Saturday, June 6, 2009

Train and bus travel in Sri Lanka

A quaint village railway station.
You'll never go hungry on the bus or train.

A break in my 6-hour bus journey in southern Sri Lanka.

Travelling by bus and train in Sri Lanka I discovered was hot and uncomfortable as rightly pointed out by travel guides. Buses everywhere were packed to the rafters, and their drivers are constantly under the illusion they are F1 drivers!

Despite the discomfort on buses and trains there was never a dull moment.

A procession of sellers of all sorts of strange foods and drinks trooped on board. You can never accuse the Sri Lankans of subjecting you to a famine of sorts, that's for sure.

There were others who made an outright appeal for donations. A woman with a sleeping child in her arms launched into a sad tale. An old man with a crutch recounted a similar tale. Perhaps, a son killed in the war against the Tamil tigers? Or a family wiped out in the tsunami?

Then you have the entertainers. A young man sang lustily for a good 15 minutes accompanied by his trusty tambourine.
All were rewarded a few rupees here and there.

Yes, give me the train and bus anytime. Rough travelling but I've always been under the illusion I'm tough.

Of course you can travel in an air-conditioned car or van but you'll miss all the fun.

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