Our stay here in Sri Lanka has been all about one thing, namely surfing. The places we went to surf changed daily due to the conditions, but they have all been within just half an hour drive from our camp in Ahangama, All were between the cities of Unawatuna/Galle and Mirissa. We had tuk-tuks with surf board racks taking us everywhere we went, which was included in our surf course package at Lapoint. Sometime the winds, currents etc changed quite fast so that the we had to change spot mid day to stay where it was best, like moving in and out of the bay of Weligama.
We were up early every morning, sometimes to have a surfing session at 6am before breakfast. Then we had our surfing lessons in the late morning and into the afternoon, rested for a few hours and went back into the water to surf a couple of hours before sunset.
I had previously said that I did not like paddling and fighting my way out through waves and that I therefore was not too fond of surfing, but here it was different to all other surfing I have done before. Especially in the early mornings and late evenings the waves were big, predictable and green, and the current (especially at South beach) helped us to get effortless out to the waves. That made everything a lot more fun! Even in the daytime when the wind caught up and it got more choppy and rough it was all worth the effort when we at the end would catch a good wave back to the shore.
People travel to faraway places to witness hatchings of turtle eggs, which at most places happen once or twice a year. In the Southern parts of Sri Lanka it happens once a month at every full moon between January and July.
The nearby hatchery in Galle buys turtle eggs from the local fishermen who would otherwise have sold them as food to the locals. The eggs are then buried half a meter under the sand and are left 48 days (for green turtles) or 54 days (for leatherbacks) until they will hatch two or three evenings around full moon.
The the beach where we are at, Kabalana, there are 800 eggs which will hatch in the next couple of days. It will be an interesting sight watching them all crawl away and into the big ocean.
After just a couple of days here we feel well settled in at Villa Alkira, Ahngama. Except for the surfing the days are spent quite lazily at the beach and the pool, doing yoga, playing board games and reading books.
In the early evenings we head out to the nearby towns and cities for dinner and a couple of drinks. Yesterday we also went over to a shack at the end of the beach where we were served coconuts and all kinds of Sri Lankan meals, almost like tapas, sharing the plates and letting everyone taste everything.
Some day trips are possible as well, such as a visit to a nearby snakefarm, seeing waterfalls and going on safari in Yala National Park. We are just still a bit too jet lagged to do much and the surfing gets us even more tired, so until now we have just managed to stay up until nine, making us fully rested for the surfing sessions in the mornings.
The sunset at the quiet Ahangama Beach where our surf camp is at
Until I got out of Colombo Airport today, I had imagined Sri Lanka being very similar to Southern India as it is only about 30 kilometers separating the two countries. It had been a couple of years since we were backpacking for over two months in India, but the impression wegot after just a few minutes in Sri Lanka seem to be quite different to what we had expected, mainly due to three reasons:
– It is much more quiet in Sri Lanka, its more like Europe in that way
– Sri Lanka is much more clean and the air more fresh
– People are polite when talking to you and they do not stare
We arrived early morning and have been traveling all day, where we have not yet seen a single rat, we had people stopping for us when crossing the road and we have already had a meal with beef! Of course there were some tough price haggling at the airport where they tried to fool us and the taxis drove like crazy passing trucks and buses on narrow roads, but it was not even near what it would have been like in India. I am writing this, well settled in at our surf camp in Anhangama, were I might have been just lucky with the people I met and the time visited, but I think it is safe to say that India and Sri Lanka should not be judged all the same. Do not get me wrong as India is in fact my favorite travel destination of all time, but Sri Lanka has a much more “mild” feel to it and it already feels like a place that I am going to enjoy.
I always have a lot of trips to look forward to, and during the next few months I will travel to the following places:
November 14.-16. Ireland: Celebrating my birthday together with my girlfriend doing christmas shopping and visiting breweries and destilleries
November 21.-30. Cuba: Sailing through the Canarreos Archipelago. A free study trip with Kilroy and G-Adventures
December-31-January 4. Turkey: Celebrating New Years in one of my favorite cities; Istanbul. Business Class tickets that I won with TK through an Instagram competition earlier this year
March 30.- April 4. Sri Lanka: Renting a motorcycle to explore remote villages of the up and coming country
April 4.-13. Maldives: Cruising through the Vadhoo Canal on a Dhoni Boat with G-Adventures. Experiencing local life on the beaches and fishing villages of Dhiggaru, Felidhoo and Enboodhoofinolhu.
April 25.-30. North Korea: Traveling from Beijing over to their mysterious neighbor in the east
May 1.-25. China, Khazakstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey: on the Silk Road with Vodkatrain
Have you done any of these trips and have anything to share or recommend from your own trip? Feel free to comment!