A Bloom with a View: 13 March 2024

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Today is our final full day in Colombo.

We arrived in Sri Lanka a few days before the Rickshaw Run events begin so that we could get over jetlag and get our bearings in a new country.

The last few days have been fantastic, and we've gotten to see and do a lot of the major things that we had wanted to in Colombo. Today, we wanted to take it easy. We know that the adventure ahead will be rough at times!

After a leisurely breakfast, we took a tuk-tuk to the Lotus Tower, one of Colombo's newest and most iconic landmarks.

Rising 351.5 m above Colombo, the Lotus Tower is the tallest self-supported structure in South Asia, the 11th tallest tower in Asia, and the 19th tallest tower in the world.

The tower is designed to look like a lotus blossom, a symbol of purity in Sri Lankan culture and a symbolic representation of the country's flourishing development.

We purchased tickets and took an elevator to the 29th floor, which opened out to a 360° viewing deck.

It was a warm day, but the top of the tower had a constant cool breeze, which felt amazing. We walked around the viewing deck a few times, trying to spot all of the places that we had visited over the past few days.

The view from the top of the tower really put in perspective how big and sprawling the city of Colombo actually is.

The tower isn't just for tourism. It also functions as a television and radio broadcasting tower and is home to a revolving restaurant, a ballroom, conference rooms, and an auditorium.

There are also plans to build a luxury hotel inside the five-story base of the tower, and there are plans in the works to build a waterpark in the landscaping surrounding the tower. The Lotus Tower is planned to be a commercial and tourist hub for the city.

Leaving the tower, we piled back into a tuk-tuk to head to a nearby coffee shop for a team meeting.

We've spent a lot of time in tuk-tuks this week, but it's really just a prelude for the full week we are about to spend driving one across the country! It's a tight fit in the back, and we are feeling a little worried about how we are going to get everybody's luggage to fit. 

We bought a few glasses of iced Ceylon coffee, and a chocolate espresso tart and a slice of carrot cake to share and sat down at a table in the very modern Grind coffee shop in downtown Colombo.

Over the course of the next hour, we planned out the rough route that we hope to take during the Rickshaw Run. Tentatively, our plan is to head east from Negombo to Kandy, then drive through the central highlands before turning south and driving down towards the coast and the finish line.

We think we have a good plan for now, but as with any thing in the Rickshaw Run, we may have to be spontaneous and flexibly as things change! We truly have no idea what is in store for us.

After coffee, we returned to our hotel in early afternoon for a swim, a rest, and a chance to do our first load of "sink laundry". We have to pack really light on this trip in order to fit everything in our rickshaw, which means we'll be doing a lot of our laundry in the hotel sinks over the next two weeks!

Today was our final day of "holiday mode" before we head north to Negombo where our real adventure begins.

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