Train travel in Sri Lanka from Negombo to Hikkaduwa
Day 3 of travelling in Ceylon.
Negombo to Hikkaduwa by train
We woke up at 10 AM and asked for late breakfast at 11 AM arranged by Stephanie, the owner of the place.
Nice and tasty late breakfast in the House of Esanya gave as morning energy before travel to the train station Maradana om the way to Colombo.
David played with the Stephanie daughter for a while before taxi arrival.
As Stephanie advised us, it is better to catch the seats here at Maradana because of overcrowded Colombo Fort station.
At 12 AM we got again to the another small red Suzuki Alto taxi from Negombo to Colombo.
David had forgotten his yellow bus at the House of Esanya, as Stephanie called later on our way to Colombo. I asked her to keep it for her daughter.
It was very funny when we stopped at the petrol station. We needed the petrol so driver asked us for 500 Rs to fill up the tank. We smiled at each other and gave him the money. What an experience.
Entering to motorway lead us to the police "control". They stopped us to ask our driver for a ride to Colombo for one of them. They did not see us in the back seats because of the black foils, so we were 3 there, front seat covered with the travel bag and car was full of luggage.
It was very funny because I asked if they checked for something, but our driver smiled and said that they just needed a ride to Colombo.
Driving at the empty highway on Sundays because most of the people in Sri Lanka don't work.
Arriving at Maradana railway station at 1:20 pm, waiting at the station for 45 minutes for our train to Hikkaduwa ending in Matara, going through the Colombo Fort station.
As we were waiting, the man responsible for changing the tables showing the departures at the station told us that our train is coming early so we better go to the platform 6 and wait for it.
We took our things and went there. After few minutes a train came so Jarka and David went inside the coach and I asked a man if it is the train for Hikkaduwa.
He set NO, but the train has just started to move with me alone on the platform with the large hockey bag, big travel wheeled case and big bag on my shoulders plus camera bag. I shouted on Jarka to quickly come back but they were way to deep in the coach.
So in seconds I had to quickly throw the first wheeled suitcase into the open door of the coach, passing my camera bag to complete stranger, started running and jumping on the train with the big bag with a help from one man who pulled me inside to be with my family. I remember David screaming my name very scared and hopeless.
I can not thank more to these people now. But I remember their faces, after we cooled down, smiling at us happy that they helped us to be together. Thank you again for such a big help.
I just want to remind you, why we were in Maradana train station instead of planned Colombo. Stephanie from the House of Esanya told us to get the train one station before Colombo to catch better or a seat on the express train by the coast as it is very crowded on this route.
At next Colombo main station, we left the train to catch our express train and to buy the tickets from Ella to Kandy as it is very popular and you better reserve your seats at least 3 or 4 days before your journey.
As we found out later travelling from Ella to Kandy, more difficult is to get tickets from Colombo to Kandy and from Kandy to Ella. It is the more prefered route by tourist to go to the middle of Sri Lanka.
Let's go back to Colombo, where our train story hasn't finished yet.
I stayed on the platform 5 with our belongings and Jarka went to the ticket office for Ella Kandy tickets. Our express train was scheduled for 14:25 from platform 5.
At 2:20 PM as Jarka and David came back to platform a train arrived in few minutes. As we thought that it is our train we jumped on the board with some other local people and group of Japanese and some other tourists. Be aware as there is no sign or announcement of the upcoming trains at the Colombo Fort.
The train was quite old, running slower and stopping at each station. I took my camera and as people started to leave the train I made up my space close to the door to get some nice shots.
I really enjoyed it and I can only recommend if you have more time for travelling to use this 2nd and 3rd class commuting trains to be also in contact with people from Sri Lanka.
Expect that Sri Lankans are curious as they don't see often Europeans in the trains. Some of them tried to offer me a room to rent in the hotel of their own or some from their family.
We finally arrived at the Aluthgama Railway Station, where slow commuting train ends and then it's returning back to Colombo Fort.
We had to wait for one hour for the 4:49 PM arriving train named RUHUNU KUMARI, the express train to Hikkaduwa. When we arrived at Hikkaduwa railway station, we took one of the few tuk-tuks that agreed with our price for the short drive to the hotel and restaurant Red Lobster.