Skip to content

The really different north


We woke up really soon and decided to give the jacuzzy another try, but suddenly turned off and never turned on again. This time we didn't bother calling and just went to have breakfast, which was really amazing!

We checked out and explained the problem with the jacuzzy, and we were expecting a discount or something... but got an apology, which was ok. They called a tuktuk for us and we arrived 5 minutes later than a bus was supposed to go, although in the station timetable didn't show. We waited 1 hour for the next one, got some seats and... Then the music started... for almost 6 hours!!! They made a stop for people to buy lunch, but we didn't go down. In the end everything hurted from sitting and our heads hurted too and we were grumpy.

When we arrived to Jaffna it was already dark, and after a couple tuktuk didn't want to take us, we stopped another one and asked him if he knew our accomodation and said yes. We asked how much and repplied whatever we wanted. What??? He took us there and he told us he was the brother of the owners, and didn't let us pay him. After the bus we needed someone nice!

We worked, I called to see how my mum was (got an op) and got some rice in the hotel for dinner.

Sleep: Senthil complex


We slept long, had breakfast in our hotel and got the motorbike (the best motorbike in Sri Lanka by far! and new helmets that were our size!). We asked another couple what were they doing, but they were driving to Mannar (minimum 2 hour way), so we decided to enjoy the surroundings. We drove to the library, and uppon arrival the security guard told  us visitor hours are in the afternoon. So we crossed the road and went into the fort, and saw what was left of it.

Then we got on the motorbike to ride around islands: through Mandaitivu, Kayts and Punkudutivu. We went out the main road and it was a fantastic view, with lots of nice temples. Back to the main road we followed until Kurikadduwan, where the ferry leaves, but it was a bit late so we didn't go. Alex went to the bathroom and those 5 minutes were enough for a guy to ask me if I am single (no), alone there (point at the two helmets), if the ione I was with was my boy (yes). Oh man. Even his friends made fun of him. We rode back, stopped at a big Cargylls to get money and some food, and went back to our hotel to eat it and work. We had dinner there too.

Sleep: Senthil complex

Top of the fort in Jaffna
Secondary road around the islands: guaranteed beautiful views
Colorful hindu temple. Well, like all of them


After breakfast, we asked in the hotel if Google maps is right and Kayts is directly linked with mainland. He said yes, but the ferry between it and Karainagar doesn't allow motorbikes.

We decided to ride to Karaiganar directly then and first check Casuarina Beach. We skipped the main entrance and drove to the secondary one, and was compleeeeeetely full of trash! We walked through it towards the main entrance and just around it everything was clean, with built shadows, toilets and ice cream shops. Nice little beach, if you keep around those 10 square meters!

Driving more around the island, we suddenly saw a Fort Hammenhiel sign next to a enclosed area, and when we approached it to go to the path surrounding it, the guard opened the door, wrote our plaque number, gave us a card and told us to go "to the hotel". So there we went: at the end of the road there was a hotel with the nice views of the tiny fort in its teeny tiny island. Apparently, this area and the hotel are managed by the Sri Lankan Navy, and they were ok with just looking around and then going away.

A couple minutes away we found the ferry, with some policeman there. We asked if we can take the bike on the ferry and they wobbled the head saying "oh oh", which we understood as a yes. So after waiting a bit, we crossed to Kayts with the ferry. Then we went towards the road that shows in Google maps connecting with land, and when we were almost there, a militar stopped us and told us we couldn't go there, so we took the way from the previous day.

We stopped at the railway station to ask for sleeper seats to Colombo but they were booked out and were not able to find somewhere selling private bus tickets around Jaffna. We went to Magos Indian Veg to have some lunch, which was really cheap and delicious and went to the hotel to work. After a long work call we hurried to try and catch the sunset next the fort, but we were there for the last... 2 seconds? Which was not so great. We went to Cargills and bought some dinner, and then Alex insisted on going to a phone gadgets shop in the mall. There were three young guys working there and we asked for a tempered glass to cover the crack in my screen, and after talking between them they said it could work but would most likely be a bubble. We decided to try it and one of them put it, and BOOM! Like a new phone. Special thanks to Alex for the idea and the guys for putting it so fine. 

We then worked a bit, and ate and drank the beers we still had left from the failed jacuzzy night, while speaking with a cute couple (a French girl and an Iranian boy) and a strange Austrian girl.

Sleep: Senthil complex

Watching the tiny fort in the tiny island, from the small island next to the bigger island.
The people in the hotel telling us motorbikes could not go on the ferry were not there for a long time, apparently


We booked online our night bus to Colombo, but something went wrong after payment and Alex didn't get a confirmation, so had to book again. We were supposed to leave Jaffna at 10pm so we have all day. We ask in the hotel and it was ok for them that we stayed in the common areas working until then. A retired couple from the UK explained to us they've been spending winter in Sri Lanka for the last 7 years: they are used to book rooms via Facebook and travel with public transport. Did I say they were really old? It amazed me.

We then walked to Mangos to have lunch again. The Nallur temple was supposed to be closed until later, but we saw people going and decided to visit then too. Men have to remove their Tshirts to go inside, so Alex had to do that too. The we went to Rio's to have an overrated and way too sweet icecream, but the place was full of locals and the closest to a cafĂ© around. We were working when Alex got a call: our bus was going one hour sooner and from another place! Our host speaked with them on the phone and organized a tuktuk to take us there.

Sleep: Bus Jaffna > Colombo!

The Nallur temple, where men must go inside with the upper body uncovered
Published: 25 February 2018, by susana

Do you want to leave a comment?

I travelled to Sri Lanka with Alex, and spent December 2017 and January 2018 there. We travelled with our laptops and worked in the afternoon and/or evening, so we had time to see a lot of places, but took it slow.

Entry 17 out of the 20 from this trip

December 2017