Category Archives: Sri Lanka

Colombo

We had a glorious crossing from Malaysia towards Sri Lanka, calm seas, blue skies and fair winds, (and about time too¬† ūüôā ) ¬†The voyage was fairly busy with shipping as we were following the main shipping route from the Suez Canal and Persian Gulf, which rounds the south coast of Sri Lanka before turning towards the Malacca Straits.

We arrived in Colombo a little earlier than originally scheduled; having an overland tour depart in the ‘wee’ hours, these guests needed to be cleared and away from the ship early; the extra 4 hours gave them time to clear immigration and to catch their flight. ¬†

We were treated to much lightning, rain and thunder as we approached the port, some flashes so bright that one tended to lose one’s night-vision briefly. ¬†Fortunately, the rain eased off for a while, however it was raining cats-and-dogs after we had berthed. ¬†We followed a large Container ship into the port, matching her speed until she commenced berthing, at which point we slowly passed her and made our way towards our berth, in the south of the harbour. ¬†I noted to the pilot that the container cranes above the ship we had to pass, were still out and that I would like to dock both¬†funnels intact and not leave them in the harbour; a quick call and, as if in salute to us, the 3 cranes rose in unison to let us pass under them.

 

Our track (green) from the southern end of Sri Lanka to Colombo

The approach

Into the ‘old’ harbour and to the dock

A short night’s sleep and the opportunity for a jaunt ashore. ¬†Although I have been here several times, I have never taken the opportunity to ‘explore’; so, with the ‘ladies’ and Larry we set off for the morning. ¬†First call was the Kelaniya Buddhist temple, built on a site believed to have been visited by Buddha himself more than 2.000 years ago. ¬†Worshippers come to lay flowers, light oil lamps and sprinkle the base of the Tree of Enlightenment with purifying water.

 

By now it was blazingly hot and humid, however we intrepid explorers were not going to be thwarted and we moved on to the Gangarama Buddhist temple.  This is an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian and Chinese architecture in several buildings.

 

I, having photographed sufficiently (and, to be honest, to avoid the throng), went across the road and took some more candid shots.

Ubiquitous tuk-tuks lined up for customers

Old printing presses

A steam-driven Traction engine

Cows? In a car park? What next?

Coconut drink from a street-seller

 

Then, finally, onto another temple; this one set in beautiful surroundings and on a lake. ¬†The Seema Malaka is another Buddhist temple, however it is used more for ‘meditation and rest’, rather than worship.

The ladies posing

 

One from Karen, with Hazel peeking from behind the bushes

After a delicious curry lunch it’s back to the ship to catch-up with work. ¬†I write on our way to Mumbai, (Bombay). It was one of my ‘old’ ports in those distant days when I was a young 3rd officer. ¬†(Can you hear me sigh)? ¬† We used to load chests of tea, by barge; nowadays it all goes in those big containers.

In the last of the monsoon season, rain and thunderstorms and even a waterspout this morning! First, our departure video and then, the waterspout.