Tips for Travellers
This section has been split between Advice to Travellers about avoiding scams (please click on this link to get the full report updated 28.1.13) and Travel and Security below which is being updated at the moment.
Please be aware the number of road accidents is increasing alarmingly and despite the new roads, can be quite devastating and spectacular. This baby elephant was hit was truck in the dark….
In June 2012 improvements to the A9 from Anuradhapura to Jaffna were about 60% complete. It is a mixture of wonderfully smooth surfaces you could land an aircraft on and torturous potholes, ruts, subsidence and endless waits at points of one way traffic. Still hell but it will be worth it in the end!
From Jaffna south the newly opened route down the east coast, turn left just before at Elephant Pass at Iyakachchi along a sandy track with no route number, you will eventually come to Chundikkulam, infamous from the last few months of the civl war in 2009. Not tarmacked and treacherous in places with deep sand and tank tracks etched a foot into the surface, it is a challenging drive not for the inexperienced.
There has been extensive mine clearing in this area and the crews are still there. You will meet them on the roadside with their padded clothing and head visors as they stake out a patch to de-mined that day. All along the road you will see signs as below warning you not to leave the car because of mines.
The A32 from Pooneryn south of Jaffna on the west coast down to Mannar is still a mass of potholes, tank tracks and subsidence so bad that you are lucky to get out of second gear for about five hours and you need a very hardy car.
Whatever colour the vehicle is to start with it ends up bright orange from the sand and dust. Do not attempt this unless you are an experienced off the road driver, not frightened of the dark or wild animals and carry water, food and all spare tyres, tools and plenty of mobile phone battery. Just in case is likely to be just the case, believe me as I have driven this road twice in less than twelve months and does not get any better. Road works are evident but still in the un- joined up stage, few and far between.