Trincomalee – Batticaloa Tour – June 22nd 24th 2012
The RCPTA tour to Trincomalee and Batticaloa took place from the 22nd to 24th June 2012. Our members were given the opportunity to bring along one other person of their choice with them. A total of 84 persons took part on the tour. Two super luxury buses were booked for the journey. In Trincomalee accommodation were provided in three hotels and in Batticaloa in two hotels.
On day one we left college at 5.45am and stopped for breakfast at a place close to Ambepussa. There was a stop in Habarana to have tea and refresh ourselves. We arrived in Trincomalee around 3.00pm. After lunch and a short rest we left for Nilaweli Beach. After a pleasant evening at the beach we returned to our respective hotels, had dinner and retired for the night.
After breakfast at the hotel the next morning we left to visit the Konneswaran Temple. After the pooja, and a glance at the lover’s leap we were taken to the Tricomalee Naval base by the old Royalists of the Navy. There we were given a right Royal Treatment. We were taken for about a two hour round the Inner Habour in a Dora. After coming back to the Naval Dockyard we were ushered into a tanker (LST) which used to carry personnel and vehicles from Colombo to Trincomalee during the war.The boys gave us a detailed description of the working of the tanker. This was followed by a sumptuous lunch on the beach and a memento was presented to every member of our association by Commodore A.M.T.S. Alahakoon an old Royalist in the Navy. After leaving the Naval base we left for the Seruwawila Temple. On our way we were taken to see the tank farm installed by the British during the world war 11. We were amazed to see such large tanks which are still in topping condition.
It was a very pleasant evening when we arrived at the Sruwawila Temple.Our members had the opportunity to worship the Dagaba which enshrined Lord Buddha’s relics. Late in the evening we left for Batticaloa where we were going to stay the night. We encountered a small problem on the way where one bus had a tyre pucture. On the way to Batticaloa we were treated to tea by Commander K.H.E.S. Premasara an old Royalist at the Naval Deployment in Wakarai. We arrived very late at our hotelsin Batticaloa for Dinner. The buses parked in one hotel. Some were accommodated in a nearby hotel and had to be transported in three wheelers. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to them.
After breakfast next morning we arrived at the Passikuda beach .Many enjoyed a refreshing dip in the calm waters of Passikuda. Some even had their first lesson in swimming coached by Mr. Sunimal de Silva. The old Royalists in the Navy led by Commander Premasara had arranged lunch for us at the Passikuda beach. After lunch we left Passikuda and on our way home after a very uncomfortable ride due to malfunctioning of the AC in our bus we arrived in Polonnaruwa where we visited the sacred shrine Galvihara.We marvelled at the craftsmanship of those ancient sculptors who had brought to life out of a single block of hard granite the infinite compassion of the living Buddha. We bowed our heads in worship. It was to our relief that we found the AC was back in order when we arrived at the bus. After leaving Polonnaruwa , we stopped by at the Minneriya army camp and had a very refreshing tea arranged by Commanding officer Palitha Godallawathatha another old Royalist.
Another tyre puncture on the way again delayed our dinner on the final day at Kurunegala. We left Kurunegala and arrived in Colombo at Royal College at 12.00midnight. on the 24th. All the way with all those mishaps everyone, the old and the not so old kept themselves entertained by exercising their vocal chords. If there was a superstar competition for over 60’ s you could pick out many from them.
Everyone had a very enjoyable, pleasant and a journey with many sweet memories to carry with them on this tour. It was heartening for the organisers to have many inquiring about when the next trip going to be.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped us to make this a great success. We are very grateful to the Royal College Old Boys of the East Coast of America (RCOBECA) for the wonderful gesture of coming forward on their own to sponsor part of the tour. We thank them for donating USD 400for the tour. We would be failing in our duty if we do not mention about the old Royalists of the Navy in Trincomalee led by Commodore A.M.T.S Alahakoon who made our stay in Trincomalee a memorable one. Also we thank Commander K.H.E.S. Premasara and his team for all the services rendered to us in Batticaloa, Wakarai and Passikuda. We would also like to thank Commanding Officer Palitha Godallawaththa of the Minneriya Army Camp for the hospitality rendered to us.
Last but not least our hats off to the coordinator of the tour Mr. H.M. Dayaratne for his untiring effort in making this tour a wonderful one.