After checking out, we took the bus toward Dambulla. We got off a bit earlier to catch our connection to Polonnaruwa. Unfortunately, the bus was overcrowded, and we had to stand. On the bus, we struck up a conversation with a couple. He was Belgian, and she was French. It was interesting to exchange some travel tips in Flemish. Upon arrival in Polonnaruwa, we were once again approached by a few tuk-tuk drivers. However, our accommodation was only a 5-minute walk away. One tuk-tuk driver offered us a good deal to guide us around the historical city the next day at a bargain price. We said yes, and he would pick us up in the morning.
We asked for an upgrade to our room. One with air conditioning! It was a relatively new and spacious room with a view of the rice fields. We rested in our room, always tired after a long day of traveling. The travel times for short distances in this country can be pretty long. In the evening, we took a tuk-tuk to Jaga Foods. This place was ranked number one on TripAdvisor, so we decided to try it. The tuk-tuk stopped halfway in the dark to refuel. We were a bit skeptical at first, but everything turned out fine.
Jaga, our host, and cook, was very friendly. He told us about Sri Lankan food and offered an enormous buffet. It was a feast! They serve the best Lime Juice here, freshly squeezed from the garden. For dessert, we had a pancake with Buffalo Curd and honey. We enjoyed the meal, then took a tuk-tuk back home. In bed, we played a game of Scrabble on our phones. We couldn’t watch Netflix yet because the laptop was still broken.
After a good night’s sleep, it was unfortunate that we had to take a cold shower. The breakfast was disappointing as well. The fruit was overripe, the coffee was not good, and the bread was stale. During breakfast, one of the hotel staff members informed us that guests were often taken advantage of by a tuk-tuk driver who promised good deals. It all seemed a bit strange to us, so we texted the driver telling him not to pick us up. Determining who is telling the truth in such situations is always challenging, but we didn’t want any trouble or involvement with the police.
We rented bicycles from our hotel and drove to the archaeological museum to buy tickets. We visited the museum and then cycled toward the ancient city to explore the ruins. Our bike ride took us to a completely different place from the city of Polonnaruwa. We saw a lot of greenery, ruins of the ancient city, deer, turtles, and an abundance of monkeys.
After our bike ride, we had a quick meal at Wishma restaurant. There, we quickly downloaded a few movies using the Wi-Fi on our phones to watch something in the evening. We cycled back to our hotel, six kilometers along the main road. Since there wasn’t much else to eat in the area, we returned to Jaga Foods. The man was happy to see us again. We enjoyed the delicious food, had a friendly chat, and afterward, he personally drove us back to our hotel. It was a very relaxed evening.
X Ely & Inez