I used to love to travel and in the past was the main organiser of trips for groups of friends. Bungalows on estates were a favourite destination.
I just returned from Bandarawela, we stayed a couple of days at an elegantly appointed bungalow, with a lot of history preserved, well laid out with some fine views. The food and atmosphere were excellent, so whats the complaint?
Its the drive. The roads are now a nightmare. Its not that the roads are crumbling, its just that the traffic and driving are maddening.
I always leave early and generally after getting a few miles outside of Colombo the traffic peters out and the rest of the drive is very pleasant. If one leaves early in the morning the Colombo traffic is avoided altogether and the whole drive is a breeze. There are occasional blocks in towns or a slow moving lorry or bus will hold things up for a while but that was about it.
Now, come the long weekend, half the country seems to be on the move. Many don't seem to know how to drive, wandering erratically around the road with no clear signalling and there are heaps and heaps of trishaws and "batta" vans on every single road, holding up traffic everywhere.
Until recently trishaws were generally concentrated around towns and "batta" vans did not exist; now both are found all over the main trunk roads. Add to that the aforementioned Sunday drivers who tail slow vehicles without overtaking and the trip becomes a bit like dodgem cars, constantly seeking gaps in the road trying overtake these miserable creatures.
Mind you, I was not even driving on this trip, (or on the last trip, when I first experienced the problem).
All this frustration while only doing the backseat driving, watching the road like a hawk, shouting instructions to my Uncle to overtake, overtake and keep blowing that damn horn! I couldn't even enjoy the passing scenery, usually so pleasant and almost a part of the holiday itself.
I ate far too much on this trip, especially the puddings, but I'm off now to look for more comfort food-home made bread pudding. I think I deserve it, don't you?