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Negombo: Fire Dragon Guest House

SRI LANKA | Sunday, 4 May 2014 | Views [1509]

Hassan and one of the cats, Negombo

Hassan and one of the cats, Negombo

FOR ONCE WE TOOK A BIT OF OUR OWN ADVICE – we stayed in Negombo Beach, not Colombo, for our last night in Sri Lanka.  Negombo Beach is dominated by three overpriced Jetwing Resorts, the kind of places that American tourists prefer.  Not only do they add 20% tax and 10% service charge to their outrageous rate, they charge $6/hour for Internet!

boat

   Negombo Beach

The Fire Dragon Guesthouse, on the other hand, has charming rooms, “any time” breakfast, free WiFi and DVDs and a nice library.  It’s on a quiet side street 150 meters from the beach – no great loss; the beach is a bit scummy.  And the price is more than reasonable, somewhere between backpacker and upscale.  Hassan from Male and Brit Sara have made Fire Dragon feel like home – they even have some rescued kittens and puppies for guests to stroke.

her

     Purple Heron, Mutharajawela Marsh

Hassan contacted his friend, Lali, to take us to the Mutharajawela Marsh Sanctuary for our last birding opportunity in Sri Lanka.  The boat driver didn’t understand English so Lali came along as translator and another pair of eyes. Mutharajawela was what we had hoped Kerala would be, a maze of canals and mangroves.  We saw several huge monitor lizards and 25 or 30 species of birds including two of our targets.  The yellow bittern and the black bittern bring Connie up to 3610 species and number 256 on the Surfbirds life list.

bit

    Yellow Bittern

Back at Fire Dragon, Hassan told us we could have the room until dinner time since our flight wasn’t until 9:00 so we spent the afternoon watching the first two seasons of West Wing.  You can bet that the big resorts wouldn’t have been so accommodating.

 

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