Reaching Jaffna on our second day was a big deal! We had cycled over 400 km in two days and we survived! You get this confidence that everything after this is not going to be that bad as these two days. Well that was true to a certain extent – you can read my worst cycling experience on this day. We covered one of the hottest routes without ending up dehydrated and it was one of loneliest districts.
We decided to go to Point Pedro – the Northern tip of Sri Lanka. The simple lifestyle maintained by these folks gave us a realization of the unnecessary consumerism that is dominating the capital city, Colombo. Almost everyone here cycles and the cars you see on the road are restored Ambassador Cars. You don’t find flashy cars unlike in Colombo. People here keep it real. We had breakfast in a small Saivar shop and it was by far the best Pittu I have ever tasted. You can taste different spices and flavors in each bite. We saw the kitchen and it was so clean and tidy. We chose a small shop because they pay a lot of attention to detail 😉 big places often add too much of salt and sugar.
Our rest house was very close to the beautiful Nallur Kovil and we started following the road signs that pointed to Pedro. We passed beautiful green fields filled with fruits and vegetables, farms that bred cows and fishermen with nets heavy with fish. It got me thinking that Jaffna was already a self-sustainable city. It was no wonder why the separatist groups at that time were so confident about creating a state of their own. This city had everything it needed.
The road to Pedro was a bumpy ride – since the fishing village is close to the sea.
Once we arrived, we took our usual selfies and had a small break at a restaurant managed by the Army. There we saw a signboard which pointed toward different countries and stating how far away it is from that point. We were still in Jaffna and we had to move out of this place. We asked for directions from a hardware shop and found a tap to fill our bottles. This is where Saroj was thankful that I knew Tamil (enough to survive at least). I was thinking at the back of my head – didn’t this guy figure this out before he planned the trip?
We went through villages and it was so deserted that we were able to take photos on the middle of the road. The roads were very unforgiving – bumpy, broken. For a bike like ours which uses thin tyres, the wastage is high. At this point we wished we had a mountain bike. By the way don’t mind the heat – it’s so damn hot and we picked the wrong month (equinox) for the job.
We found a shady place in the middle of this village, the land belonged to an ancient Kovil. I was relieved to be surrounded by trees and went to sit under one… then suddenly I saw a yellow snake trying to catch a squirrel! “No thanks, I’ll sit somewhere else” I told myself. Found a tap here and a well which was occupied by monkeys. They didn’t mind as long as we didn’t bring any food. This bumpy road was a real hassle and I was wishing for some flat land.