I had a brief stopover in Colombo in Sri Lanka on my way from The Maldives to Kenya on my big trip around the equator

The connections didn’t quite match so the airline put me up in a cheap hotel in Negombo, a beach side town 30-odd kilometres north of the capital.

I got into Negombo after dark. And an airport transfer van came just before dawn to take me to my flight to Africa. So I never got a chance to check out the beach or anything like that.

But that’s not to say it was just a forgettable night in another soulless hotel. As luck would have it there was a festival on in Negombo that night and the streets were rammed with performers and paraders, drummers and dancers and elephants and fireworks.

A quick Google search suggests that it was probably the tail end of Navarathiri.

All I know is that the raucous revelry went on well into the night. Pretty much right up until the airport transfer came by to pick me up just after 5.30 am.

Let’s just say I spent most of the flight to Nairobi sleeping.