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NEWS & EVENTS | Cycle Sri Lanka (Coast to Coast) | Itinerary
This page can be downloaded as a word document: Cycle Sri Lanka 2005 - Itinerary (Word document, csl05_itinerary.doc)

Day 1, Fri 14th Oct: Depart London
We depart London on overnight flight to Colombo.

Day 2, Sat 15th Oct: Arrive Sri Lanka � Colombo
We arrive into Colombo 15.40 where we are met by our guides and are driven by private bus to Negombo (15/20 minutes). Here we check into our Hotel followed by a briefing and bike fitting with our guides on the challenge ahead and then dinner before finally collapsing after an exhausting day.


Day 3, Sun 16th Oct: Negombo to Kithulgala
For the first leg of our challenge we leave early in the morning to make the most of the cooler air and start by cycling south along the coastal roads with the ocean on one side and the ancient lagoon and canals, built by the Dutch, on the other. We rest at regular intervals at monasteries and markets to take photos and top up with water and after about 40km we pass the village of Gampbaha. This is the beginning of the mountainous central highlands region that we shall be cycling through over the next three days. We will stop for an early lunch in a coconut or rubber plantation where we are taught a little about the local trades. Back in the saddle once again we start the serious business of climbing into the foothills of the highland region all the way to Ruwanwella where we meet our transfer vehicles that will take us to Kithulgala. This was the site for the filming of David Lean`s masterpiece �Bridge on the River Kwai� and we stay in the Kithulgala Rest House that overlooks the magnificent Kalani River. For those with enough energy there is the chance to take a guided trip over the river and into the forest on a tour of the local communities. For our meal tonight we have a magnificent buffet of local delicacies. Approx distance 95km

Day 4, Mon 17th Oct: Kithulgala to Nuwara Eliya
This is one of our toughest days as we will be making our way into the heart of the central highlands. We start with a short transfer to Hatton through the Ginigathena Pass, avoiding a climb of over 20 miles on the main road. Here we start our days challenge with a tough hill almost immediately and by mid morning we arrive at the Devon planters` bungalow on the Thalawakelle tea estate where we stop for a cup of the finest Ceylon Tea, overlooking the magnificent Devon and St. Clair waterfalls. Our route will be off the main roads as much as possible but there will be tea estate traffic and on our down hill sections we should exercise extreme caution. We end the day with a descent to Nanu Oya where the minibus will take us the last steep 7 mile climb to Nuwara Eliya. The ultra-keen can do this leg on their bikes and meet us at the Galway Forest Lodge where we will be staying. Approx distance 65km.


Day 5, Tues 18th Oct: Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
We leave Nuwara Eliya for our last day in the tough Central Highlands. Coming out of town we take on 7km of hill immediately and then a great 13km downhill all the way to the Labukelle Tea Estate, where we are taken around and shown the leaf preparation process. Here we are transferred to Delpitiya where we cycle on almost deserted roads for the next 60km with the most spectacular views. We should stop for lunch close to the village of Pukuressa with its wonderful waterfalls and in the afternoon we make our way through Gallaha and all the way to Kandy. We arrive into town along side its beautiful University and continue on to our Hotel in the centre of this lovely and relaxed city. Approx distance 90km.

Day 6, Wed 19th Oct: Kandy to Habarana
After a great breakfast we make our way to Wattegama situated just at the top of a hill outside Kandy and it is here that we start our challenge today. For our morning section we are once again on quiet roads, descending from the hill country to the flat �dry zone�, with great views of the Knuckles mountain range to the east. From Matale the roads are flanked by giant fig trees, that provide welcome shelter from the sun, and we stop for lunch at a local spice garden where we can see the abundance of fresh fruit and veg that is produced in this region. Our last section today is to the famous Dambulla Cave Temples where we visit this important Sri Lankan religious site. After a good break we are transferred to our hotel in Habarana and have the rest of the afternoon to relax by the pool or take an optional visit to the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya or an Elephant safari by jeep in the Minneriya Girital Sanctuary. Approx distance 72km.


Day 7, Thurs 20th Oct: To Trincomalee
Our final day will be almost totally on the flat and so although it is a long way it should be very quick work. We should also find very little traffic as this area is just recovering from the effects of more than 20 years of civil war and the 2004 tsunami. By the time we get there it will only just be re-opening to business, tourism and traffic. We have our lunch at Kantale by the side of the huge reservoir, one of the oldest and biggest in Sri Lanka. Today we shall also pass Kandurukanda Mountain and a small section of the Somawathie Chaitiya Sanctuary. Along the last section of road as we come into Tampalakamam, just outside Trincomalee, we also pass the Naval Headwork Sanctuary. Our hotel will be ready for our arrival and this evening we mark the end of the challenge with a typical Sri Lankan BBQ celebratory meal on the golden sandy beaches of Trincomalee. Approx distance 84km.

Day 8, Fri 21st Oct: Back to Negombo
Finally we have a late breakfast for those that wish to relax after the long challenge. There will be a last chance to take a swim before an early lunch after which we start the long journey back to Negombo where we will spend the night.


Day 9, Sat 22nd Oct: International Childcare Trust projects visit/Back to Colombo
We will have breakfast and then visit 2 of ICT`s projects where we can see the results of our fundraising before returning to Colombo. We arrive into our hotel in the capital in the early evening where dinner will be waiting for us. There will be a chance also to see Colombo by night or just to relax in the hotel with a beer overlooking the ocean.

Day 10, Sun 23rd Oct: Return to UK
Flight back to the UK in time for work on Monday!

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