So, after a truly epic week of surfing with Bandulla we headed to the birthplace of surfing in Sri Lanka – Arugam Bay. Bandulla and a few of his friends were headed there anyway so we hitched a lift in their truck. We got to chat to Bandulla about all sorts of things and stopped several times for some pretty awesome street food. One thing we chatted about a lot was the tsunami. Arugam Bay was particularly badly hit by the natural disaster and has been slowly rebuilding itself over the last 10 years. Bandulla said the tsunami came almost 2km inland from Arugam Bay, wiping out several communities. It was a pretty sobering thought as we pulled into the bay. Clearly this was not such a sobering thought for the owners of ‘The Tsunami Hotel’ which we passed on the way into town. The board advertising the hotel had a painting of the Tsunami with people screaming beneath it. Poor taste? We thought so.
On arrival we saw a bustling tourist town and the lovely arc of the bay itself. We got dropped at our hotel called Coco Bay and quickly settled into our lovely air conditioned room just 100m or so from the beach.
Our few days in Arugam Bay consisted of the following:
You may notice no mention of ‘surfing’ in the activity list above – odd given the previous comment about the ‘birthplace of surfing’. Would you believe it Jess and I were a bit surfed out after Bandulla put us through our paces for a week. Plus the point break closest to us was a.) small and b.) being surfed by around 50 people at a time!
I think both Jess and I were feeling quite reflective in Arugam Bay. Because we’d decided to have proper chill time our thoughts did start to turn to the fact it was nearly the end of our trip. I certainly spent many a moment trying to soak up everything around me, conscious that we were unlikely to be this well travelled, well rested and well sunned for quite some time (no sympathy expected).
In between these moments of travelling reflection we did manage to meet a brilliant couple from Austria called Laurenz & Julia. Laurenz definitely had the coolest job of anyone we had met on our travels so far – he and his family owning a jam making business – hmmm jam. These guys were staying at the same hotel as us and we enjoyed many an evening drinking lion beer, eating delicious curry and talking about jam. Happy times. We hope to pay them a visit (not just because of the promised tour of their jam factory) in Bregenz soon.
So, after a very relaxing week or so in Arugam Bay we headed for Ella and the train through the central highlands and tea plantations back to Colombo. More to come on this and our last few days of what has been the most glorious 5 months imaginable.
You may be pleased to hear this is probably the penultimate smug travelling post.
Love to all.