Postcards from Abroad

Whether your dream is to stay in a colonial-era bungalow in the middle of a tea plantation, an Indian princely palace, or to cruise in luxury the Irrawaddy to Mandalay, we never tire of searching for your next great travel destination. This is the place to share with us your most recent adventures.

Sri Lanka - Positive and affectionate reflections by James and Cate Fraser

Sri Lanka - Positive and affectionate reflections by James and Cate Fraser

As nearly a year has passed, we have had time to reflect on our trip which was so cruelly cut short by COVID. All looked good when we flew from Stansted with Emirates

Our first stop was at The Mudhouse, an eco-lodge forest lodge, seemingly miles from anywhere. No electricity so candle and lanterns at night. Bikes to get around the extensive site. Excellent trip out to Paramakanda Temple.
Great experience, once you got used to the heat!

The Mudhouse 2

Our accommodation consisting of sleeping and separate sitting rondavels.

Mudhouse Cooker lesson
Cooking lesson.

Next stop was Palagama Beach on Kalpitya which was a delight, small and intimate. Wish it was closer to the UK so we could return regularly. After 3 previous attempts to see dolphins on holidays elsewhere we finally lucked out and saw scores. In this we were extremely fortunate because the very next day local villagers banned all boat trips because of Covid fears.

Palagama Beach 3

Interestingly the great majority of cases in Sri Lanka were being caused by Sri Lankan’s returning from work in Italy bringing the virus with them.

Our hotel on Mannar could be wonderful as it is run by the same company that runs The Thinnai in Jaffna which couldn’t have been any better as it has great management and staff. We think the Mannar staff were tired after a long season and that Basil Fawlty had somehow arrived to manage it! Having said that, great location, facilities and accommodation and we really enjoyed our stay and trips out.

Mannar Hotel 3

Mannar Beach

Jaffna was where COVID issues caught up with us. We were banned from 2 sites, and although we managed to get to Delft Island we were the last foreigners allowed to visit, and effectively isolated from the locals on our return ferry trip.

ferry to delft island 2

Our trip to Nagadeepa the next day, and other planned sites had to be abandoned but our guide managed to find other sights for us to view.

Point Pedro

The Nilaveli Beach Hotel outside Trincomalee was where our trip finally ground to a halt. We had 1 day’s sightseeing before a curfew/lockdown was imposed restricting us to the hotel and its grounds, however the hotel has a lovely pool area, good food and a wonderful beach.

Nilaveli Hotel 2

Nilaveli 2

10

We were not actually disappointed when our flight home nearly 2 weeks later was cancelled, happy to stay on the beach but had to accept we had to return home. The hotel was more than happy for us to extend our stay while Dot organised our return flights.

We were extremely pleased and relieved that the 5 hotels we were scheduled to stay at after Trincomalee all refunded our money. Many thanks to Dot and the Sri Lankan Agents, The Fabulous Getaway, for their efforts in this regard.

Special thanks also to Sujith Rathnayake, our guide, who clearly went out of his way to look after us as the Covid issue developed.

All in all, what would have been a fantastic holiday was badly messed up by Covid, but we will return! Great experience nevertheless.

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