We had been looking at travelling to Sri Lanka for a while, but like most things we do left it until the last minute, booking fights and contacting Sarath only four days before our arrival. Luckily Sarath was able to act as our guide, driver and quickly became our friend, treating us and our son like family.
We had been wary of doing too much travelling, as our son was only turning two on the trip, and we only had nine days, so the information we gave Sarath was to do half the trip in and around Kandy with maybe a visit to the nearby elephant orphanage, and the remainder down south by the beach, visiting the turtle sanctuary. What Sarath proposed was way beyond our expectations and we had not envisaged such a fantastic itinerary being possible; Sarath also offered to arrange all of our accommodation which saved us a lot of hassle. There was so much thought went into making it enjoyable for not only us but also our son. Within a few hours of arriving our son was feeding and bathing an elephant at the Millennium Foundation and watching a snake charmer on the roadside. We then headed to Sarath’s home where we stayed for three wonderful nights, getting to know his daughter Nadi and wife Geetha (and Chooty the dog and the Giant Gourami fish), who made us the most wonderful meals and again treated us like part of the family, making it difficult for us to leave. We also visited the Temple of the Tooth, saw cultural dancing in Kandy, Dambulla Temple (Golden Buddha), climbed Sigiriya Rock, had an Ayervedic massage (whilst Sarath took our son to the park!), visited Mackwoods tea plantation, Nuwara Eliya, snatched a few photos at Ella Waterfall, went on a jeep safari in Yala, chilled out on the beach in Unawatuna, visited Galle Fort, and stopped off at the turtle sanctuary on the way to Bentota. At Bentota, we stayed in an amazing hotel on the riverbanks where Sarath had organised a boat safari through the mangroves and our son also got to hold a baby Cayman crocodile. That evening Sarath had arranged a homemade birthday cake with candles for our son for his second birthday at a local restaurant. Definitely a birthday we will all remember for a long time. The following day we reluctantly headed back to Colombo airport.
On a few occasions when our son was asleep in the car, we were able to leave him there with Sarath and do a short visit around the spice gardens etc, knowing he was in capable, loving hands, something we never normally would contemplate. On one evening after a lot of screaming from our tired little guy, Sarath picked him up and wandered around the hotel garden singing and rocking him until he went to sleep. I was amazed. Firstly that he managed to get him to sleep and secondly that he had even tried, as all the other drivers we saw never seemed to spend time any time with their clients. My husband enjoyed each evening, packing us off to bed, drinking the local Arrack with Sarath.
Sarath went far above and beyond any expectations we had when looking for a driver and turned what would have been a lovely holiday into a completely unforgettable adventure for us all. Thank you.