Arriving around 10pm local time after 18 hours in transit, we stepped outside to a balmy but pleasant night. Taxis didn’t jostle for a fare, but they were still quick to select new arrivals each, quickly getting us into their car. From the Airport, Negombo was roughly a 35minute journey, the fare costing roughly 20aud. Our chariot was a busted up white van complete with wooden boards holding together some of the floor inside, but we were exhausted, and would have got into anything that meant we didn’t have to think and were closer to our bed for the night.
We hurtled along the dark streets that were still very much buzzing. Locals were walking to and fro, or sat in small bars and restaurants, and the flashing colours from the neon religious idols whizzed past us as cars, tuk tuks and taxis alike ducked and weaved amongst each other on the roads.
After a few wrong turns, we arrived in one piece at our guest house. Mango house outwardly was beautiful, a large, two storey house with intricately carved wooden windows and balconies on all sides. The guest house owner arrived shortly after us, and explained there had been a room issue, and we were able to stay in the room with its own bathroom for the night. That sounded perfect to us, so we wearily followed him into our room.
The room was… underwhelming. Stifling hot due to the lack of a window with a hard, unmade bed and two small, equally hard pillows made our hearts sink. Walking into the bathroom we found a dank, unclean bathroom, the toilet clearly not cleaned for guests. The website had said that rooms had hot showers and a/c, so we tried both but unfortunately found neither hot water or a/c. Exhausted, we flopped down on the bed anyway and fell into some state of sleep.