A lazy day in Negombo... reading, unboxing & re-assembling the bike, and buying a sim card. Angel Inn has wifi but it's outrageously intrusive - with 'browser hijacking' & all sorts of pop-ups offering to install a new browser for me & on one occasion an updated operating system! Internet access on the SIM card is fast (even with this I had a pop-up offering some sort of reward if I knew Michael Clark 's middle name!?). I tested the bike out by cycling into the heart of Negombo to use an ATM. On the way back, passing a local bike shop, I had the brainwave of asking the guy there if he could pump my tyres up, which he happily did with his air compressor. As I prepared to head off, my front tube exploded, resulting in a 5cm gash in the tube. Somewhat unsettling... The bike guy - an elderly gentleman - with little fuss but possibly some embarrassment - proceeded to fix the tube, firstly by gluing on a patch, which he then covered with an even bigger patch that he glued on and then finished by wrapping the whole thing with a 'boot' (a loose piece of tubing) before pumping it up again. Hopefully his handiwork has been effective but my experience in India was that this isn't always the case. I do have one spare should this tube become defunct.
My plan is to head off tomorrow - north to Chilaw, which is a leisurely 40km away. It's raining now but with some luck won't be tomorrow (for some reason I forgot to bring my light cycling rain jacket).
Soon I'll venture out again to savour the culinary delights of Negombo. Last night I went to Tusker Restaurant - allegedly, according to both Lonely Planet & TripAdvisor, one of the better places to eat in town. In my book, it was pretty average - I had tuna steaks with some rather dull sauce & a similarly dull coleslaw on the side, 5 micro-sized bread rolls, a Sprite, vanilla milkshake & a coffee (Nescafe). Cost was 1859 rupees = near enough to AUD $20. Hopefully Spargo Beach Restaurant - rated #5 on TripAdvisor - where I plan to eat at tonight is a little more inspiring.