En-route to the Maldives, we had a long stopover in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Long enough to justify leaving the airport to explore at least a little of the surrounding area. We’d read and heard decent things about Negombo Beach, a mere 30 minute auto rickshaw journey away, and so we exited Bandaranaike International Airport (not without more than a little trouble from the power-tripping immigration officials, despite our pre-applied for and accepted transit visas), and made our way past the taxi touts, and towards the line of auto rickshaws just outside the airport fence.
After negotiating a price that was obviously still too high, but much less than what the taxi mafia required, we were on our way to the beach.
We drove through air thick and heavy with moisture, pollution and the odour of King coconuts, and arrived seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
Aside from a few ultra touristy souvenir stores and the overpriced, but air conditioned, gelato shop we took refuge in, the streets of the little town around Negombo beach were void of energy, people, or any real reason to visit. And unfortunately, the beach didn’t fare much better.
The only saving grace? This trio of black birds posing for all the world to admire.
Pity there wasn’t another soul on the beach to see them.
Do you leave the airport during long stopovers, when you travel, or stay put? Have you had good or bad experiences? Tell us all about it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!