We departed for the short trip to Galle from Mirissa, with the plan being to spend time in the city at the impressive Old Dutch Fort before moving onto our accommodation and then more than likely, the beach.
I had found a room in a decent hotel on booking.com and Kumar had rang and to my knowledge booked it. However, on arrival, he hadn’t and the room had gone! We then spent the next 45 mins looking for a hotel that had rooms for ourselves plus our driver, eventually finding one called Zimmer Rest. After checking in we had chicken kebab lunch in the Pink Elephant and then headed for the beach. The beach area was certainly a lot livelier than Mirissa and more in the Thailand mode with bars and beach parties. My ex work colleague Steve was in town from UAE for the cricket but Internet problems meant that we couldn’t get in touch with one another to meet up.
We came back at 6 to meet Bandu who was back after his friend’s funeral. This is when the fun began though. Firstly he informed us that he had another tour starting the next morning so was unable to take us to the airport as planned. Although this was a shock, especially as he had travelled all the way down to give us the news, he assured us that Christopher (the guy I had initially liaised with but found to be quite abrupt on emails) would come and take us. No problems, not great but would suffice. I had already paid $300 up front so owed $270 which I was duly ready to pay. This is when I was hit with the news that I owed $450 as we had exceeded 1100km. Obviously this was a huge problem as we had agreed a price based on the itinerary I gave, we had not changed that itinerary therefore we shouldn’t be paying more.
It seems Bandu should have been giving us daily accounts of the miles we had done, however that shouldn’t have been necessary as he should have known how many km we would cover based on the info I had given him. I emailed this Christopher guy who seems to be the boss and after numerous emails we were stuck in Galle having to find transport to the airport (3-4 hours away). Usually this isn’t an issue, but we had budgeted near to perfection so just had enough money left for food and drink until Wednesday afternoon. With few ATM’s in Sri Lanka and the worry of being charged an arm and a leg to withdraw we would have to see how many Malaysian Ringitts we had between us and change the next day if we could.
We changed RM100 and booked a taxi as the thoughts of getting a bus and/or train with our entire luggage was too much hassle. The taxi took less than 3 hours as getting through Colombo is a nightmare although the first part on the highway from Galle to Colombo is very easy.