* After a dispute with the hotel over their ‘creative’ charging techniques for rooms (a hefty ‘service’ charge and doubling up on the drivers room charge really was ridiculous!) we headed to a little cafe for a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast – although fish curry and chilli’s really was too much for me in the morning so plain roti’s with marmite it was (which in hindsight was a good idea as Beth and Kate got really dodgy tums!)
* We found an amazing handicraft initiative ran by a lovely woman who taught others to make lace and crotchet, it was all beautiful and with the right marketing could be amazing!
*The Power of Hands initiative had just come to an end but we visited the store still employing the same women under the name of Shoba, the women sit in a brightly lit area creating lace, whilst behind them a brightly coloured shop beckoned us in, it was lovely to see them working and being able to buy their products in front of them, and it should be interesting how Kate can help them with a Western perspective when she returns for work experience.
*A nice relax by the harbour was greatly needed after the past couple of days of hustle and bustle, and a very cute baby was thrust upon me for a photo opportunity with a white blonde girl which amused Saida, Beth and Kate!
*The afternoon was spent exploring Sri Lanka’s coir industry, we visited an amazing cottage industry size plant who retted and cleaned the fibres, and also a small household of women who made lengths of coir rope used in agriculture. Trekking through the tropical forest to get there we spotted huge monkeys swinging from the trees as well as a kingfisher and a huge lizard!
* The night was finished with a great meal in a beautiful restaurant right on the beach, sadly Kate was really ill by this time and had to be taken to the pharmacy and back to the hotel for a good sleep, but Dr Lacdas did a very good job of entertaining us with his exciting journeys across the globe and penchant for a glass or two of Arrack!