All right, the world trip has become reality now and we’ve already set the bar really high with our first destination. In short: Sri Lanka was amazing. I would never have expected that but the beauty of this country and especially the kindness of the locals has turned me into a huge fan.
After a 28h travel marathon from Berlin over London to Colombo, we arrived at Mirissa Beach. We had a quick look around to find a curry at an around the corner restaurant and fell asleep exhausted in the Extremehost Guesthouse.
The next day, right after getting up with more than 100.000 mosquito bites (because we’re stupid world travel-amateurs) we packed our stuff and went to the beach to find an office to work from. I didn’t do anything other than spending time with my closest family and friends during the Christmas Hollidays. So, I brought a lot of unfinished personal projects to Sri Lanka. The website was not yet ready, no social media account was set up, no video special from 2017 was edited properly and ready to be published. Zero, nada, niente… I really needed this new chapter of my life to begin without any kind of unwelcome disruption.
So, sitting down at the Barracuda Bar (our office) for the first time and having ordered my first coconut, I was really looking forward to getting organized and structure myself to be able to get going. While I’m drifting away in daydreams and being totally overwhelmed by the beauty of the beach and a couple of other pairs of coconuts that our majestic office view had to offer, my buddy Moe right beside me was losing no second and immediately started to tap the hell out of his laptop. He’s a legend in many areas of life, especially in productivity, always knowing when to kick my ass whenever my lizard brain wants to be lazy and his probably most famous skill of drinking beer out of a boot in record time. Of course, not only that makes him the perfect brother in crime for an adventure like the one that was just about to start. And this is basically how the first week went by. We got up, went to the beach, we’re being creative and productive and at least I (almost) got my sh*t together.
The weekend gave us a break and time to explore more of Mirissa Beach. We explored the beach, talked to some locals, tried to find the best restaurants around, went whale-watching and went into the ocean for a refreshment dive, after two years of absence from diving deep water.
Talking ‘bout the beach… there is nothing more to wish for. The water is crystal clear, the sand is soft and the beach bars serve the best juice I’ve had in my life. Besides, it’s a paradise for surfers. The waves are coming in steady and slowly and people are riding them in a dreamlike scenery. Have a look around and walk down the beach with me, in my first 360 Ale-X-perienceE Mirissa Beachwalk.
The food is very good as well. There are a couple of restaurants at the beach that let you choose fresh fish. So, we’ve got a ten out of ten again for seafood lovers. For all the others, it’s not hard to find good vegetarian food or local specialties (with or without meat) like “Kottu Roti”, a kind of sliced and spiced pancake, which we had a lot of. For everybody who has a sensitive sense for fishy smells, it’s almost impossible to find a place that doesn’t serve fish. Most of the plates are filled with everything the Laccadive Sea has to offer.
Leaving Mirissa with a heavy heart we were heading to Udawallawe because we felt like that it was time hang out with some elephants. We stayed at the Walawe Park View Hotel owned by our safari-guide Mohan. No luxury at all but again a super friendly family and the best safari-guide we could have wished for. Mohan grew up in the Nationalpark. He loves and respects the animals and took us to chill out with Dumbo & Co without any disturbance of other jeeps. No touch of tourism at all. Just pure nature. At one point, we were surrounded by a group of elephants nurturing an elephant baby. The experience was priceless. For the best safari impressions, check out the 360 Ale-X-perienceE – Safari with Elephants.
Our next stop was Ella, a beautiful small town in the hills of the middle of the country. We were staying at Blooming Rose, and had an amazing view over the hills of Ella, right after getting up.
Inspired by the view from the balcony of Blooming Rose, I decided to shoot my first, short, one take review and start the new series of Reviewmania, where I want to give people the opportunity to hear about my independent opinion on the accomodations and provide a quick view into the rooms of the hotels that we see during our worldtours. Do you want to laugh about me for a second? Here is the embarrassing first episode of Reviewmania – Blooming Rose, Ella, Sri Lanka.
The main thing to do in Ella is enjoying the views, go hiking and have more of the country’s best Kottu Roti. We decided to climb little Adams Peak. Just in case you were wondering, of course, you can have a look around and enjoy the views over Ella in the 360 Ale-X-perienceE – Little Adams Peak Ella.
From the starting point of Ella, we finally made it into the famous train to Nuwara Eliya. The train ride provides you with the pleasure of letting your feet hang out of a moving train that navigates through the green hills of Sri Lanka. Although I was a little sceptic at first, taking the train, especially on that rode, really is a must do in Sri Lanka. In Nuwara Eliya we had to jump out of the train and into a taxi to reach our next destination, the real Adams Peak.
Adams Peak is the peak of a mountain in Nallathanniya where religious people go to pray and where according to the story, Buddha, Shiva or Adam left their footprints on the mountaintop. For us it was just a very nice hike and an incredibly hard butt- and calves workout. We found cheap accommodation with a stay at Queensark, located right at the starting point of the hike. You climb Adams Peak by overcoming 5.500 steps. It feels as if it’s just a huge stairway build around the temple on the mountaintop, which lies in around 2243 meters over the sea level. We made it up there in around 2,5 hours and it was super tough. I totally underestimated the challenge but of course the view was worth the pain and the sore muscles again. Come and have a look down from Adams Peak’s top in the 360 Ale-X-periencE – Adams Peak Sri Lanka.
Having collected a ton of new footage, we wanted the last destination in Sri Lanka to be a high-productivity-beach again. Bentota was the destination of choice. What we saw when we arrived was on one hand pretty stunning because it’s an incredibly long and almost untouched beach without any kind of big promenade with lots of bars and restaurants, but on the other hand, that untouched scenery made it very hard for us to find a nice place to tackle our projects. After a couple of funny looks from some Sri Lankan Bartenders whom we asked for a possibility to use a power outlet during the day, we found a great new café to be creative again. Since Bentota is famous for its nice diving spots and we didn’t want to skip all the entertaining activities, we decided to go underwater again. The underwater world of Bentota is very nice. Besides of the regular parrot fish, that are swimming around everywhere, we made our first encounters with a lionfish, a couple of huge lobsters and a color changing octopus, which was pretty impressive to observe. After that, we took our first private lesson in Tuck Tuck driving and safely made it back to the beach. We spend our last full day in Sri Lanka in our beautiful Bentota office, sipping fruit cocktails and listening to the sound of the waves in rhythm with the tipping beat of the keys of our laptops.
Now, I’ll leave you with a little best-of-video that I made, where I tried to put together all my favorite Sri Lanka moments and which I’m very proud of. So, don’t forget to press the like button at least for that one and feel free to share it with the people who you’d like to explore Sri Lanka with. Thanks for reading this and enjoy!
Dream it! Live it!