Took the ERL transit from Tasik Selatan station.I was one of the few that took the first train out. On reaching the KLIA I did wait for about thirty minutes for the check in counter to open as they were late as promised in the ticket but found out that my flight was delayed for 2 hours. After passing through immigration I did check into the Plaza Premium Lounge…….. I did have a nice breakfast tho and after that I was looking for the smoking room…….
Arrived Colombo Airport after a three and a half hours flight and went straight to the transfer desk. Inquired that if I did qualify for a free stop over stay as my transit time was more than eight hours made on my request. The staff at the transit counter were very helpful and after a few phone calls made by them they told me that I did qualify for the free stop over. I remembered this term of service made by any I mean most airlines as I got my first free stop over stay in BANGKOK 30 years ago……of all places. The only sour point of this stop over is that I had to wait for more than one and a half hours to get to a hotel that was in Negombo. A beach resort. The staff at the counter that was in charge of the transfer to my hotel was busy with other earlier passengers . The journey for to the beach resort took me more than forty minutes as the traffic was a bit busy. No complaints from me as this stopover was given free of charge. GRATIS.
Arrived at the Hotel Browns Resort which is more than forty years old and it looked run down from the outside. I was expecting the same inside . Yes I was right but what more can I complain. The room was basic but clean but the beach was awesome. They were a lot of western tourist mostly British(who else) in the hotel. After refreshing myself I then had a buffet lunch which was mainly seafood. Inquired about a day trip to Colombo which was about 30km from Negombo. The offer was USD 50 for four hour trip with a taxi.
A bit expensive for me and I decided to take a tour of Negombo for USD 10 for three hours in a tut tut. After some negotiations with the tut tut driver I did manage to get it down to USD 8. The first stop was the fishing village. By the time I arrived there (midday) there were just a few customers at the market and the sellers were trying to offload the remains of the days catch. Wandered around the beach where the fishermen were drying salted fish. The smell of the stench of the fishes was a nice experience .We then stopped at a fort that is now being used as a prison. According to the tut tut driver it was built by the Dutch and renovated by the British. I told the tut tut driver about the Portugese,Dutch and the British presence in Malaysia too and he laughed and was not surprised at all as he told me that they were everywhere in the world.The next stop was the town of Negombo itself. Traffic was chaotic and I really wondered about the rate of accidents there. I decided to buy some tee shirts but found out it was more expensive than Kuala Lumpur. After doing some window shopping I stopped by the local mosque to do my asar prayers. The wuduk (abulation) pool was unique as it has fishes in it. Still wondering till now the reason behind it. Arrived at the hotel and paid the tut tut driver and he requested another USD 2 as a tip at first I relented at his request but as he did driven me safely as possible as requested I did obliged at his request. I had a short nap for the rest of the day and woke up for dinner as my pick up was at 11pm. My flight to London was at 2 a.m the following morning.
Arrived at the Airport at 11.15 p.m . Security was tight but according to the driver it was tighter when the country was still at war with the LTTE Tigers. Well I have no complaints on tight security as I have always welcomed it.