Sri Lanka Roadtrip

July 13th, 2017
by Raphael Rychetsky
Sri Lanka
Photography, Travel, Roadtrip

Visiting Sri Lanka was a spontaneous idea. I had to leave Thailand to refresh my visa and my friend Maria had the idea to go to Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks. I liked the idea as I heard stories about the country from my grandparents who lived there for some time. What I didn’t know before: It would also be my first motorbike roadtrip!

The first evening, Maria and I went to Galle Face Green to see the sunset, and boy, what an experience! Lots of people, tourists, and locals, came together to enjoy the evening and everybody seemd to a good time. Maria laughed and told me I had my “hippie moment” because I was so happy.

Train to Hikkaduwa

We took the train down south. Hot, no seats, but amazing views along the coast all the time. From time to time people walked by selling water or fruits.

The next stop was the small town Hikkaduwa, a famous surfing spot. I even had some surfing lessons, with only small success tbh. But at least I had fun. After a few days, Maria left and went to the north, I took a tuktuk to the next big town Galle with the plan to rent a scooter. It was a bit of am odysee, but I found one in the end.

I had no plan, no route. Every morning I looked at the map and decided where I’d go this day. I drove down south to Weligama and took another surfing lesson in the morning. People were very friendly to me and wanted to hear my story, and of course, I wanted to hear their story, too. From English teacher who ownes a restaurant. From the old guy who worked at a hotel, he lost his family and house in 2004 when the tsunami hit the coast. From the family where I spent Tamil New Year, who asked me to join them for dinner.

That happens when you look at google maps and you decide to take the shortcut. The road conditions got worse and worse and I was alone. I kept driving, the roads were so steep that the scooter turned off from time to time. At the end of the day I was so happy that I arrived at a village with hotel.

One of the highlights was driving through Lunugamvehera National Park on my way to Ella with the famous Nine Arches Bridge.

From Ella I drove to Haputale – a small city with amazing views. Shortly after I arrived the weather got very bad and in only a couple of minutes clouds appeared. Gone was the amazing view, but with all the storm and rain the whole mood changed and the town looked like a ghost town.

My trip brought me to towns where tourists are rarely seen. I enjoyed walking around, watching people living their everyday life and seeing the different architectures.

The guys were so interested in my camera and wanted that I take photos of them. Still some of my favorite portraits.

Back in Galle, I took the train up to Colombo. A very helpful tuktuk driver drove me in the early to the next train station. I even got the express train and I was able to find a seat!

Back in Colombo, I met Maria again and we went back to Galle Face Green, where we started the trip.

Raphael Rychetsky

Raphael Rychetsky is a travel and landscape photographer.