It was a 13.5 hr flight to Qatar from Boston and another 5 hour flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka. We landed early in the morning (about 1 am local time) and were picked up by private car and transferred to the hotel, the Wallawa. We chose to fly Qatar Airways and it was a great experience. The food was actually good and there were no flight delays. There were significant travel security checks in Qatar that we had never experienced. On the return flight into the US, no lab tops, ipads or large cellphones allowed. Everything was packaged into boxes and checked through. Coming back it took over an hour for the bags to be released by security at Logan airport. For this reason alone we kind of wished we had flown through Europe vs the middle east.
Built in to our itinerary was a “rest” day at the start of the trip. Given that it was a 12 hr time zone change for us we really expected jet lag to hit hard. One thing we had never tried before were homeopathic jet lag pills from Whole Foods. You chewed one pill every couple hours and whether it was placebo or not, my jet lag was drastically reduced.
The Wallawa was my second favorite hotel of the trip. It’s architecture reminds you of old colonial British rule. It has a weathered loveliness. The food was delicious, room comfortable and the hotel was a jungle oasis.
The drive was very long, about 6 hours. We stopped along the way at a spice garden, wood carving shop and briefly in Candy for a few scenic pictures.
We arrived in the evening to a fork in the road. It was here Sumit had to leave his car because it couldn’t make it the rest of the way. We loaded into two Tuk Tuks to make it to our destination, the Ceylon Tea Trails at the Castlereigh Bungalow, in the tea highlands. It was pouring rain, the air was crisper up there and smelled delicious…like tea. We went to sleep without exploring and woke up to the most beautiful site. So many flowers.
The flowers. I can’t even believe they were real. Our room looked like colonial Britain and was lovely.
I’ve never gotten motion sickness, not one time. But that drive did it. We were dropped off by our friend and driver at the airport where we took a quick 1.5 hr flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka to the Maldives. Check out the Maldives portion of this trip in Part II (coming soon!).