46ml. After leaving hostel Azul and the long uphill out of Granada I arrive at Rivas and do a little food shopping before going to San Jorge and catching the ferry to Ometepe island which is dominated by 2 volcanoes, active concepción in the islands north and Maderas volcano in the south of the island. It’s a beautiful place and I stay for 4 nights on the island. I ride around to Santa Cruz after my 1st nights stay at Hostel Caballo and stay at another hostel Los Coco’s on the shore of the ride lake. Then I ride to Altagracia then Moyogalpa. I book in abuelos hostel for 2 nights and I really enjoyed my stay here. After here I will be in Costa Rica within one days ride. Nicaragua was a very nice country although I didn’t see enough of it and I will hope to return again to see more and hopefully hook up with Barry again.
A nice view of the cloud covered Conceptión volcano
Beautiful small church on route around the island
Island morning life
Arriving at Moyogalpa with volcano Conceptión in the background
Catching the ferry to Ometepe
48ml. After goodbyes at Jamay, I make for La Piedad on the 35, and then the 110. The road has a good shoulder on it and the weather is scorching again. It’s mainly flat with the last 15ml getting a bit lumpy. Approaching the town I stop at a motel and it’s only 150pesos but there’s a factory opposite running noisy machinery 24hrs so I decide to carry on. I get a good deal at the cerro grande hotel and it’s not far to Walmart so happy days. Cable TV, first in a long time and decent supermarket for some peanut butter and porridge.
La Barca history museum
La Barca church
Sri-Lanka 20.1.11 HikkaduwSri-Lanka 20.1.11 Hikkaduwa – finished the cycling now. 86 mile yesterday in over 100 degree heat. Riding up through Colombo wasn’t as bad as i thought it was gonna be but still hard work all the same, damn bus driver tossers. Fly home tomo so depression has set in after the realization its back to work on Monday. Flat road all the way up and choose a quiet road from Colombo which followed a canal and lagoon all the way up to Negombo. No buses on this stretch. Saw a large snake which came across the road right in front of me but couldn’t get the camera out in time. It was good apart from the weather early on in the holiday. Good roti’s and curry and rice. The culture also seems to be if you’re foreign then they double the price so this was not good feeling you’re being ripped off all the time.
Travelled through Galle on the A2 today. only 50 minutes riding today and went right by the international cricket ground where the 2011 world cup will be played. Passed Midigama also which is a surf resort and 1 of the best places in sri-lanka for surfing. Hikkaduwa is similar to Unawatana but the bay is longer. Lot of surfers here as the waves are better as the bay is less sheltered. Its Poya day on the 19th so may do Negombo in 1 hit (86 mile approx) from here as this day will be quieter riding up the dreaded A2 galle road and less of the kamikarzi bus drivers if you can call them that. I wouldn’t give them an effin wheelbarrow to drive.
Left Ploena and went to Unawatana. Really nice bay here but only a narrow strip of sand as all the building work after the tsunami seems to have stolen part of the beach. Lots of diving here. More going on here than Polena out till 3.30am on lash 1st night here. Good swimming here also.
Ella in the hill country
Andy arriving in Ella our last stop in the hill country.
The road down to the flat plains
Well left Ella this morning 5.1.11 after a curd and honey for brekkie. This is made from the buffalo milk and is very tasty. After riding only 3 mile down the Ella gap towards the flat plains, the rain stopped and the Vietnamese rain cape came off as the temperature also rose steeply. Was bare back riding now for
Andy weaving through a small mountainside town
still cool as we lose altitude
the rest of the day with the long awaited sun on our backs. We took the A23 down to Wellawaya and this was mainly downhill for 15miles although there was roadworks a few miles after Ella with mud and uneven surface which really shit us and our bikes up.
waiting our turn in the roadworks
Andy still in flip flops, what a wanker!
We then headed east on the A4 to Buttala and then south on the B53 to Tissa. This was longer but looked a quieter road and also took us down the outskirts of Yala national Park.
Its getting warmer
The flat plains and sun at last
arriving in the flat plains and nice warm weather
We saw elephants 4 times today down this road. Andy Punctured about 20 mile from Tissa so just kept pumping the tyre up every 5 miles to finish at Tissa due to the extreme heat we couldn’t be arsed to mend it. My eyes were sore at the end of today due to the constant stream of sweat running into them and stinging. We booked in at the Pala hotel on the main road in about 1km north of the town. very nice place good food 2000rp’s for room.
coming down bad road. It went for miles
Well descended for over 14mile today on a terrible road which was single track in some places and full of potholes. Probably could have climbed it quicker than going down due to the state of the road. Started down A5 to Welimada Then forked right to Bandarawela where the road was smooth again. had some climbing again today but nothing serious. Arrived in Ella at 1080mt’s asl and booked into a great guesthouse called Rawana guesthouse with really amazing views of Ella Gap WOW really does take your breath away. Must also be the best meal we’ve had so far with rice and about 9 different dishes including whole clove garlic curry, being their signature dish. yum yum. Rained again today but then we are high in the hill country. I must add that if there was emissions tests on all the vehicles here then the roads would be clear of all traffic as they all bellow out clouds of thick black smoke which isn’t good when you’re lungs are gasping for clean oxygen climbing these damn mountains ha ha. Up early tomo for view of Ella Gap before the cloud’s come down. Will head for Haputale and Sir Thomas Liptons seat Which is on one of the tea plantation’s estate which he purchased in 1890 and where he used to sit and have the best view in Sri-Lanka. equal to the view at worlds end. He succeeded in selling 10 million pounds of tea in just 2 years by under cutting the then going price by 2 thirds. this was the start of the real birth of the lipton dynasty and put Ceylon tea on the global map.
The start of the hill country. yesterday was serious climbing, we left Kandy on the A5 for Gampola and climbed a 5/6 mile mountain at 1600 meters above sea level but then dropped down and lost most of our height we just gained, what a sicken-er. We then passed a big waterfall at Ramboda and started the massive climb to Nuwara Eliya. It was sheer pain, OK at first as the views were great traveling up past all the tea plantations but i lost count of the hairpin bends we went round and it never seemed to end. Over 10 miles of up taking nearly 2 hours reaching the summit at 1980meters or 6185feet. It was also very cold up there so was freezing by the time we dropped to our guesthouse called single tree inn. Only consolation was it didn’t rain today. Had a filling meal of chicken and noodles at an outdoor place at the bottom of the road and a few beers before a good nights rest. Having a day off today before heading to Ella then its south for some sought after sun.
On the road to Kandy
Roti Lunch stop in small village
hi all, well set off in rain yesterday to matele headed back to Giritale then took a b road down to Elahera. was a very bumpy road and mainly climbing the last 10 kms although not steep. It also rained very hard for an hour so got very wet although its still warm. we then hit the main A9 just as the rain stopped and decided to go to Kandy as its new years eve and a more lively town where you can have a drink till midnight. everywhere else we been, all the small towns shut at 10/10.30pm. last 20kms to kandy was 10 uphill then 10 downhill. had to stop goin up to put my lights on as it was gettimg dark and too dangerous with the horrendous traffic. it was foggy goin up with all the poisonous exhaust fumes from the buses and trucks. we finally arrived about 8pm and found a guesthouse south of the lake who wanted 2000rp’s but managed to barter him down to 1500rp’s. Had a drink in le pub but was double normal price so ended up in stags head above a big hotel around the corner for the new year celebration where it was cheaper beer. Having another night here then setting off again but which direction we’re not to sure yet. Will be south tho looking for some sun. it’s been sunny here today, so maybe things are looking up. Just had a great curry and naan bread in the Kandy muslim hotel which is just a small local restaurant. best meal here so far.
Healy tourist guesthouse Dambulla
great food at healy and he mopped the lot up.
hi all. left Kurunugalle this morn and the madonna guesthouse at 2000rp’s wasn’t clean or cheap. Set off and rode to dumballa. What a nightmare, its very frightening as the buses rule the road and come within inches blasting thier horns. if they overtake heading towards you then you must steer off road in the gutter or be deceased, its that simple.
Monkeys on top of the rock
only half way up the steps here
Stayed at Dumbala for 3 nights and visited sigiriya rock and the temple caves. our accomodation was at the Healey tourist Inn 1300rp’s per night. very friendly family who run this.
ths steps up the rock
swimming bath on top of the fortress rock
Just 1 of the great views from the top
yesterday 29.12.2010 set off for polonnaruwa. Had my rack, for carrying my bag, repaired at a roadside shack as the support bracket snapped. He made a new strong one and fit it for 50p. Also the cycling has been much more enjoyable. Since the right turn at Habarana crossroads its been quieter roads and even a shoulder to ride on. We passed through Minnerviya national park and saw mongoose, elephant, and monitor lizards on way along with lots of different spieces of birds including eagles. Lots of military camps along this route heading eastwards. we are staying at the samudra guest house 1300rp’s in polonnaruwa. very clean and located just before roundabout in town on the right down a narrow alley. Its monsoon rain here today and looks like its set in for the day so maybe another night here. We met the owner of the devi tourist guesthouse in town and decided to go for a drink there, Wow very nice clean place and without doubt the best place here to stay. I forgot his name but speaks very good English both him and his wife. Also cheapest beer we had yet and great food. Wish we’d have come here 1st now lol.
well its hot and 78% humidity but its rained for 2 days out of the 4 we been here so far. unexpected weather everyone keeps saying. set off on bikes tomo up to a place called Kurunegala. no beer today but will be glad to set off i’m bored now. should have left today really but decided to have another days rest. Negombo where we’re at is just north of colombo on the coast. Very friendly people but not as cheap as other places in s.e.asia. Sea here is very rough and signs up for no swimming. Drowning is 2nd biggest killer of tourists here. The water looks dirty here also on this part of the coast.