We arrived in Sri Lanka at 2am and after a slow immigration process we jumped in a taxi from the airport and headed to Mt Lavinia in Colombo. We were couch surfing at a guy called Tom’s house. Tom had just launched a Tuk Tuk rental company and we were to be his first customers! Tom arranges locals to rent their tuk tuks to tourists and therefore some of the money we spend goes into the locals pockets which we really liked the idea of. We arrived at Toms place who was nice enough to give us his own room whilst he slept in the lounge.
After a little sleep we woke up and met Sanath who was the owner of the tuk tuk. He was so lovely, he showed Charlie the maintenance key points and even gave him a driving lesson. We really had no plan yet of where we wanted to go as Charlie was pretty tired from being ill and our long overnight journey so he wasn’t keen on diving too far on our first day. We wanted to head to Kandy but we had heard the journey would be long and busy. Luckily for us Sanath is from Kandy (he had driven the tuk tuk to Colombo in the morning) and had to go back there. He was planning to get the bus but he kindly offered to drive us if we paid for petrol. The journey took about 5 hours so we really appreciated not having to drive ourselves.We dropped Sanath off in town and Charlie took over driving. It was so weird having our own little tuk tuk but amazing to have the freedom to go anywhere!I had researched some places to stay on booking.com and saved them on our offline map. The centre of Kandy is quite expensive to stay in so we headed to one of the options a little further out. Our first choice (Comfort Home Stay) had great reviews and a much more attractive price. It was a homestay with a family in their house and it was better than we could have expected! On arrival we were greeted by the family, Kushana, his wife, his parents, his two sons and 2 dogs. They were all so welcoming! The room was lovely and they gave us so many tips on Sri Lanka and helped us plan our first week. Kushana’s wife cooked us a home cooked Sri Lankan dinner and breakfast which was huge (we couldn’t finish it). It was such an amazing experience to stay with a local family and we are already planning to return here in a couple days after we get back from Sigiriya!