And so after a week in Germany that got progressively colder and rainier, I left on the 11th of November. After a 4 hour stop in London Heathrow the plane headed direction Sri Lanka :)
I arrived around midday, and stepped right into the first tuk tuk to my guest house in Negombo which is around 1 hour North of Colombo.
It felt strange and super nice being back in Asia. The typical tropical smell and sounds, the light, the colours....
The guesthouse was super sweet, run by a very nice family and situated in a quiet side road. My room was in the house of the granny who sat all day long in the hallway, in case I needed something.
I had only booked one night to chill out a bit after the long flight.I did a little walk around and stumbled over an impressive newly built Christian church. Surprisingly also my guest family was Christian.
In the evening the daughter grabbed me and bought me to their private living room where she sat with me writing down paper after paper full of Sinhalese words and their meaning in English. It was very sweet and actually great to have an overview of the most important words. Usually I only look up "Thank You" in any language of the countries I travel to.
After that I went to my room trying to have an early night, since I hadn't slept much at the airplane.
But sure enough I couldn't fall asleep, although it is only a 4,5 hour time difference. I felt a bit emotional too. After 4 years in my safe little routine of my Spanish life I felt a bit out of my elements. I missed friends, I felt emotional about my family in Germany which is always a bit tough (especially since I hadn't told my grandparents and my mother about my travel plans), I felt quite lost.
The next morning I felt a bit better though. I left early to make my way to Mirissa where my good old friend and ex-flatmate Tamzin was waiting for me. She was teaching yoga in a hostel just a few kilometers from the place where I had booked a retreat for the following week. Luckily I could volunteer for the week before the retreat at that hostel too.
I hopped on the bus from Negombo to Colombo, and went to the train station (the guesthouse daughter had explained to me where to walk). The only train to Mirissa was at 2 pm so I took the train to Matara which is nearby. I bought a ticket for the 3rd class, having seen a documentary just a few nights before at my sister's where the journalist had taken the third class, and it looked perfectly fine. It cost me not even a Euro for that 3-4 hour train journey to the South coast. I loved the views from the train, and enjoyed the ride. The people are incredibly sweet and friendly, the kids are smiling at the white foreigner with the big nose, and people often start chatting with you, "where are you from", "are you married", and "why not??"
Around midday I arrived in Matara, and decided to take a tuk tuk instead of the bus, because I was supposed to arrive early afternoon at the hostel and didn't want to waste time.
I made it, and had a funny and strange reunion with Tamzin :)
Then I immediately got a first instruction into my jobs at the hostel - a little kitchen work in the morning and sitting at the reception in the evenings because the owner had a group of friends over and wanted to spend sometime out of course.
So the first evening I spent already at the reception, but it was easy work, checking in a few people, answering a few questions. There were also some super cute little kittens that were mostly living in the kitchen :)
The next day Tamzin and I headed out, to Mirissa Beach. Oh my, so beautiful!!
The next week we spent mostly beach hopping, taking the local busses to Madiha, Weligama, Midigama and Unawatuna. I spent one morning walking through the backskirts of Weligama. We ate Curry and Rice every day, lunch and dinner. Love that stuff. As well as fresh coconuts, papayas, pineapples, passion fruit.... heaven!!
One night we went out for a drink at the beach after my shift. The tables got almost swept away by the waves. later we saw a turtle on the beach trying to dig her hole to lay her eggs - so precious!!
In the afternoons I could join Tamzin's yoga classes on the roof terrace of the hostel, with the sun slowly setting over the palm trees.
Now on to my week of pampering in a posh yoga and surf retreat in Madiha :)