Colombo to Uppuveli

For a long time we have heard musings from other travellers that the beaches in Sri Lanka are unparalleled. From palm trees encasing white sand beaches, bright sunny skies reflecting in the clear water, turtles and pristine coral reefs, we knew that we had to experience the countries shoreline. 
So, we decided to venture East, to the town of Trincomalee. 

There are trains departing from Colombo Fort station to Trincomalee twice a day. There is a 7am service or a 7pm overnight sleeper service. We opted for the 7am service, meaning that we had to catch the 5:15am service from Negombo into Colombo. 

Just our luck, we managed to sleep through our alarm and wake up 15 minutes before the train was leaving for Colombo. We still had half our things sprawled across the room and still had to make the walk to the station. Luckily enough, Rasika was awake and offered us a lift. We made the train just in time. A group of friendly locals ensured that we hopped on the Colombo train, something we managed not to do the day before (we went the opposite way). 

Sri Lanka is insanely warm during the day, so experiencing the delightful temperature that pre-sunrise has to offer was incredible. Travelling by train allowed us to see sites we never would've seen via tuk tuk. A personal favourite was an old train deport that had been abandoned and overtaken by nature. Vines, bushes and shrubs encased the bright red metal of an old train, almost as if it were getting pulled back into the earth. 
We arrived in Colombo 30 minutes before our train was leaving. We bought a ticket to Trincomalee in 3rd class, which is barely any different from second class and cheaper. 
 Hungry from the mornings efforts, we decided to have breakfast at a local shop next to the train station. We were both fed on a mere 240 LKR and full until lunch time. We walked pass several shops selling fresh fruit and grabbed some bananas and oranges for about 80 LKR. 

The train ride from Colombo to Trincomalee takes around 8.5 hours - so be sure to bring extra snacks, a charged iPod, and a camera. Vendors jump on at each stop and walk through the carriages selling their items. We devoured some delicious rotti and a bag of popcorn. The scenery you view from the train windows are incredible. Vast, damp rice paddies. Lush green jungle. Dry, baron paddocks. 

Take the train everywhere. It offers scenery that you never would've seen before and is a great experience to get amoung the locals! The locals are genuinely fascinated about where you're from and how you are. They offer their seats. They offer you snacks and drinks. They offer such kindness that you'd be silly not to mingle with them in anyway. 

After 8.5 hours and an hour and a half of that time used to wait on the platform of a station in the middle of nowhere for someone, anyone, to attach the engine to the rest of the train, we finally arrived in the town of Trincomalee. 


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Budget travel advice from the lousiest beatniks that wander on this land.