Monday, January 05, 2009

5th, 6th + 7th Jan – Beach Hopping, Relaxing and Tanning up before i head to Singapore

5th Jan – The Journey up the western coast of Sri Lanka

When i was doing a little research on Sri Lanka i came across a number of key places, images and traditions; one being the Sri Lankan stilt fisherman. They sit out in the shallows just past the breaking waves and fish from flimsy stilts sticking out of the water. It was another thing I wanted to see in real life and another tick in the box. There are children waiting near the shore line as they know the stilt fisherman are a popular tourist attraction and so wait to get some money ‘money photo, money photo’ they repeat; somehow I doubt the fisherman will be getting any of that!


As we travelled along the coast line from Yala in the south it started to become really clear how much devastation the Tsunami caused in 2004. Even 4 years on there are still so many broken relics of what was once peoples homes and even their livelihoods. In some areas newer settlements have been built further inland but many still choose to live in half broken buildings which was once their homes.


Dickwella Beach: A Hidden Gem

So this was the first of three beach stops on the way back to the capital before I leave this tropical island. My driver told me about this place and said it would be a good secluded beach to start with. He wasn't wrong, the beach its self was enormous and there was no one about except a few people looking for shells and a few dogs roaming around. After the last few hectic days i was more than happy just to chill out and relax from my villa which overlooks the ocean, it gave me time to catch up on a little blogging (written of course). While i was mid flow i spotted something run accross my table which looked like a spider but i had never seen anything like it, it was so colourful and fairly small, so i got a snap as you can see.


6th – Unawatuna: The surfers beach

Unawatuna was a much livelier and busier beach town, but I guess that wasn’t hard coming from the empty tranquil beach of Dickwella! There were far more guest houses, bars and restaurants along the sea edge but it seemed people were keeping to the vicinity of their own accommodation and not venturing too far. I met a few people there including a group of Romanians who were on a fairly long beach break. They were a great bunch and we had a lot to talk about late into the night. They have sold their country to me, it sounds great and it is yet another one to add to my list, I don’t know when I’m gonna fit it all in!



7th – Hikkaduwa Beach: The final stop and swimming with turtles!

Hikkaduwa is well known for its snorkeling and that it the main reason I wanted to finish here. There were many glass bottom boats doing tours of the reefs and corals and numerous places to rent snorkeling equipment. You didn’t have to venture far out to see the corals and fish so getting a snorkel and some flippers did the same job as the boat and I jumped in soon after I arrived! The water was so much clearer than Mount Lavinia where I went snorkeling on my first day, plus there was a vast amount of corals beds to roam over; it was fascinating floating just inches over all the corals and fish.

I was told to do a trip further out of the shore line as I would stand a good chance of seeing turtles and other fish, but I didn’t think it was worth it at the time. So I took to my snorkeling and spent a few hours aimlessly swimming around fascinated by all the marine life and corals, it really was like swimming in a giant version of my marine tank back home! After a while I was paddling along and I saw a huge dark figure below me, it was a Turtle! It was huge and just like I had seen on any of the nature documentaries, I couldn’t believe it, and I was only about fifty feet from the shore – so much for needing a boat to see them!




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