Colombo Kandy

Journey Not The Destination

I am not sure what time I slept last night. My computer is still running. I wake up, pack my bags, gobble down the breakfast the hostel gave me, and then leave to the Kandy station for the second time in two days. There is no direct bus to Galle, neither trains. I reach the train station with five minutes to spare. I take the ticket to a class 3 ticket to Colombo. There are lot of people waiting for the train. Perhaps some are going to Colombo to take their flight. While anxious travelers and kids wait impatiently for the already late train, I go take a walk around. The train rolls in to the station after a good ten minutes.

As soon as the train stops, people rush in to take their seats. This train is old, probably built during the independence era, so there are few seats. Most of the travelers including me stand during the entire journey. I put my rucksack, and my backpack on the luggage storage above. It takes almost four hours for the train to reach Colombo. I am no mood for conversation, and other travelers too are not. They are tired of traveling for now, and simply want to find the familiar room in their city.

journey-kandy-colombo
Journey – Kandy to Colombo

Bored of standing, I sit at the door, sharing the foot board with a local. He says he is working as a mechanic to look after his family, and also saving up for a trip to India. He wants to travel in India. I tell him about my trip in Sri Lanka. The train is too crowded for me to pull out my camera. It is raining outside, and there is cool breeze blowing. As the train approaches Colombo, the air turns humid, and I start to sweat. I wish I could turn back to Kandy.

The train is getting empty, and I get off the door to try and find a seat. There are none, but I find tourists who are also traveling to Galle. A Spanish tourist, and I decide that we will find the train to Galle together. After a few minutes the train pull into the Colombo station. I check the train time table, there is a train to Galle in few minutes. Missing that train is not a choice because the next train is in the evening.

To Galle

As soon as the train stops, we rush out of the train, and race towards the ticket counter. The policeman point to a train and tells me that the train to Galle is on the platform already. We find the ticket counter, buy a ticket, class 3rd again. As soon as we board the train the train pulls out of the station.

journey-colombo-galle
Journey – Colombo to Galle

This train is newer and faster. I look to the right, there is the majestic Indian Ocean. The Colombo to Matara line is scenic this way. The Indian Ocean on one side, villages and coconut trees on the other. Even though there is lot of breeze, the air is humid and I do not stop sweating. Sitting next to me is a lawyer that I had been in conversation with for sometime. She informs me that she works in the Pettah area in Colombo, and she travels from her village in Balapitiya to Colombo and back. A total of four hours of journey everyday. She is still in her black coat, she loves her job she says.

There are many in villages near Colombo who earn their bread in Colombo. The Colombo – Matara line is their lifeline. Her station arrives, and she gets off the train. I take her place next to the window, it is evening and the sun light warms me up, I am sweating. Many get off at the Hikkaduwa station. Galle is nearing Google Map tells me. After few minutes,, the train pulls into the Galle station, and I alight from the train. I exit the station and message my host informing him that I am at Galle. He tells me to take a bus in the bus station next to the train station and come to Unawatuna. Sure I say, but I first got to visit the Galle Fort.

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