On April 20, 2016, Benjamin Pages (the first French volunteer at Horizon Lanka) and I started our journey to Batticaloa from Badulla. In fact, Badulla is a special place in my life. I spent my honeymoon in Badulla for a whole year exactly ten years ago!!!! Badulla was a nice little city in Sri Lanka with constant drizzles I love to see. The city was clean and beautiful. Now it is even cleaner and bigger with a lot of new shops and buildings coming up. I loved riding the motorbike with my beautiful wife from here to Bandarawela, Haputale, Nuwara Eliya, Passara, Ella and Spring Valley. In fact, leaving this cool city and going to Colombo in 2007 was the silliest mistake I did as it disturbed a lot of things in my life. I wish I could turn back time.
Before doing anything else, I wanted to see Sahira Akka’s family in Pahalagama, Badulla. This is where my wife and I stayed for a year just after our marriage. Sahira akka’s family was so warm they let us stay at their upstairs even though we had no money to pay the rent. In fact, they did not even mention it till we paid them after a few months. Such nice people!!! It was so good to meet them after 10 years of meeting them first in Badulla in 2006. It was also nostalgic to see the upstairs where we spent our honeymoon. It was so difficult to say goodbye to the family and the house.
Next we went to see the orphanage my friend Krishanasamy Khandeeban runs in Badulla city. Some destitute female students lived there. Khandeeban funds this school with the little money he makes by running a computer center in the heart of the Badulla city. His orphanage is a place worth helping if you can.
After visiting the orphanage we went to Khandeeban’s house where we were treated with a lavish lunch with an array of delicious dishes. His family was so warm and I felt guilty that they spent so much on a meal. I didn’t want them to spend money and time for such a feast.
We said goodbye to Khandeeban and left for Batticaloa. Both Ben and I took turns with riding as usual. We passed the small town of Meegahakiwula. The roads were very nicely laid and riding the bike was full of fun through the green backgrounds of trees and bluish mountain ranges.
We took a wrong turn and happened to ride through Mahaoya to Batticaloa passing Bibila. From Bibila to Batticaloa road was not so good but it was still drivable. Ben had searched the right road through Google maps but we did something silly and ended up riding through the bad road. Even though I am a tech enthusiast, still I prefer to get the information on roads from the people in the area by stopping for road directions from the people.
The road we took was also dangerous as people said wild elephants also cross the road. I don’t mind the elephants as long as the road was good. But it was not to be. We reached Mahaoya and stayed in a small guest house for the night. We both were exhausted and fell asleep faster.
The next day’s plan was to go to Trincomalee via Batticaloa.