IKIMASHO!

TUK-TUK SAFARI!

tuk-tuk sri lanka

Midday in Central Province, Sri Lanka: 35 degrees and the sun is brutal. After spending the night in the middle of nowhere, I check out of my hotel and start walking down a dusty lane looking to hitch a ride back out on to the main road. I see a motorbike parked in the driveway of a house and go round the back to see if anyone is about. No such luck. Soon enough I spot a tuk-tuk bobbing up and down in the distance. There are two guys huddled in the back. The driver asks where I’m going and when I tell him the town name he says they are all going there too. I have about two seconds to suss the guys out, and I take them at their word. There’s no room for a third person but they insist I squeeze in. Doubling back the way we came, the lanes become nothing more than dirt tracks – the tuk-tuk snaking through undergrowth. After about fifteen minutes, and now really in the middle of nowhere, paranoia sets in. “Where the f*ck are these guys taking me?” The lane tightens and tightens through the jungle and then instantly, out of nowhere, the tuk-tuk bursts through the undergrowth and we are surrounded by vast open plains, mountains and sky. The tuk-tuk speeds across the plains and the driver turns back to me and says, “tuk-tuk safari!” He was taking me to to the town I wanted to go to after all – but via the most epic of shortcuts.


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