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Henry heads to the beach.

so now it's time for us to head south and check out the Sri Lankan beaches.

Saturday 23rd November 13 (day 84)

Time to leave Ella, we had stayed 3 nights and it was most enjoyable but it was time to head for the coast.

Heading out of the hill country we could feel the temperature and the humidity going up with each descending corner. I quick stop at the Rawana Ella Falls was the last of the cool hill temperature we felt.

It was a pretty long drive today, out of tea country and back into rice paddies country. Driving towards the south eastern corner of the island we hit the coast at the town of Kirinda. Only after having driven through Tissamaharama, which is the town to go to if you want to book a safari into Yala National Park. We had read and heard it is not that great at this time of year so had decided not to go into the park. However this did not stop tour operator from stalking us in his safari vehicle trying to get us to stop and talk to him. Driving dangerously next to our tuk tuk yelling at Lyn to pull over and then speeding ahead to get out of his vehicle and try and wave us down. He followed us for about 30 minutes trying different tactics until realising we were not going to stop. Crazy man!

So our first glimpse of the ocean was nice. The water looked blue and clean but there was not really anywhere to stay and it was still early in the day so we decided to head a little further around the south coast. Instead of backtracking and going back through Tissa (we wanted to avoid another safari driver stalking) we took a back road to get us back on the highway. This road was a little rough but an experience and we drove through a park that was elephant migration country. Lots of elephant poo on the side of the road but we did not see any elephants. However wild life was abundant and we did see giant lizards (looked very similar to goannas), lots of water birds, water buffalos wallowing in muddy water ponds, peacocks with tail feathers fanned out trying to attract the attention of pea hens. And we even saw a huge brown snake that slithered off into the bushes when our tuk tuk approached it - not sure of its breed.

We headed to Tangalle to find a place to stay for the night. The beach looked ok here and there was a big choice of guesthouses on the little street along the beach. We stopped at one at the end of the lane which turned out to be owned by a young South African bloke, I went and looked at a room and it was nice - only 6 months old and within our price range of Rs3000 = $25. We went and looked at another place which was half the price, but decided on the 1st one since it was nicer and within budget anyway.

Parked Henry in the yard, bags in the room and headed to the beach bar for a coldie to watch the crashing waves and relax. Not bad 5pm and the rain had not yet come although the sky did look grey and promising rain.

I think not enough fluid and food today gave me a headache and I had to take some pills and call it a night. Bit of a pike out for Lyn but she had been driving all day and didn't mind the early night either I think. I woke sometime in the night and the rain had arrived.


Sunday 24th November 13 (day 85)

The bed was comfortable and sleeping and waking to the sound of breaking waves is always nice. We had breakfast of fried eggs (our host said the cook would not be able to cope with cooking poached eggs) toast & vegemite and tea.

Unfortunately the day was not looking like a day to laze on the beach as we had wished. The sky remained grey and threatening, not the lovely blue it was yesterday.

Never mind, we went for a walk along the beach and into the town as we needed to find a ATM to get enough cash to pay for our hotel bill if we wanted to leave tomorrow morning.

Walking about 1-2km along the beach we came across a group of fishermen who were hauling in a fishing net on the beach. There were about 20 all up divided in 2 hand pulling the long net onto the beach. They started to urge us to help them but not bloody likely. I did not see any local women helping out so we just stood around watching as they pulled in the net filled with an assortment of small fish. A couple of larger ones had also been snagged as did a small sting ray or two.

Continuing along the beach we found a path that led into the town centre. Although it was overcast the humidity was still up there an our first call was a cool drink. This can sometimes be a task to find as not all shops have a refrigerator and are happy to sell drinks at room temp. However, we managed to find a little hole in the wall that had a cool (not cold) 7up to sell us. Little slam down bottles Rs40 = 20c each.

We then browsed the local shops, found a couple of sarongs that were almost half the price of the ones we purchased in Haputale, so bought 2 each to make up for the price difference.

Did remember what we had come in for and found an ATM. Strolled back along the beach to our beach bar where we had a beer and ate the 'homemade chips' I had purchased in town. Just like crisps but coated in hot stuff, seems to be the only hot thing I like here. But definitely need to be eaten with a beer to wash them down.

We ordered the recommended calamari from the menu and must admit it was devine. One portion was enough that Lyn & I shared and it was actually cooked in a curry that I enjoyed.

Rest of the afternoon we chilled out reading. Sun has still not really come out even though it is quite warm. The ocean water is warm also, but today was just not swimming weather.

Tonight the hotel put on a beach bbq, Rs1400 = $12 each which is a bit expensive for here but the promise of bbq chicken drumsticks, bbq marlin and prawns was enough for us to sign up.
Of course it was a bit of a disappointment, the chicken was fine (can't really stuff up a bbq drumstick) the fish was good too, but not marlin and the prawns well they were just shit - let's leave it at that. But the salad was great and made up for the short comings of the rest of the meal. At least the rain held off, maybe a night downpour later.

I mistakenly finished the night with a pina colada - which again was a big disappointment, which was followed up by a hot shower minus the hot water. Welcome to Sri Lanka!! Sounds good and looks good on paper but reality is a bit disappointing if you think of what you get at home, so try not to compare.


Posted by Cindy Bruin 02:56 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged tangalla

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