A Travellerspoint blog

The South

sunny 34 °C

We left the cool hill country for the south coast - a huge temperature difference especially at night, we went from needing a blanket to succumbing to airconditioning. The journey to the coast was stunning, the bus wound down from Ella, through Ella Gap to the coastal plains, dropping 1,000m (and gaining about 10deg C).

Our first stop was tongue-twisting Tissamaharama (generally known by tourists as Tissa) for Yala National Park. We stayed at a lovely guesthouse, My Village, about 2km out of town with a tranquil garden where we could sit and watch the kingfishers on the neighbouring pond. My Village had gone for minimalist chic which was a refreshing change. We've stayed at other places in Sri Lanka set in beautiful gardens full of flowers but the rooms are cluttered wih plastic flowers, cushions and even soft toys - all gathering dust, spiders and ants.

My Village

My Village

We visited Yala on a dawn safari hoping to see leopard - it allegedly has the world's highest density of leopards but that's still not many. Unfortunately we didn't see any but we did see a distant sloth bear, our first wild elephants, wild boar, langurs and loads of birds.

Wild elephant

Wild elephant


Land monitor

Land monitor

Wild boar

Wild boar


Yala

Yala

Yala used to have two resorts in the Park which were destroyed in the tsunami but it's impossible to tell that now. It was generally very hard to imagine the effects of the tsunami, we saw some abandoned and derelict houses, the occasional boat washed far inland but there has clearly been massive rebuilding.

We moved to the coast with wonderful cooling sea breezes stopping first at Tangalle - an idyllic beach with white sand, palm trees and a lagoon for kayaking. The only problem was the sea - just too rough to swim or do more than paddle and run away from the biggest of the waves.

Tangalla beach

Tangalla beach


Tangalla waves

Tangalla waves

We moved on to Mirissa - which is recommended by every traveller who's ever been here and which we had been hearing about since we were in Goa. And it was lovely - a long curving bay, coves for snorkelling and swimming and areas to surf. We also met up with, it seemed, nearly everybody else we'd met in Sri Lanka - perfect for chatting over sunset beers on the beach.

Mirissa beach

Mirissa beach


Sunset bathers

Sunset bathers

We stayed in a great place, just away from the main beach set in lovely gardens (complete wih cats, chickens and lizards) overlooking one of the coves. We slept to the sound of crashing waves and had breakfast right by the sea.

P3040028.jpg

Lizard in the garden

Lizard in the garden

We had a less pleasant wildlife encounter with a scorpion in our room - worse for the scorpion though as it seemed to have been crushed to death under Sue's pack.

There was a procession while we were there - something to do wih the fishermen - more cross-dressing, animal costumes and drums.

Fishermen's procession

Fishermen's procession

There was a perfect lunch spot just near our guesthouse - a king coconut seller on one side of the road and a shack selling the best roti we've had in Sri Lanka, freshly cooked to order. They also made the Sri Lankan speciality of Kottu Roti - roti dough with vegetables cooked and chopped on a hotplate, teppanyaki style.

King Coconut seller

King Coconut seller


Roti shop

Roti shop


Kottu Roti chopping

Kottu Roti chopping

Lunch and king coconut at the roti shop

Lunch and king coconut at the roti shop

We left the beach for a couple of days sightseeing in the old Dutch town of Galle. We stayed in the old fort area, which is full of colonial architecture. Even the locals seem to think it is really hot and in the evening the ramparts are full of people cooling off and watching the sunset.

Dutch warehouse

Dutch warehouse

Lighthouse on the ramparts with sunset strollers

Lighthouse on the ramparts with sunset strollers

Moving on to the west coast for our final few days.

Posted by armrig 19:43 Archived in Sri Lanka

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint