Its a Sri Lankan Journey, of course, and we’re going by plane! In a small, 16-seater that flies only as high as is absolutely necessary, and it is the grandest of adventures.
From the time you take off from the rendezvous point (no terminals here, but an awning, or an umbrella, and always the widest, most friendly of smiles) on a riverbank or lakeside location, until you arrive at your destination’s equally watery disembarkation point, you’re really flying. Perhaps no wind in the hair, but the thrilling sensation of flying above the earth, being able to see everything that’s going on below you. And believe me, there’s lots to see. A trip to the fort city of Galle? If the weather’s right, you’ll fly south along the entire length of coastline, checking out everything along the way: the rivers and towns, the palm fringed golden sand beaches, and the fortified city itself. Up to Kandy? There’s Bible Rock, just there, seemingly, outside the window.
Tourism is a pivotal industry in Sri Lanka and millions of visitors from around the world have explored this island paradise using land transport only. That is, until last year, when two of these 16-seater Twin Otters (given their lively paint jobs and fitted out for amphibious take-offs and landings) began to service the major tourist destinations. Where, before, it might take several hours to drive up to Kandy, deep within the mountains, now one can be there in around half an hour, 35 minutes to Galle, in the deep south.
Take it from me, flying our new Sri Lanka Airlines domestic service , the getting there is an exciting and memorable part of the journey once more.