Living in Colombo is great. From the people to the kunisso vadei to fancy shopping complexes to a host of many other interesting things we're not going to list out. And if there's one thing that completely destroys our outlook of Colombo living, it's the traffic.
Every weekday dawns yet another day when most of us working in Colombo wait for hours staring at the back of a car or groaning about how long we have to stay standing on the bus. And after trying a host of options, the transport board has finally come up with an ideal solution to beat the traffic as of yet.
Yup, the newest solution to this very annoying problem is one that cost the government a hundred million rupees. A fancy ferry that carries anyone and everyone (for free for the next month) from Union Place to Fort.
Pictured above: The dock
Every news outlet that we found was very vague about where exactly the ferry service starts. So, after around 5 minutes of walking around in the rain and conversations with 2 random people on the road, we found out that this ferry service starts at the road right opposite the Lake House building on a little dock at the edge of Beira Lake.
All you need to do is go down one of the roads and you'll see this giant government installed billboard informing you that you've come to the right spot.
The next process of the ferry ride is the waiting game where you wait patiently at the dock till the ferry decides to show up.
Unfortunately for us, we happened to go on a rather drizzly day, which is why we had to take shelter in another, much smaller boat till either the rain ceased or the other boat arrived.
The arrival of the much smaller boat that is not the 100 million rupee boat.
However, there's a bit of a catch in all this. This particular boat also happens to do the exact same thing as the other boat, just, you know, it's not as luxurious as the other one. Nonetheless, given how we were already in it and given how it promised a free boat ride, we (along with everyone else waiting for the other boat) decided to cross the lake in this beaut.
Everyone else who was waiting for the other, more luxurious boat, on boat #1 Not Diyathra
So, here's a bit of a heads up. If you want to cross the river, you can take either one. Unless you come particularly to ride the Diyathra.In which case, don't get on this. Wait another 10- 20 minutes till she turns up.
Diyathra: Luxury Boating
After a pretty wet yet wonderful trip across the Beira and another 10 minutes of staring at it from under a roof, we finally saw it.
Presenting, the Diyathra, the saviour of everyone going from Union Place to Fort.
Stark white with enough space to fit 50 people, the Diyathra makes a trip every 10-20 minutes with each trip back and forth taking no more than 15 minutes. Saving every rider 15 minutes of not staring at the back of some other vehicle in the process of trying to get to work on time.
With a room full of high backed, plastic-wrapped chairs, air conditioning and a TV, the Diyathra is probably one of the most luxurious ways to get to work on a daily basis.
Actually, it's one of the nicest ways to get to work, period. Literally where else can you get:
bits of plastic chilling in the water,
people in boats, birds, goloshes of water and no traffic to make your day even before it begins.
We liked it. When it comes to getting to work on time without any sort of hassle, this has got to be the best. Even if you do end up a couple of minutes late, we say go for it. It's different and lovely. Plus, as far as we know, it's free of charge for a month.
PS: They start at 9.30 am.