Saturday, May 21, 2011

Experiencing heaven and hell in a single day!

It was a beautiful day.
The drive to Hikkaduwa absolutely amazing and as always with company I cherished. The entire beach stretch was empty as all the tourists has packed and gone and the season had ended. But the beach was glorious as it had not receded yet and we were the only people in our hotel which gave us an amazing amount of freedom. It was absolute paradise... until we had to head back to Colombo. And then all hell began to break loose.
We drove out of the hotel gates into a major traffic jam. Apparently there was a perehera and boy weren't we stuck. After two hours we heaved a sigh of relief as we passed the perehera and we thought our encounter with traffic was over. But we were sadly mistaken. Every kilometer of the way we encountered bumper to bumper traffic. It seems all the people who owned any form of transport be it lorry car or trishaw had decided to bring their vehicles on to the road. The fact that also there were thousands of people walking about the road and that most of the dansalas and pandals had encroached onto the road did not help to make things better.
Things really became bad when we got to Kalutara. For over three hours we had not progressed more than one kilometer. In the end it took us seven and a half hours to get to Colombo. Which was more time than we had spent at the beach. It seems I was lucky I met two people who had spent even more time on the road getting back to base the next day.
Note to self: Never ever plan to make a long trip on a wesak evening.


Jack Point said...

Always best to leave early, after breakfast or after lunch. The crowds start to build up towards evening, although this year it was particularly bad since the celebrations wenton a grand scale.

PP said...

gosh, this wesak was insane. i live in what was declared a buddhist zone or whatever, and it was complete chaos. and bizarre also, because most of it had nothing to do with wesak. i was lucky enough to not leave the house but those who did reported massive traffic jams and real lankan style bajawwas with alcohol and meat. so much for the poya ban.