I came home feeling I had had a holiday - warm sunshine, nice food, having fun and an 'easy' country to have been in.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
For me the best day was the big climb up to Nurawa Eliya (day 8 ex London). A huge variety of scenery and a decent physical challenge with 2000 m of ascent. Fortunately, the steep hills aren't long and the long hill isn't steep.
What goes up must come down. There are also some epic descents - really exciting when round the bend the tarmac road surface disappears into gravel!
- What did you think of your group leader?
Everything worked, it all held together, Pieter made time to talk to all of us and generally took the load (and the lead in some of the wilder exploits). All that could be expected.
Cycling in Sri Lanka is what he does as a day job, so he knows the country thoroughly.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
- Go for it! But note it is more than a 'moderate' ride overall with a couple of long days and it's hot. Confidence in traffic is necessary too - the faster ones of us got to overtake most other sorts of traffic at some time. Sri Lankan traffic is slower than British traffic, and more used to slow vehicles.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Some of the road surfaces are appalling, or even non-existent (there are some epic roadworks under way) - I'm glad I didn't take my touring bike. The supplied mountain bikes with semi-road type tyres (not knobblies) were ideal for the job.
Breakfasts were pretty good (British style if required, apart from the chicken sausages) and there were good opportunities to feed up on fish buns etc too en route, so no shortage of food for strenuous days. Don't expect to lose weight!
Sketch maps for the longer days provided a measure of independence, so it was not necessary to cycle in a bunch all day.