After a few good hours of sleep, we had breakfast and then walked around Gregory Lake. The monsoon rains took a break this morning after pounding us last night.
We hopped into the van to begin our 7-hour journey to Batticoloa.
When people ask about our trips, they mention that they could not imagine taking a 17-hour flight. But usually, that is the easiest part of travel. International planes are typically newer, roomier and have better technology.
I find the toughest parts of travel are waiting in lines that do not seem to end, long layovers and the travel AFTER we arrive in the country. Because God has called us to go to some of the most difficult places to get to, in-country travel is where we are pushed to the limit.
Today was one of the most uncomfortable travel days I can remember.
We left the highest point of the island and winded eastward through hours of extreme switchbacks. Being jet lagged didn’t help either because all our bodies wanted to do was to lay down, close our eyes and sleep. But if we did, then our head would quickly bang against the closest hard surface to you, followed by the weight of your body crushing your neck causing our backs to contort into inhuman shapes.
It took all of our mental strength to not send our breakfast of corn flakes with warmed milk as deadly projectiles throughout the car. And IF one of us gave in, how could we ever get that smell?
And the driving conditions are just dangerous.
Somehow, Andie and I survived until we reached the flatlands where we stopped for lunch. We looked at each other, kind of surprised that we both survived. It felt so good to stand up and breathe fresh air.
We headed upstairs to the hottest room of this roadside restaurant where the bouquet of curry, dried fish and pepper oil greatly slowed down our recovery time. The others couldn’t understand why Andie and I weren’t hungry and tried many times to get us to eat. Nope, we’re good!
Feeling much better, we reluctantly climbed back in to the van to continue the journey. At least the roads will now be flat, right? Not really . . .
For the past several decades, this forthcoming portion of the “highway” from Nuwara to Batticola was used mostly by tanks which gave us an enhance travel experience.
Somehow we survived and reached our destination, an old missionary center. The rooms were sparse, the mattress was a thick towel covering the wooden board, but the old air conditioner worked well enough to cool down the room and keep out the mosquitos.
Andie took a cold shower and crawled into her bed. I hope she can laugh about this someday, but I can’t help but wonder if she will still love her father in the morning.
Tomorrow, we are having our first mini marriage conference so please pray for the message to be presented and received properly. And the Lord will speak through the translator and me.
Bonus story: One of the things I have to do is to change my cell phone to an international calling/data plan while I am gone. When we arrived tonight, I received a text that I was already at a $300 overage and they were going to shut down my service. So after dinner in restaurant that was as humid as a sauna, I spent 30 minutes to discover that I was signed up for a plan that is not covered in Sri Lanka. So I was told to not freak out when my next bill came, and that they would take care of everything for me after the charges went through.
Good night everyone!