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Deciding the Place:
Idea of this holiday started few months back. I had got a an award, a travel voucher from my company in the annual function. It was from Hammock Holidays. We decided to utilize it for an international trip. After discussing with my travel agent Johnson, our choices of destinations were either Thailand, Maldives or Sri Lanka. We details of all the three. We took around 10-15 days to just decide where we are going. Johnson should have really pissed off for the number of phone calls and different opinions we were asking.
Maldives was working out better but, it is just one Island-One hotel destination. Nothing much to do. I got similar opinion from my cousin Aruna, who had gone there for her Honey Moon very recently. Excellent destination for Honey mooners. But, this was around 10th Honey Moon for us :D. So we thought that's not the place.
Thailand, was again very good choice. Pattaya, Bankok and Phuket was under discussion. But due to Airport Taxes, BLR-BKK-BLR air fare was too costly for me. Also for Bankok to Phuket we should take another flight which adds on to it. Due to budget constraint, I had to drop Thailand.
Sri Lanka - Initially it did not really enthuse us, but later after discussing with my sister, who visited Srilanka 7 years back, we started liking it. But only problem was security and political uncertainty. But we just took risk and decide to go Sri Lanka
Detailed planning of Trip:
Johnson suggested to goto Kindy -1 day, Newara Eliya 1 Day, Bentota 1 day and Colombo 2 days. It was 5 nights/6 days. But I wanted to make it 4 nights/ 5 days. More over hr told Newara Eliya is exactly like our Munnar, so if you have seen Munnar, there is no need to visit it. Bentota has only beach nothing else. So for us, it was not so exciting. I spoke to my sister Roopakka, and got very valuable information regarding Sigiriya and Dambulla, which were plances of Historic importance as well and also understood Kandy is like our Ooty and not more than 1 days is needed to cover it. So I proposed that I need to visit Sigiriya and Dambulla and Kandy I wanted to make only 1 day instead of 2. Johnson was very concerned saying that the schedule will be very hectic. But I forced him to continue as I proposed and the final plan was worked out as follows
Day 1: Airport to Sigiriya and halt: Estimated Arriaval was at 11:45 and Airport to Sigiriya is 5 Hr journey. Ahh! that was painful to know. But Sigiriya rock will be closed by 5 PM. It was very difficult to finish Sigiriya that evening.
Day 2: Sigiriya Rock and Dambulla Cave temple. Move on to Kandy, watch cultural dance show and Halt
Day 3: Kandy city tour, botanical garden, gem factory, wood factory. Move towards Colombo visit Pinnawala elephant orphanage on the way. Reach Mt. Lavinia and Halt
Day 4: Colombo city tour, shopping, beach relax and halt
Day 5: More shopping and Airport drop
This was looking good, we were covering a historical plance, famous temples, hill station, cultural dance, Posh beach side hotel, shopping and all. We were happy and fixed for Sep 28th to 2nd Oct. Then I realized that Anil's engagement was on 1st Oct and we had Lalitha Panchami festival at home on 4th Oct. I did not want to miss engagement and disturb anything for festival at home. So I postponed for next week. It was 8th to 12th Oct.
There was another problem, Bangalore - Colombo does not run on Mornings every day. Only Monday - Wednesday it runs in the morning. Similarly not everyday we have flight back to Bangalore from Colombo in the evenings. Only Fri-Sunday we have evening flights. It got very nicely fitted in. Our plan was to leave on Wed (Morning flight) and planned to come back on Sunday (Evening flight). Which was perfect. If it was other way round, we would be wasting the whole day.
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