Juliet Coombe takes a head turning iconic city tour around Colombo with Nishantha Abeysekara in his World War 2 Wills Military Jeep.
Nishantha has an incredible fleet of full metal jacket original fully operating American style jeeps including a 1948 Land Rover Series 1, which was used for making the action-packed thriller Solar Eclipse: Depths of Darkness. Nishantha’s entire fleet of military vehicles have been in several films including as scene setters for the horrific conspiracy that rocked the world to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi.
During this epic tour around Colombo I learn how these jeeps were such an iconic image of America’s pointless war with Vietnam War that they became popular vehicles with film directors picking them to star in Hollywood movies, like The Killing Fields in Cambodia, Bridge Too Far, 1972, Pearl Harbour, Battle of the Buldge, Missing in action, Deer Hunter, Platoon, Raid on Entebbe, James Bond’s Octopussy, the Longest Day, Dirty Dozen, Delta Force, and the Godfather.
Sitting in the open-air veteran green jeep clicking away, I am thrilled to have an unobstructed 360-degree visibility of Colombo, which is great for taking photographs while sightseeing. When the front window windshield is put down you have the added joy of being in a tropical country and having natural aircon, with the cool breeze hitting you from all directions, as you whizz from one magnificent colonial building to another and then past the Galle Face Green.
The three-hour experience usually starts in the historic quarter where Nishantha will happily pick up from the hotel and include taking you 12 km away from the main city centre to Aththidiya bird park, Dehiwala, where you get to try your luck with a fishing rod made out of toddy palm (Kithul palm) and a fishing net. A stunning spot with 1.5 km of lush greenery on the bank of a waterway and incredible natural highlights like seeing monitor lizards making love standing up. Nishantha tells me if you get really lucky we might see a crocodile or two. The tours are personally run by the godfather of hospitality, Nishantha, a ringer for Sylvester Stallone, could not be more suited to this Rambo style career with his larger-than-life looks means you will receive enormous attention and reactions from the public, which even the latest Ferrari or a Lamborghini won’t get you, in London or New York.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ASK HOTEL RECEPTION TO BOOK YOU A PLACE
TEL: 0777 330 900