Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21, 2009 - Galle, Sri Lanka

Today we took our two empty propane tanks to Mike, one of the only people other than the agents who has a gate pass. He'll fill them for us while we are off on our trip. Afterwards, we caught a tuktuk into town to find and ATM and some lunch. The ATM was easy, but lunch was possibly the spiciest thing I've ever eaten. Unlike Indian cuisine, which is often served with a cooling dish of yogurt or a salad, Sri Lankan food is pure fire. By the time dessert came I would have put anything in my mouth to quench the flames in my mouth and put out the fire in my belly that was slowly burning a hole in my stomach lining. Luckily, dessert was more edible than the main course. Watalappan is a bit like a flan or a caramel custard, spiced with cardamom and cloves and sweetened with treacle (palm syrup). It is pretty tasty.

Rice and curry - breakfast, lunch and dinner staple of Sri Lankan cuisine

Walking through town we were pleased to see that there was less trash lining the streets than in India. We even saw a few municipal workers picking up litter. While we were wandering around town Leel, our tour guide, found us and took us to the Dialog office to buy an access card for the wireless internet signal that we can pick up in the harbor. After a quick trip back to the boat to make sure that the wifi would work, we headed back out the gates in search of a drink and dinner.

Not having any cooking fuel on board is a great excuse to eat out. We started our evening with a few Lion Lagers and lime sodas up the hill from the harbor at the Closenburg Hotel. The hotel was originally built as the home of a P&O captain in the 19th century. It still has furnishings from that period and loads of British colonial ambiance. The view alone makes it worth a visit, but the prices on the menu are a bit steep so we headed back down the hill to the Chandri Gardenia Resort (a store with a restaurant attached) for dinner. On the way back to the boat after dinner, we stopped at a bakery and picked up some local yogurt (batch set in shallow clay pots) and baked goods to have for breakfast in the morning. Our pastries were passed to us in a piece of recycled homework that was folded and glued into a tidy little bag.

No comments: