I took a short walk to the beach over the railway tracks. The sunshine felt good and I took a stroll along the beach. I had to shrug off a ‘beach boy’ tout. We had an interesting chat but it went unsaid that I knew his ‘game’. I refused to share a drink at a nearby cafe and made it clear that I was not there to engage in any business. Mount Lavinia hotel, the former residence of the British governor, has a prominent position next to the sea. The surrounding district is quite pleasant and has a colonial atmosphere with matching architecture.
It is extraordinary that I had such good accommodation in Mount Lavinia at a reasonable price. I had to recover from the long flight and get used to the time difference but my focus was on preparing my bike and panniers for the journey ahead. The hostel owner; Priyani allowed me to store some things at the house and lighten the load on my bike. The nearby Galle Road was always heavy with traffic and the air was horrible. I took a walk late that evening along the busy main road and in the darkness managed to fall into a deep hole. Ouch. There is little in the way of pavements and where there are paving stones they are uneven and often missing. I was lucky not to really hurt myself.
The next day I headed South along the coast and then turned off the Galle Road inland on the A8 towards Ratnapura. It was bloody hot and the fumes from the traffic were suffocating.