I am back in Germany for almost six weeks – it is time for the obligatory resume….
It was wonderful to cycle Sri Lanka! We really enjoyed it and had a fantastic time although the beginning was a little bit “delayed” due to my flu.
Although we´ve been here for the second time now, for sure we will come back again! Food is delicious – always fresh and healthy, and the people are of an overwhelming kindness: Helpful, generous and always happy. You just love them.
Same like when you cycle in 1st world countrys you should avoid the main road if you can. Although in Sri Lanka most of the time the drivers are respectful with bikes, the bothering thing is that they constantly honk. They just want to let you know “I am coming, get out of my way”, but still it can really go on your nerves.
A very nice fact is that you always find a place to buy food or water on the way and we never felt like they wanted to rip us off with the prices.
Actually, nowadays you can book a room in most of the guesthouses or hotels with booking.com. The reason why we practically never did so is that they always charge you much more for the same room if you book this way, because they have to pay a quite tough comission to booking.com.
When we looked for a place to stay we researched in the web, then simply called the place and reserved a room by phone. It always worked out.
Cycling the East Coast one thing made me think a lot. The eastern shore is a part of Siri Lanka that is dominated by an islamic population. (Even altogether they only represent 9% of the whole sri lankan inhabitatnts). Compared to the first time we were cycling here 4 years ago it seemed to have become more strict, fundamental, maybe more radical if you want to call it like this.
Singhalese people say, there´s a lot of influence and financial support from Iran and Saudia Arabia there. I consider it a rather true information, especially because of those lots of Burkas you can see everywhere on the streets and that are worn already by very small children. I hope I will be wrong and I don´t want to be too pesimistic, but what I really think is that my lovely Lanka might have a lot of problems in the future.
The attitude of the Singhales and Tamil people seems also very critical referring this progress , and I know there is existing already some tension between Buddhist nationalists and Moslems. E.g. in November 2017 when in the South of the island.
Aggression on both sides developped into violent street riots between Singhalese Buddhists and Muslims in the City of Galle after a traffic accident: 62 Muslim homes and business premises were attacked by the furious mob.
…and as to prove that my concerns were not causeless on the day I was leaving (27th of february) the latent rage between the two groups ran down again. At least five people were wounded, several shops and a mosque were damaged in riots between the majority of Singhalese Buddhists and the minority of Muslims in the eastern part of Sri Lanka.
I hope this is just a temporary problem…..
Conclusion: Highly recommended !!!
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with abundant flora and fauna. People are incredibly friendly, food is delicious and the weather just lovely. Except for the described tension between the Singhalese and the muslim population, Sri Lanka is an absolutely peaceful country with no security problems at all for tourists. As their rate of crimes is tending towards zero, it´s a county where it´s easy to travel be for women doing a solo trip..