We left Evergreen Colombo around 8:30 to find breakfast.
We couldn’t find any cafes, so we went into a grocery store and bought some bananas and a mango to share, plus coconut milk for me.
I went into the hostel kitchen and made myself some oats.
I also ordered some coffee, which came in a huge French press and was way too much for just one person. I put some of the coconut milk in it, which made it really delicious. i had about 5 cups of coffee, and I still had some leftover. It was never-ending.
We did some research on where to go next in Sri Lanka and asked Grady, the receptionist, for some recommendations.
We needed to do our laundry— we could either do it at the hostel ourselves for 500 rupees, or send it out somewhere nearby.
As we were leaving the hostel to find somewhere to drop off our laundry, Adrian saw a poster for “Tuk Tuk Rental,” a company that lets you rent a tuk tuk and drive it around the country for however long you want.
He really wanted to do it, so we decided to just do the laundry ourselves and use the waiting time to research the tuk tuk company.
We found their website and emailed them expressing our interest. We still had time, so we went to buy SIM cards for our phones.
We found a small shop down the street, and a nice old lady helped set up our new SIM cards.
Once that was taken care of, the laundry was finished so we went back to hang up the clothes to dry.
We caught the public bus to take us to the heart of the city, where all the big markets are.
The train station was up there as well, so we walked over and went into the tourist information center to get some info on how to get to Dambulla, the city we wanted to go to next.
The guy recommended that we do Anuradhapura, the city farther north, first, then go to the beach not the east coast, and then come back down and do Dambulla. Anuradhapura is known for its ancient ruins and Buddhist temples and is part of the “cultural triangle” of Sri Lanka.
Taking his advice, we got tickets to Anuradhapura for 6:30 the next morning.
We walked around Pettah market, which was chaotic and busy. There were a bunch of vendors selling home electronics, random toys, some food, and clothes. We wanted to walk around Beira Lake, which is in the middle of city, but there was no path around it.
We were hungry at this point, so we got lunch at a random hole-in-the-wall nearby for some rice and curry. It had really good vegetarian options and was really cheap.
We walked about 10 minutes farther to Galle Face Green, a place by the water where you can walk around, have picnics, and relax, but it wasn’t that great. A lot of it was under construction and there weren’t many people there. Just a bunch of vendors and a couple kite-fliers.
We looked at Uber to see how much it would cost to take us back. It was 600 rupees. We asked a tuk tuk driver nearby how much he would charge us, and he told us 800. The public bus was only 35 rupees, so that was the clear winner.
It took about an hour to get back because the traffic was so bad. Once we were home, we booked a hostel in Anuradhapura, showered, and walked to get fruit/snacks for the train ride.
We stopped by Smokey’s Cafe, a vegan cafe that I had discovered on Happy Cow. They sold vegan brownies, so I knew I had to go.
We walked in and saw little jars of almond butter for sale– i was just saying that morning how I needed more almond butter, so it was perfect timing. The jars were a bit expensive at $7.50 for one, but I would pay that much in the States anyway so I bought one. We also got 2 huge brownies for just 150 rupees ($2) each!
As I was taking photos of the brownie at home, one half of it fell on the floor… and I managed to catch it on camera. So sad. But I ate it anyway because DUH.
We wanted to watch the Japan vs. Poland game at 7:30, so we walked to Lion Pub down the street.
We realized that they were only showing the Senegal vs. Columbia game, not the Japan one, which was a bit sad. But we were already there, so we just stayed and ordered food/beer.
I had my first Lion beer! It was ok— just your standard light lager.
We ordered kottu, which apparently is a local Sri Lankan dish. It’s made of roti and is sort of like fried noodles, but instead of noodles there are cut up pieces of roti. It was really delicious!! Adrian was dying, though— his was way too spicy. He couldn’t even finish it.
The game was pretty boring until the very end, when Columbia scored and Senegal finally woke up and started to really play.
However, all the effort was to no avail: Columbia won, which meant Japan was moving on to the next round. Yay!
Right after the game ended, we went back to the hostel to pack up and go to bed. We had about 7 hours until we had to wake up for the train to Anuradhapura.