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As the taxi made it’s way to Chelmsford train station the first set of nerves were felt. We were on our way!! Never mind that we had sold our house almost a week before and had been visiting friends and family around the UK since. The sad farewells had all been said and this felt like the real start of the trip.
We decided not to take the easy option of a taxi direct to the airport. Instead we would take the train to Liverpool Street Station, from there the underground to Paddington where we would board the Heathrow Express to the airport. That should get us prepared for taking the kids on public transport with all our backpacks in foreign lands.
The train into Liverpool Street went without incident. However once there the kids had to carry their backpacks through the station and into the underground. It was apparent pretty quickly that they were not used to the weight and there were a few tears shed. Mum looked after the kids while Dad carried the bags onto the train and off again when we arrived at Paddington.
To their credit the kids didn’t want to be defeated by their bags, and after a short stop for drinks at Paddington they bared the weight themselves again to the Heathrow Express. Once at the terminal we checked our bags in and headed through security into the departure lounge. After a light dinner and a short wait we made our way to the gate… we were going to Sri Lanka!!
Just before the plane was due to taxi there was an announcement for anyone with medical knowledge on the plane to make themselves known to the crew. A passenger had been taken sick and needed attention, therefore the flight would be delayed. Luckily for us the touch screen games on the in-flight entertainment kept the kids busy.
By the time we did take off it was very late and the kids were doing well to stay awake. Our daughter didn’t last too much longer though and promptly fell asleep – a state she would remain in for the majority of the flight! Our son took advantage of the entertainment on offer and watched Zootropolis before he too fell into a slumber! Mum and Dad didn’t get much sleep though!!
When our Son woke up just before breakfast he didn’t look right. He didn’t want to eat or drink anything and looked very pale. Dad got a sick bag ready, just in case. Turns out it was the right call as not long after it was required. The plane had hit quite bad turbulence and shortly afterwards Mum too needed the sick bag. Dad held out a little longer but the turbulence got too much for him too and the sick bags saw more action. We were not the only passengers who were affected by the turbulence, a lot more people were being sick – which didn’t help the nausea at all! No one felt like eating breakfast, not even our daughter who had slept through much of the flight. Finally on our decent she too was sick with the turbulence.
We made our way though customs and to baggage collection feeling very ropey indeed. With bags on a trolley we entered the arrivals hall with a mission to get some SIM cards, water and a taxi to our hotel. There are about four stands at Bandaranaike International Airport where you can buy tourist SIM cards, so at about £6.50 each we got two of these. We were approached by a tour operator for a taxi, however there was an official taxi booth too – so we got the price from the tour operator first and told him if the airport taxi booth couldn’t beat it then we’d go with him. There wasn’t much in it – probably because the tour guide knew exactly what would be charged from the booth.
Making our way out into the Sri Lankan heat (and humidity) we got in the taxi and saw our first glimpse of Sri Lankan life on our way to Villa Shade, a lovely place which is situated a little way out of Negombo. We would be staying here for two nights for some much needed relaxation and to unwind following a nightmare flight!