Hello lovely followers!
I know I haven’t done many of my usual “on the road” posts this time, not since our slight hiccup at the airport. There is good reason for that, we are crazy busy!
You’ve probably noticed something weird, that we’re doing promotional stays on this trip, something we’ve very rarely done before. Don’t worry, we haven’t gone soft or sold out, we’re still here with our backpacks, barely-holding-together jeans and almost blown-out flip flops. We’re just trying something new.
The 5 properties we’re test-running in Sri Lanka have contacted me over the years, asking us to come. We have a very chunky Sri Lanka section on our blog and it holds a Google #1 spot for something or other, family travel Sri Lanka, travel blog Sri Lanka, I can’t remember. But when it comes to taking your family around this magical island, we seem to be big players. That suits us down to the ground as Sri Lanka is absolutely one of our favourite places, for culture, food, beauty, wonderful people, ease of travel, just about everything.
We are here for a month, 10 days of that month are “work”. Unfortunately they all fall in the first 2 weeks and are widely spread from west coast to central, to east.
The properties we are trialing are all high mid-range to ultra-luxury. We want to represent all styles of travel in Sri Lanka and so far, villas and big hotels have been absent on our website.
We’ve visited Sri Lanka as package tourists in mid-luxury hotels before, but back then we weren’t blogging about it. It’s important to show the whole picture, we think. Not everyone can spend a year or 3 travelling the wold, many can only manage a 2 week vacation and they are very likely to be looking for a hotel base during that time. The beauty of Sri Lanka is, that base can be more or less anywhere, you can still get about and visit all the places you want to see.
We were very happy to be able to report on a couple of luxury villas this time. Our post on the sensational Max Wadiya has already gone out. That place was amazing, luxury, but with great Sri Lankan charm. We feel it is a very valuable addition to our website and showed us, and the kids, a very different side of tourism here.
Our second luxury stay, Villa Templeberg, is still in the draft stage. Finding time here is difficult and the internet isn’t serving us too well. Templeberg was another luxury villa stay but a totally different experience, I’ll fill in the gaps soon.
Now we’re in a 5 star resort hotel, the sort of place many package tourists visit. The boys are blown away by buffet dining, cable channels, the enormous pool and all the usual facilities hotels similar to “dad’s work” offer.
Again, posts are to come.
We’re on a voyage of discovery, finding out how other travellers experience Sri Lanka and it’s really interesting. Chef is taking full advantage of this trip too, talking to cooks and chefs wherever we go, picking up tips and new skills. Expect an abundance of food posts from us soon. I’ve mentioned before how difficult it is to find authentic, good Sri Lankan food here, the boring tourist chow is unfortunately the norm. On this trip we’ve most certainly found it.
We’re also visiting some new places, we’ve never stayed in Ambalangoda, Balapitya or Beruwalha before.
In between promotional stays we’ve been backpacking as usual. We just had 3 nights in Unawatuna, I haven’t been there since 1998, pre tsunami. It’s changed a lot and at first I hated it, but once we explored the back streets, met a few people and got away from the tourists on the beach, we found the old Unawatuna charm.
We’re visiting local attractions, a temple and a turtle hatchery are on the cards for today, last week we took a river cruise. We’re being typical tourists, but tourists who hop on a bus or train rather than taking a tour or shuttle.
Next week we’re back to being “us” 2 weeks of backpacking the north and east coasts of Sri Lanka. We’re on a mission to fill in as many gaps as we possibly can in our Sri Lanka knowledge. Jaffna is the new hot tip for travellers at the moment, we’re heading up there to find out what it’s like and share it with you.
So that’s the story. We’re not becoming one of those blogs that only does sponsored travel, it’s too much work and too much stress for me. But it’s something we needed to try. The kids are having fun, Chef is taking up the slack and looking after them while I work. They’re hospitality kids, most of their childhood seems to have been spent in one hotel or another and they absolutely love this lifestyle.
So now, after my 5th coffee, we’re off to find some turtles. Stay with us, lots more on Sri Lanka to come and after that, Nepal. I’m REALLY looking forward to that!