Friday, 26 July 2013

'bini flashbacks

As we only have three weeks here, this is a bit of a whirlwind tour of Sri Lanka and a completely different style of travelling to what we did in India. In that vein we are now on the south coast, having left Ella several days ago and then spent few days in Arugam Bay, the surfing heart of the country.

We would have stayed in lovely Ella longer but our time limits constrained us and once we had conquered all the peaks and climbs- which we did- we thought we should move on. Will had been keen to try surfing ever since we decided to come to Sri Lanka so the obvious next stop was Arugam Bay. It's the best time to be there now, sunny, warm and beautiful blue water and the town full of very tanned people with dreadlocks and sun-bleached hair (that's surfers...) So we stayed there some time, ate some delicious muesli, swam and got burnt and Will managed to teach himself to stand up on a surfboard and even ride the odd wave (there were also a lot of crashes). I, on the other hand, could see what tremendous effort it was learning to surf- you have to battle out over the crashing waves to even get to the point where you try to catch a wave in, then you either miss it and sit around waiting for the next one or catch it then invariably fall down and have to battle your way out there all over again- and decided I probably wouldn't be too upset if I gave it a miss this time...lazy? Very, but I'm ok with it.

After a few days of this (in keeping with our lightning tour) we decided to head south to a beach called Unawatuna, a place the trusty (though this I'm beginning to doubt) Lonely Planet said was a tropical paradise. Tropical paradise I'm sure it would be, if it weren't for the gently monsoonal weather of right now...we even checked the rainfall at this time of year in our treacherous guide book and it is supposed to be the second driest time to come, but this morning we awoke to a thunder storm and torrential rain and the sky is very defiantly remaining gray and cloudy.

It is also, as our luck would have it, Buddhist festival time. I'm not sure if anyone remembers my post about Lumbini, where we also stumbled on a festival- in fact, I can't even remember exactly what I wrote- but the constant wailing and "singing" being broadcast over the loudspeaker is, as Will said, as if his ears had taste-buds and somebody was squeezing lemon juice into them. Quite a neat analogy and perfectly apt. It's quite horrible. It isn't as bad as Lumbini because our room is pretty well soundproof and we can escape to the other end of the beach when it gets too much, but it beggars belief that the quietest and most peaceful of all the religions would celebrate festivals in this way.

All in all though, it's ok here. We probably won't be able to go snorkelling but we can go swimming and, if we are feeling cliched, for long walks along the beach. We are also staying in a room with hot water and internet that works which is about as luxurious as it gets for us. And it is only $12 a night. (In comparison, our $18 a night room in Arugam Bay came with its own set of frogs that lived in the bathroom and a mosquito net that allowed the mosquitoes inside to feast on our flesh whenever they chose).

So that's the lesson from today's post everybody- it's all a balance. Yin and Yang and all that (I knew I got my tattoo for a reason...)

Now, a few days after this post, I'd just like to add a postscript- the weather cheered up a bit and it's been perfectly sunny and tropical and I've taken some pictures that would make everyone at home, in the cold, very jealous (if only I could figure out how to upload them). 

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