April 12, 2004


Day 1:

The morning was simply lovely; the cottages looked like a picture. We found out that there is a swimming pool near our cottage. This hotel has 10 three star resorts in Sri Lanka & Maldives. They are very much professional with their service. You gotta be amazed with everything.

We had a grand buffet breakfast costing $4 (SLR 360 each). The European standard food was excellent. The Indian and other teams are coming in the next early morning for the conference, so we had a day off with nothing to do. It was heartbreaking to hear that 12th and 13th are holidays for the Sri Lankan new-year. Office and shops are closed. We walked almost 3 kms to Airport to change dollars for some local currency. The lady at the Sri Lankan tourism promotion booth at the airport suggested that we go to Negomba, a beach area 12 km from the Airport. But arriving there we found out that it was a bad choice. The beach was occupied the beachside resorts and there were thick sands and scorching sunlight, extremely hot and humid conditions making everybody unable to walk even in the sand. There is nothing appealing in the beach. People were going to the water, but I don't believe they were enjoying in this heat. There were a few local boat rides, but the scorching heat had already taken the toll of Pawan's energies and he was no feeling good. We went to an Internet Cafe to mail home, where floppies are not allowed. 15 minutes went in no time costing 5 SL Rupees per minute.

We were seeking lunch options from the flurry of restaurants in that place. The problem is that Pawan is a vegetarian, and these restaurants do not have veg menus. Finally we went to a Chinese restaurant to have vegetable fried rice, which was awful including the fish item I took. Waste of SLR 520. We headed then straight back to the hotel for some rest. At least the room has air-conditioning.

Had a quiet afternoon in the room. It rained in the evening. I sat in the balcony for sometime. It was a great feeling. No work no tension, just enjoying the rain. We had dinner at the hotel. Did I tell you before that the food is hereexcellentt. They charge SLR 600 ($6) for buffet per person. But there were atleast 25 items including dessert. Pawan could find his veg meals (although he missed most of the good tastes). I ate to my hearts content. There were to guys playing music with guitar & congo. Theambiancee wasexcellentt. Most of the visitors here areEuropeann & Japanese. We were the onlyAsianss here.

Then we watched TV at the lounge. Me and Pawan watched eagerly the cricket match between England & West Indies. Lara has broken the record for highest runs in the test cricket. We were witness to that exciting moment.

I could get the only computer at the business center of the hotel free at 11.00 PM. Tomorrow morning we will be heading towards Kandy when the rest of our team comes. Hope to bring you the details too.

Now I am going to sleep. Good night.


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