This has been one of my favorite stops and I am really happy I saw Sri Lanka now. Sri Lanka is over 30% nature preserve with amazing wildlife and even more amazing people. I have to thank Naveen. Without him convincing me to come here I likely would have gone back to Sumatra (also amazing) before sailing to Chagos. I have to admit Galle harbor is my least favorite place in this amazing country. It is dirty, rough, and even after clearing customs you are still in this weird state of limbo where even bring in groceries requires an agent or bribe. All of which makes supplying a boat for 2 months in remote places difficult and expensive. My solution was a few trips a day to the grocery store only getting enough to fill a backpack which was never checked.
So after 7 weeks here I didn’t leave the harbor once. I traveled by bus and train with Kris for a few weeks then rented a scooter for a bit more freedom. Like Thailand, I don’t feel this country is better explored with a scooter than a yacht. Some of my favorite days here were simply riding around back roads looking for something I saw on google maps. People constantly invited me for tea or food and were amazed that I could ride a scooter missing and arm and leg (I was informed by a police officer that an amputee can not get a license in Sri Lanka). Side note for people traveling to Sri Lanka the police will chase you if you attempt to elude a stop and the fine for this is 1000 rupees (7usd0 and another 1000 rupees for speeding. I was again amazed that someone rented me a scooter without visibly having a second thought. I would at least ask someone looking like me if they could ride a scooter. Any way after 7 weeks I covered most of southern Sri Lanka by scooter. I was charged by an elephant, kids, the police, busses, and a serious looking cow.
So now it is time to go back to sea. It is about 830 miles to Chagos and will be my 3rd time crossing the equator by sail (first on Tiama). I will also be without internet for around 2 months so my last blog post for a bit. I am pretty sure I will have tons of pictures and videos next time I’m online.