A Travellerspoint blog

November 2010

From beach life to cosmopolitan insanity

overcast 33 °C

Well, I finally got my passport after more than three weeks… It took so long time that I missed the flight I had booked in advance. I managed to catch a flight one day before I was obliged to get a visa for Sri Lanka. After landing in K.L. yesterday, I went straight to the Swedish embassy this morning to apply for an ordinary passport.

_IGP2551.jpg

The woman at the embassy told me that she can’t issue me an ordinary passport for free (what I was told by the embassy in Delhi). I can possibly get a refund back home since it’s a production failure, if I show them the receipt. Now I’m hoping that I will get this new passport before my flight from Singapore on the 9th of December.

So let’s count; 160€ for the temporary passport, 100€ for a new flight and 140€ for an ordinary passport. For that money I’ve managed to get a round trip from Stockholm to Delhi and have money left for shopping. After this experience I’ve bought a passport cover, something I thought only old people use. Better safe than sorry (too bad I had to learn it the hard way).

_IGP2349.jpg

_IGP2381.jpg

I finally spent a month in Hikkaduwa. I guess if you’re not into surfing it gets pretty boring after a while. I was determined to surf everyday it was possible though. I took four lessons and then I just rented a board and went out by myself. You need to understand the basics, after that it’s all up to you how much time you want to spend learning the right moves. I was in the water five hours per day. The first week was terrible, I was really angry at myself that I couldn’t stand up. I fell in the “washing machine” hundreds of times I think. But then there was a real breakthrough after a week. The last days I felt really proud surfing a proper two meter wave from the last line up, all the way to the beach. I gave my underwater camera to a local surfer in order to take some photographs, but they came out very foggy and shaky unfortunately. When I get to Indonesia I plan to buy a surfboard and hopefully get some nice pictures too. For now I will satisfy you with two photos from a river safari I went on.

_IGP2448.jpg

_IGP2409.jpg

In Hikkaduwa I met a really friendly Italian couple. They have been traveling for six years, working in Australia and Italy for the seasons. We hanged out a lot in town. Me and Michele went surfing a couple of times which was cool since he was a more experienced surfer. At nights we often had dinner at a place called Sea View Restaurant. The owner Rohan has been living in Italy for six years and spoke Italian fluently. The food was exquisite, proper Italian food for a bargain. If you’re in town, you have to visit it.

_IGP2491.jpg

At the moment I just came back to the hostel. I went to the Petronas towers, when you stand at the ground looking up you kind of loose perspective of how tall they really are. Then it started to rain a lot, so not so much more sightseeing today. K.L. is truly a cosmopolitan city with people from all over the world and outstanding engineering. Where I’m staying, there is another (larger) shopping mall that has an indoor amusement park with roller coasters. They’re open until 10pm, so who knows.

_IGP2543.jpg

_IGP2545.jpg

270__IGP2548.jpg

Peace out
Patrick

Posted by Patrick_K 11:35 Archived in Malaysia Tagged beaches skylines trains Comments (1)

After I left Delhi

sunny 29 °C
View Kickin' it solo in Asia on Patrick_K's travel map.

After I left Delhi, Mila still had to wait a week for her stamp so she could get out of the country. She´s back home in UK now, thank god. If you rent a scooter or bike, never leave your passport as deposit. I highly regret doing this in Goa, apparently it’s normal pretty much everywhere on the subcontinent. When I returned the scooter, which was shit, my passport looked like someone had been tampering with it. The laminated first page had been starting to come off just a bit in one edge before, but it was hardly noticeable. Now the entire page was coming off, barely hanging on to the rest of it.

Of course the guy claimed he didn’t touch it. Reporting it to the police was just going to be a bureaucratic nightmare with no real solution to my problem. I knew I was to get in trouble with this. When I was about to leave the country the customs in Chennai wrote, next to the Indian departure stamp, that I was not allowed to re-enter India with this passport, regardless of my visa. After coming to Sri Lanka (yes, they actually let me in), the first page broke in two and came off completely from the passport. The passport itself is a Swedish one from the early 00’s, the series of passports that apparently are known all over the world for its tremendously bad quality. It was worrying that Sweden doesn’t have an embassy in Colombo; they have a consulate that stopped issuing passports in March earlier this year. After checking their website out, I was told to contact the embassy in Delhi (a city I already was fed up with, due to Milas paper work, and a country I was not allowed to enter).

Thankfully, the consulate could received the documents by courier for the grand total of equivalent 160 €. This is what I’m waiting for right now, a temporary passport which I only can travel one month with. Swedish embassies only issue ordinary passports if you can physically identify yourself, so the first thing I’m going to do in Kuala Lumpur is to find the embassy. It apparently takes two weeks to get it for no cost at all since it’s a production failure, the fast talking woman at the Delhi embassy told me.

In the meanwhile, I’ve been hanging out with locals a lot and learning to surf. After travelling around like crazy in India for two months it’s nice to finally find myself a base. That base’s name is Hikkaduwa, a surfing hang out spot since the sixties. It’s not the season yet, but one can find some really good waves anyway. I rented a nice room with ocean view and huge breakfast, a dirt bike for transport and a surfboard for a grand total of 17 € per day. It’s not Indian prices, but still impressive. Staying at this base, I plan to do some day trips with the bike in the Southern Province but most importantly dedicate myself to learn to catch beautiful waves. Hopefully three weeks of body torture gives some results. Have to be ready for Bali in December!

_IGP2234.jpg
_IGP2235.jpg

Speaking of waves, Sri Lanka still has scars after the tsunami back in 2004. The locals tell the most terrifying stories. Over 2000 people died in a train that was heading up the coast.

_IGP2170.jpg

In some places the memories of the tsunami are very obvious.

_IGP2178.jpg

Apart from that Sri Lanka is quite different from India, people are more westernized here. I got surprised of how clean it was when I left the terminal in Colombo (too much time in India?). In Colombo people actually respect lanes and stoplights, highly unthinkable in India. The driving here in Hikkaduwa and all along the coast is quite different though. The long distance bus drivers have competitions with each other (for money?), this means overtaking other buses in bends without a clear view. They can easily overtake each other on a road through a crowded village in 70km/h, no problem. I saw some really crazy things in India and heard breath taking stories, but normally the buses have the lowest rank on the streets. Not here.

_IGP2167.jpg

Most of the bus drivers in India are drunk while driving at night, there are actual bars along the roads (in the middle of nowhere) that open up after sunset full of bus/lorry drivers. If they’re not drunk, they fall asleep some locals told me. I don’t know what’s worse?

Anyway, I’ve booked some flights online a couple of days ago. The fixed dates are as follow:

Nov 16, Colombo to Kuala Lumpur
Dec 9, Singapore to Jakarta
Jan 22, Jakarta to Manila
Feb 10, Manila to Bangkok

The average price for these flights is 40 €. You can get great deals throughout Asia if you book in advance.

Thank you for reading about my travels, it feels worth keeping on writing!
Everything is possible if you put your mind into it…
/Patrick

_IGP2217.jpg

Posted by Patrick_K 19:15 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (3)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]