Arrived in Colombo just after midnight and began the slightly unsettling vigil of waiting for the baggage. .. will the bike be OK, will it be delivered to the oversize baggage section or appear on the luggage carousel ? In the event, it was AOK, and there were no hassles at immigration or customs, other than bemused looks & comments as I wheeled the bike through (on a trolley). $USD20 for a pre-arranged mini van lift to the Angel Inn... finally turned in at about 1:30 am local time (around 6am Melbourne time)
It's very warm & humid here in Negombo & so I reckon i'll spend today & tomorrow acclimatising & unpacking the bike & putting it together before heading off. It seems like a reasonable guest house - very clean room, ceiling fan, mossie net, shower - and quite quiet last night (the dogs & crows kindly waited until morning before getting started). I can see the barking dog on an adjacent roof - oh for a shanghai - can anyone remember what they were? - or similar implement. My breakfast here was toast, jam, omelette, coffee & 2 bananas & for lunch i had an uninspiring vegetable curry & rice & 2 coca colas at the nearby Sea Joy cafe - cost 450 rupees - about $AUD 4.80 ( I notice the Australian dollar has plunged since a few days ago...). Perhaps I'd have had more joy if i'd had the fish).
An email from an old friend Mr Felix alerted me to the fact that Bill Weir - somewhat of a bike touring legend - was in town. I looked him up on his blog (at www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/SriLankaSwing2 ) to discover that he was staying just down the road at the Silver Sands Hotel. I wandered down & found him sitting in the restaurant finishing his breakfast before heading off on the first leg of his journey. He seemed like a pretty nice bloke - quiet & unassuming, with heaps of cycling experience - and we had a good old chat and, of course, a look at his bike (another legend!). I might even bump into him again along the way. He made a few helpful suggestions via the web prior to my cycling from Kolkata to Darjeeling in 2010. Happy cycling, Bill!
[very annoying wifi here at the Angel Inn - i keep getting redirected to ad sites or to dubious messages saying i need to update my browser, with the kindly offer of a free download! Perhaps I'll get a local sim card for the phone]