We would have been happy to stay in Komodo and dive the days away but our visa was fast expiring. With Valerie’s mother coming in late August we had three blank weeks and no plan. To solve this riddle we asked four questions: Where haven’t we been or should we return somewhere? Are the flights reasonable? How is the weather? What’s the visa situation like?
With those constraints we identified Myanmar and Sri Lanka. In 2010 we made our first trip to Myanmar and fell head over heels in love with the place. Since then democratic elections, lifting of economic sanctions, and the freeing of hundreds of political dissidents have no doubt rocked the country. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to see how the country has changed? Beyond and interest in development Myanmar is unfathomably beautiful, full of genuine and ridiculously friendly people, and endlessly interesting. There was one big problem – August is the monsoon and if you’ve ever been on Burmese roads you can imagine the horror in a downpour.
We basically had no clue about Sri Lanka except that the weather in August is good and we’d never been there. That was just enough to tip our scales and we booked our flights. We arrived only slightly more informed. I knew there was a free shuttle from the airport to a bus depot and I had a vague mental list of highlight destinations. At the depot I struggled to remember any of the names on that list and the busses were written in unintelligible Sinhalese script. Finally we saw a bus displaying the word “Kandy.” I thought that sounded familiar and Val exclaimed, “hey, we love candy,” and off we went. Our Sri Lankan adventure had begun.