I have been reading Lonely Planet, and Drew has been asking at work about travel info from his Sri Lankan co-workers.
We are keeping the expenses as low as possible, taking trains and busses, and hopefully getting local pricing on hotels. I will do a break down of expected expenses based on Lonely Planet pricing, but Razook should be able to get us lower pricing, as we know that locals get half price of tourists. For example, Lonely Planet says we can get a taxi van for $25 a day, Razook says 1500 rupees a day, a friend from Air Taxi paid her driver $200 for 2 weeks. We have this contact information, but havent done so yet, and I dont know that we will.
We have budgeted $100 a day for the trip, including all Drus time in Sri Lanka. Some days will be much lower cost, for example, on the days when Dru is at your house. But we hope that the high cost days wont be over $50 a day. Well be eating mostly in local cafes rather than western style restaurants for cost purposes. And sheer pleasure, of course. The trains and busses are also part of the local feel that we desire. We expect that we will enjoy the train portions of our travel the most.
We haven’t personally made any reservations for hotels or drivers and hope that this is okay. It seems that we can just get a taxi on the spot for any amount of time, for example a driver will love to take on a two day tour on the spot. Is Fahim available for phone conferencing if we need translations? Our information is that we can get taxi vans from any taxi company. The biggest uncertainty is that Badulla, Yala, trip took 2 hours or 7 hours by taxi van. That’s a huge difference. Mind, the coworkers also argued vehemently about the location of the observation train, front or back. Aahh .all travel times are in dispute. Everyone disagrees on how long it will take to do any amount of travel, anywhere. Will any specific leg take two hours, or the entire day? Hmmmm. Therefore, we will keep the itinerary very loose. Do you need it more pinned down? We’ve allowed for extra days for added sightseeing, unexpected eventualities, relaxing, and travel delays. We dont want it rushed.
Side note, there is an aircraft maintenance college in Colombo, and so there is a significant Sri Lankan population at Dru’s work. Also, the air force of Sri Lanka has produced maintenance staff.. And on an even further note completely unrelated is that south Indians seem to be waiters, and people from Bangladesh are construction workers. The doctors are all from New Delhi, India. The northern Indians are from a much superior space than the others. Anyway .. point being that Dru has spoken to local Sri Lankans regarding travel. The sights are well defined, and all agree on the same sights. Kandy, Dambulla, beaches, trains, but Pollunurawa is in debate..
Written by Kim, with Dru right beside me.