Take 4: Sri Lanka - 1 of 20+

With the first flight under our belts we have a week in Sri Lanka ahead of us. Its boiling hot as we step off the plane under what appeared to be bright blue skies. We'd made it - coconut palms lining the runway, tropical prickly heat.

Pancho's musings: The only immediate draw back was the lack of toilet paper, airports usually seem to cater well for these primal needs. The added factor of a power hose next to the privy didn't do much to put my mind at ease. It seems quite a novel yet fairly unruly contraption. Now, a beday - I can get behind - they have three possible uses; for a wet behind, for the untrained, a water fountain. But a flexible 5 foot long hose... Surely that's placing too much trust on Joe Public?!

Anyway, mustn't digress, thirty minutes later and right on cue, we step out on to the airport forecourt and just then monsoon rain clouds roll in as if to welcome us, along with dozens of taxi drivers competing for our custom. It's the same world over, these cabbies are the most expensive option - avoid, whatever it takes. We'd been pre-warned to haggle and set a price before getting a ride, so we embraced the weather and got drenched for our first taste of crazy traffic weaving manoeuvres in a tuk-tuk.

The flight was fairly disorientating, we were due to leave at 21:30 but left an hour late, so dinner was eventually severed between midnight and 1am. This allowed 5 hours of 'economy sleep' (upright chairs and the usual wake-up-with-a-stiff-kneck guarantee). The food option on Sri Lankan Air was questionable; Breakfast was served at 6am, I mean who eats chicken curry for !

For Kat, the on-flight entertainment (films) is always a welcome reward to flying, which tends to be more of a chore for her. Panch wants to be a pilot when he grows up, so he's in his element just looking out of the window and tracking the flight data - like a pro.

Now, as fresh initiates of 'the soggy tuk-tuk ride club' - having passed hair-raisingly close through impossibly tight spaces at speed - we conclude the rumours are true. No rules apply on these roads! As it was we arrived to a kind of exposure therapy that would prepare us for the rest of our stay - what would be an immersive, fast paced, white knuckle ride of a trip taking in Negombo, Sigiriya, Kandy, Galle and Unawatuna. One thing is for certain; 7 days is not enough to see all that Sri Lanka has to offer!

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