After a slow morning with some pool and enjoying the breakfast (this time to lounge-piano music) we packed our bags for departure. The next stop was Matara, Love Birds Hotel to be specific, where we would spend the upcoming three nights and Kalle & Gunnel would join us the last night for celebrating New Years. We had no booked transport to get there though, and the bus options that looked semi-promising in the morning now looked less so and I felt that packed buses for a few hours with stops and our bags was perhaps not the optimal adventure for today, so we asked for the lady in charge whether they could arrange a car with AC and seat belts. This time we inspected it right away and it indeed had both two requirements fulfilled and wasn’t a steal either.
There was some time for podcasts during the ride and I told the driver that we could point out directions as we got closer to our destination. At this time it became apparent that our driver did not speak English, at all. After some Google Translate between English and Singhalese and hand-waving we had overcome that obstacle though – and after some struggles (the sign to the hotel was missing) we finally got there and were welcomed by the owner.
It became immediately clear that we had perhaps been a bit hasty when looking at the rooms and images on booking. The hotel had four rooms in total, about 12 square meters including a spacious bathroom. It had AC and great wifi connection, and a small porch with 2 meters of grass in front of it. Then some rocks we hadn’t seen on the first images (but was clearly visible on later ones), then the ocean – with waves that looked great for surfing, not so great for Juni to play in.
But being the optimist I and Juni changed into swimwear and played a bit in the waves, after loosing her footing twice we took a pause and focused on searching for sea shells instead. Mona was a bit in doubt about the place, as was I, but we decided to take it one step at a time and asked the owner if he could arrange a Tuk-tuk to “The Dutchman’s Street” for a late lunch which he quickly sorted out.
It was a nice hip place, popular with the locals – but it took quite some time to get our food, despite not being crowded and most other guests where sipping on drinks. The Singapore Styled Noodles I got were tasty, but I could possible have been a bit biased due to my hunger when the food finally arrived. We headed back to the hotel and slacked a bit and played on the beach for the sunset.
Back in our room we checked some possible alternative accommodation but there wasn’t really anything to complain about – except ourselves here and perhaps this would be fine after all? We decided to at least give it a night or two but possibly change New Years. During the research the AC decided to die surprisingly, I couldn’t get any reactions from it so asked the owner for advice. He explained that a good smack on the power outlet usually does it and demonstrated it, causing the AC to get back on. That worked for perhaps 5 or 10 minutes before it died again, I tried the smacking without luck and then tried to unplug the AC from the wall. This is where I realized it had partially melted inside the wall socket. I gently pushed it back and told the owner that somehow it died again and I couldn’t get it working with the slap. The owner did exactly what I did, and I pointed out when he looked at the melted metal prongs that he really shouldn’t be touching those things while power on. He said he would fix this in 10 minutes which I doubted but fair enough. Half an hour later I asked about the progress and he told me a guy was coming over in a few minutes and sure enough, a friend with fresh sockets and tools came by and replaced it all. That worked for half an hour and luckily the electrician was still around and he concluded that the powerplug he had reused the first time itself had been damaged to fastened the power cable straight into the wall and asked if I was OK with this, and they would fix that in the morning. It seemed impossible for anyone to reach the plug by accident and in no way could it fall down and hit us so we agreed it was fine.
After some more research we realized that regardless of refunds for our stay, there weren’t really that many other options to stay at – it seems many people had booked their New Years accommodation more than two days in advance. We hit the bed early and I enjoyed some Hollow Knight on the switch before falling asleep to the lulling sound from the ocean.