Daniel and I left at 5.15am. I had wanted to leave earlier to make it easier to navigate Colombo. This proved to be no benefit to us whatsoever. It still took about an hour and a half to get though the city. We got majorly lost and ended up using my phone’s sat nav to get a North point to try and work out where we were supposed to be going. Adding to the fact we were lost, we were being stopped every 15 mins by the military to have our documents checked over and were asked various questions like ‘where are you going?’ and ’where are you from?’ And also ‘where were we studying?’ They were very interested that a British person would be travelling with an American.

Once the city was navigated Daniel was very keen to drive despite not having a licence. He thought that it would be a good opportunity to try his hand at the Lankan roads. He was quite good!! The buses, however kept bullying him off the road and we had a few near misses. We had to swap over when we came to check points because of the lack of licence. This we did about 100 metres from the checkpoints. They were heavily enforced army roadblocks. Being camouflaged we tended not to notice that there were soldiers out on point watching one of us run round, skipping on the scolding tarmac and the other limber over the seats to become the driver. I think they were far too keen to stay out of the heat.
The drive, in the end, took about 9 hours of bumpy unmade road until we got about 40 kilometres from Trinco where there was a freshly laid road. A local Japanese cement company had provided this and it was very luxurious after the pothole-ridden track we’d been on.
This lasted for about 20 kilometres then abruptly stopped and reverted back to its original developing-world-style highway.
I met Petr at the train station and made a program for the next day.

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