BEFORE YOU GO...
Check in is on Friday, Jan 25th at 4 PM. TTC starts Saturday morning.
Check out is on Saturday Feb 16th at 10 AM. Training finishes Friday evening on Feb 15th, no classes on Saturday, only group breakfast.
If you're not planning to explore Sri Lanka before or after, best is to find a flight to Colombo arriving before or around noon on Friday Jan 25th, and leaving in the afternoon or evening / night on Feb 16th.
** Please send me your flight details as soon as you book your flight! **
We need a visa to enter Sri Lanka, or as they call it Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), but you can easily get it online. You'll just need to fill out a form you can find here Print it out once it arrives (via email and within 48 hours). Please choose a tourist visa.
Use this address:
Thalpe, Sri Lanka
Please get a travel medical insurance. Make sure you are covered for ‘sports injuries’.
Vaccines – vaccination is not obligatory and is a personal choice. I have been to Asia and India almost every year for the last 20 years and never got a vaccine, but that is my personal choice and not based on any research. So, it’s up to you really.
What to pack
Please bring your own mat. Blocks and straps will be available at the venue. Have your own practice towel (it gets hot and sweaty!:) and of course something to practice in. Please bring one pair of socks too. Yes, socks;) and something WHITE (or similar) for the diploma ceremony.
For the training you’ll need:
- Notebook and pens – to take notes during lectures
- Small diary – another notebook you will use as your practice diary
- Four (or two) ring A4 binder of your choice for the manual (I will only bring pages)
- USB stick + a laptop (if possible)
You don't need to bring books, I'll send you most of what you need in pdf, so if you have a phone or a laptop, this will suffice. We'll be mostly using the manual.
Air temperature is between 23 at night and 35+ Celsius during the day, so pack light summer clothes. Water temp is about 28. If you're planning to visit temples, or similar, shoulders and legs need to be covered so a shawl and long dress, skirt, trousers will do, but in and around the villa you can wear your usual summer clothes.
As for other stuff, mosquito repellent is always smart to have (you can buy one there as well) and your usual travel medication/supplements. I always bring some pain killers, chalk tablets (in case of food poisoning), aloe vera gel and tea tree oil, but I'm sure you know what you need. There are pharmacies everywhere, so essentials will do. You'll need a good sun screen, but please see if you can find one more eco (and your skin) friendly.
Sri Lanka is one of the safest countries in Asia, even for solo female travellers, so don't hesitate taking a train to the location (or back to Colombo), it's a longer but beautiful journey. People in Sri Lanka are friendly and gentle, women are more respected than in many other Asian countries, it's much cleaner and generally feels very safe, even if you venture inland, away from more tourist areas.
If you're planning arrive early or explore after the TTC, and need tips, let me know.
Airport & cash
Have your passport, ETA print out and a smile ready. Sri Lanka people are super friendly, even on the immigration and a smile and ‘Ayubowan’ (greeting) goes a long way. If asked, please just say you're going on vacation.
Once you pass through immigration and pick up your luggage, you’ll need some LKR (Sri Lanka rupee) so either exchange some cash at the cash exchange on ground floor of the airport (the exchange rate is same or better than on the coast) or take cash from the ATM (I did have some problems with ATM’s at the airport so I travel with some cash and exchange it now). ATM’s are located left from the money exchange offices.
US$ is a preferred currency still in Asia, so for all of you who don’t have euro as local currency, USD is better to travel with. GBP and euro can also be exchanged.
How to get to the villa
If you are taking a taxi, prepaid taxis at the airport are your best and cheapest option. They cost about 50, 60 euro for a smooth, door to door two hour journey. Taxi booths will be on your right side next to money exchange. There will be several offices, all have the same rate. You pay at the office and the taxi drives you to your location. If you opt to take a faster road, which is their new highway, they will ask you for a 500 rupee toll. You give this to the driver. Coastal road is more scenic but takes at least an hour longer.
The villa is located on Matara road in Thalpe, a small village pass Unawatuna. opposite the second road from Thalpe railway. You won't recognise much from the road, there is only a big white wall with a small staff door and a bigger door with a small sign saying THALPE HOUSE. Please see the images at the end.
If you are taking a train (which is an adventure but a safe kind) here is the link to train times. Train takes about 2,5 hours. The airport is in Negombo, which is about an hour (with traffic) away from COLOMBO FORT train station.
To get to the train station you would need a taxi (again, I suggest prepaid) or if you are on a tight budget and love adventure, go out of the airport to the main road (just straight ahead) and get a tuk-tuk. They are not allowed to wait at the airport. Find out the taxi price first and then just bargain with them (offer them half of the taxi quote).
Train station is called COLOMBO FORT and the train tickets are bought in ticket booths – each booth for each line and this one is COLOMBO – MATARA. This coastal train doesn’t have 1st class so any ticket will do. 2nd and 3rd are the same really. They don’t have reserved seats. Ask for a ticket to THALPE. The train is usually on platform 4 I think (over the footbridge). It might be delayed. The villa is a five min walk from the train station. Please see the images below.
Once I get all the arrival dates and times I will connect some of you arriving at the proximate same time so you can travel together and share costs.
AT THE TRAINING
Thalpe house is a beautifully restored, old colonial villa. It's bright and spacious, with a huge dining / living room opened to the garden, a kitchen you can use, pool and a garden with amazing ocean views. Villa is fully staffed with a chef, manager, housekeeping staff and a security guard.
The beach in front is almost a private beach as you won't find many (or any) people there. This is also because strong waves brake on the shore so it's not easy to swim on most days, but there are a few spots which are easier to get in / out further up the beach.
Breakfast and lunch will be mostly vegan, local organic food. We will provide drinking water during training to avoid buying plastic water bottles. We'll give you some tips on where to go for dinner, location of supermarkets, local markets etc. when you arrive. Restaurant prices vary depending on the restaurant. You can get a good curry in a local eatery for as little as one euro, or pay 10, 15 for a nice meal at a restaurant.
We'll keep the same schedule (from the event page) for now and see if we feel like changing something once we're settled. We'll have a few group outings too, to a local Buddhist temple and to a dog clinic close by (read more about the clinic here). Both are optional, but somewhat connected to the curriculum. More about this when we meet.
I will be teaching most of the curriculum with the help from Jasna, my amazing assistant who will be teaching some classes, lead your practicums etc, as well as a few other guest teachers I will be announcing on the event page by the end of this week. Sanjin, our photographer is also a part of the team, more about him below.
My very good friend, an amazing photographer and a beautiful person who I take to most retreats and ttc's, will be joining me in Sri Lanka again to capture some moments from our TTC journey. Sanjin is very careful not to interfere with classes and lectures, so you won't even notice him, and I only publish photos where everyone looks fab;), but if you don't want your photo taken, just let us know.
Sanjin will also be available for photo sessions if you would like to book one. He takes amazing asana photos (all or most of my website and IG photos are by Sanjin) as well as portraits, moments... You can check his work on his website and on his IG profile @sanjinkastelan
An hour long session with edited digital photos costs 100 euro (a special price for TT's) and you can book it directly with him.
During the training, there won’t be time to focus on much else than the training. It will mostly be yoga– sleep –eat –repeat. But, if you are an early bird, there’s time in the morning before the class to go on the beach. I will schedule a day off half way, we'll see when depending on how fast we go with the curriculum, and a few shorter days. Tuk tuks are a best way to go around, but you can also take a bus or rent a motorcycle.
We'll have two optional group outings I will let you know more about once we all meet.
Looking forward to our journey together!