Our final journey was from Trincomalee to Colombo by bus. I have to be honest about the trip because we did not have much of a buffer. We had to catch a flight to India from the Colombo airport that night. One thing that travel has taught me is that things can change at any point of time, so it is always good to be prepared. Since our flight was late at night so we had a couple of hours of buffer time. Luck was in our favour and our journey did not have a glitch in it. I am however glad that we chose to leave early in the morning for a variety of reasons.
GETTING FROM TRINCOMALEE TO COLOMBO
Before I get into the details of our trip, I thought I would talk about all the different ways to get from Trincomalee to Colombo. In my opinion there is the cheap budget way and then there re the expensive options. You can choose to hire a driver and a car to take you across the country to Colombo. It would be a comfortable journey, but it would come with a price. Alternatively, you could choose to rent a car and drive. If you do, make sure that you have a temporary driving permit which can be obtained from Colombo since International driving licenses are not accepted according to the Sri Lankan laws. Taking the bus is the cheaper way of commuting. You can choose to take an airconditioned bus or a regular bus. After the disastrous episode during our journey from Kandy to Dambulla, we were quite content on taking the non airconditioned buses. They are cheap, comfortable and easy to use.
TRINCOMALEE TO COLOMBO BY BUS
The food stall on our way from Trincomalee to Colombo.
Catching the bus from Trincomalee turned out to be a surprisingly easy task. We caught a tuk-tuk close to our accommodation (Natraj Hotel) which dropped us off at the Trincomalee bus stand. Like most bus stands in Sri Lanka, this one too was confusing. Luckily, the people in Sri Lanka are super helpful and 30 seconds after heading into the bus stand, we found our bus and hopped in. The bus was scheduled to leave at 8 am and it left on time.
At around 256 kilometres away from Trincomalee, getting to Colombo takes time. While Google maps will tell you that it takes around 5 and a half hours to reach, it took us longer. One of the things that we hadn’t accounted for was the fact that we were heading back to Colombo at the start of a long weekend. That meant that the traffic was insane! While the traffic heading into Colombo wasn’t as bad as the traffic heading out, the roads were jammed. It meant that our journey took significantly longer than expected. It also made me feel extremely grateful that we left early and had a good enough buffer.
The bus made one stop along the way so that people could use the restroom and catch a bite to eat for lunch. I have to be honest. There wasn’t much to eat in the vicinity other than a couple of uniquely flavoured Sri Lankan drinks and a few fried snacks. If those don’t pick your fancy, I would suggest carrying stuff for yourself. One thing that you should carry is water. The journey is long and when it gets hot you will be grateful that you carried some.
The bus pulled into the Colombo bus stand somewhere around 4 pm in the evening which was perfect for us. It gave us enough time to catch a bite to eat and roam the city before heading off to the airport. While the journey from Trincomalee to Colombo was long, it was pleasant. It signalled the end of our two week holiday in Sri Lanka. One that we enjoyed thoroughly.