Saturday, July 6, 2013

The cocktail hour spent sitting by the Indian Ocean, and dinner with friends in Sri Lanka's most beautiful hotel




Yesterday, I spent my last solo day in Sri Lanka, living a Travelife, taking it easy and doing the things I love.

For one thing, I woke up at 530 AM here and then I actually slept again.

When I'm traveling with someone, I almost never get to do this because there's either a schedule to follow or someone wants to have breakfast.

I then woke up at 930 AM and had a very lazy breakfast.

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PLANS ARE MADE FOR CANCELLING

Today, I was supposed to go to the Aman Resort in Tangalle.

But I suddenly decided to chuck that plan out the window and just enjoy my beautiful hotel.

I had a really leisurely breakfast with a view of tea plantations, and it was my usual morning fare here of fruits and yoghurt, followed by dal curry and fish curry with some rice.

MANNERS ARE BACK IN FASHION



After breakfast, I headed back to my villa and picked up a book from the shelf by the sofa about Modern Manners.

I read a little bit of this book on my patio, which has a very comfortable outdoor sofa.

The book was really funny and witty, and it covered everything from what to do about guests who cancel at the last minute to the proper way to send out invitations based on your age.

I'm a pretty old-fashioned person, in a way, so I could relate to a lot of this.


I still send people bouquets of flowers to thank them for dinner and for just about anything, I attend a lot of sit-down dinners and I usually always come on time, and I still write notes to my friends, even in this age of email and BBMs.

So this book was a fun read for me, and it was one of the most relaxing things I've done for myself in a long time.

What a perfect place this was, to read a book and just de-stress from the fast-paced life.



COMING BACK HERE.
I JUST NEED A REASON.

Tonight, I finally met the hotel owner, as well, and I told him: "I'm coming back here, and I'm going to rent the whole place out for something."

I haven't decided what that something is, but I will definitely be back here for the ultimate private experience.


In the afternoon, instead of going to the Aman resort in Tangalle, I went to the Fortress Hotel, which is another Small Luxury Hotel (SLH) property. They have a nice spa geared mainly for tourists, but I thought I'd pamper myself and get an ayurveda treatment in pretty luxurious surroundings.

Afterwards, I spent the cocktail hour by the beach, sitting on a lounge chair at the luxury Fortress Hotel, just enjoying the power of the waves with some music on my iPod.



Seeing the Indian Ocean always makes me sentimental, for some reason, and I was listening to Al Jarreau's "Gimme What You Got," as I sat by the beach. 

NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN, INDIAN OCEAN



I've seen the Indian Ocean on every trip to Sri Lanka so far, and each trip has been a milestone in itself.

And I also saw it a couple of months ago from the top of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, when we'd driven all the way to the ends of the earth to see that point where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meet, on the last day of two wonderful weeks in South Africa.

You can literally see a line forming between the two oceans.

This time it was so nice just sitting by myself at the very edge of the powerful waves.

THE END OF MY SOLO TIME



I wasn't thinking of anything in particular, but just listening to some music and relaxing. I could've stayed there for a while longer, but I had to head back to my hotel as I estimated that my friends were going to arrive soon.

I was right. They'd arrived about 30 minutes before me, and already they were completely in love with the place.

One of them said: "What a beautiful hotel. Who would've thought there would be something like this in Sri Lanka? How did you ever find it?"

SO MANY LOVELY HOTELS. SO LITTLE TIME.



Actually, Sri Lanka has so many lovely hotels, but this is among the most special I have ever stayed in, in this island country.

We had a long and lazy dinner in the dining pavilion, where I had a four-course meal consisting of beet salad, vegetable soup, excellent grilled prawns and home-made ice cream.

And over dinner, we talked about Travel and Life, and the joys of a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.




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