks which felt like luxury limousines in comparison to the makeshift tricycles of Borocay. They consist of a motorbike with a sidecar for 4 on the side. I have no idea how they survive the weight strain and terrible roads but thankfully they seem resilient, if rickety!

We arrived to a lovely, spacious Airbnb owned by a friendly German guy and took a long overdue shower.

Unfortunately the heavens opened as we headed into town for dinner which somewhat marred our first impressions of Borocay. We did however find a wonderful bistro called the Lemon Cafe which served incredibly tasty pasta, laksa and insanely yummy cakes.

Just as we were unwinding an electrical fire broke out above us as the torrential rain interfered with the fairy lights decorating the terrace. Time to head back and get some sleep!

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