Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spending time in traffic queues

We are now on holiday at a wonderfully appointed hotel that we found through the Agoda website. If this hotel is anything to go by, then I thoroughly recommend checking out the good people there if you are looking for accommodation in Asia.

One thing we have noticed since our visit in 2009 is that the amount of traffic on Sri Lanka's already crowded roads has risen exponentially. The result is that many parts of Columbo are all-but grid-locked often doubling journey times.

I've also seen a lot more accidents. Just yesterday on the A2 from Kandy to Colombo we passed the debris and aftermath of three serious crashes involving four or more vehicles. Judging by the driving, it's a wonde the aren't more. But the rapidly rising number of vehicles - especially 4x4s driven by the newly wealthy - isn't helping.

That journey - distance of 100kms - takes on average three hours; usually more because your exhausted driver needs a break and you need a cup of tea for your nerves!

The  problem has made the pages of today's Sunday Times (Sri Lanka version!) and is leading to a fairly major road building programme (done mainly by the Chinese who are doing a lot of development projects in the country in return fro being allowed to develop the port at Hamabntota as a refuelling stop for its navy). New roads will undoubtedly help.

In the meantime we are taking with a pinch of salt the hotel staff's suggestion that it would take 45 minutes to get from here to Dehiwalla, where we're spending our last night, and are reckoning we need to leave at least an hour and half for the trip.

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