Catching some rays on Sri Lanka's south coast
22.07.2011 - 25.07.2011 28 °C
Long journeys are a feature of Sri Lankan travel, so our six hour bus trip to the coast didn’t feel too bad. We had to stand for the first half hour; clinging onto the rails while the bus wound through mountain roads was certainly a workout for the arms.
The landscape changed dramatically as we descended from the hill country. We went from tea plantations to lush farmland, passing through dry plains before ending up at the coast. Along the palm fringed coastline we saw stilt fishermen, huge fish for sale, and cows that normally walk along the road chilling on the beach.
Unawatuna beach is a long crescent of sand along a sheltered bay. We got a room with a sea view and balcony right on the beach. The beach shelves steeply, and the waves were pretty big: your swimming costume quickly fills up with sand if you stand in the shallows.
The weather was a bit mixed. One cloudy morning we took a bus to Galle, which was only 10 minutes along the coast. We looked around the old town inside the Dutch fort and walked around the walls. The archaeological and maritime museum was part of our Cultural Triangle Ticket, so we had a quick look round. That afternoon we had some really heavy showers mixed with sunshine; the sky was pretty dramatic at times.
In the evenings we wandered along the beach to find somewhere to eat, guided by the oil lanterns hanging in front of each restaurant. We ate lots of fresh seafood, which made a welcome break from all the curry of the previous couple of weeks. The banana and coconut pancakes were pretty good too.
Our flight back to Kuala Lumpur (KL) was an early one, so we stayed at Negombo, a beach resort close to the airport. There’s not much to say about Negombo, other than it was better than staying in Colombo again! The town didn’t have much going for it, but there were plenty of places to sleep and eat.
We have enjoyed our time in Sri Lanka, but are looking forward to returning to KL.
Things we have learnt about Sri Lanka:
- eating like a local with your fingers doesn’t improve the taste of the food as we were repeatedly told, it just makes your digits greasy
- Hawaiian coconut biscuits are a welcome respite from curry and rice three times a day. On some days they were Clare’s major food group
- somewhere called a ‘hotel’ will probably be a restaurant, and not a place to kip for the night
- if you get laundry done, you will most likely see your washing drying across bushes, roofs and possibly the roadside
- a Sri Lankan breakfast for one will comfortably keep two adults full until dinner
- while we didn’t see pigeon on the menu, they are clearly prepared for eating: