Blogs from Hikkaduwa, Southern Province, Sri Lanka, Asia

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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa August 21st 2013

Heart of Lightness: Up the Madu River to Cinnamon Island. The Madu River empties into the Laccadive Sea about a third of the way north from Galle on the way to Colombo, a little past the touristy town of Hikkaduwa. When we agreed with our guide's suggestion that we get in the boat, we had NO IDEA what awaited us, though with memories of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" pounded into us in high school, I might have asked a question or two before agreeing. But it was a gorgeous day, we'd had a terrific lunch at the Lighthouse Hotel in Galle and the river trip unfolded one revelation at a time. As Sunetra isn't a swimmer, the first priority was to secure life jackets all around. That done, no sooner had our boat left the dock ... read more
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Boy paddles up on his boat
Martha with baby

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa March 3rd 2013

Leaving the over crowded, polluted city of Colombo we headed further south by train to Hikkaduwa. After our bad timing of the trains we ended up with 3 hours wait in Kalutara where we met Henry, the local tour guide/busy body/doctor/traveller/story teller, who had something to say about everything (even when there was nothing) which was interesting, I think..well, the 20% that i could understand. In Hikkaduwa nearly every one is a surfer or looks as though they could be (apart from us, obviously). Where there are surfers, there is cheap beer and where there is beer, there are Scots. Well Alec to be precise, the 66 year old pensioner we met who had by all accounts pub crawled his way from Fife and picked up some great stories and potential liver failure on the way. ... read more
Hikkaduwa Beach
Galle Fort

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa January 11th 2013

MAYBE YOU WANTING BUY T-SHIRT INSTEAD? If you are going to have a sea change, it may as well be by the sea. Our 8 day Hill Country interlude was backed up by our final Sri Lanka week at Hikkaduwa, meaning one final week of surfing before the rental surfboard turned into a pumpkin. The week's waves were standard Hikkaduwa fodder; something every day and plenty of weaving through the European beginner masses. Lots of fun but the body isn't what it used to be. A pair of joints in particular weren't holding up too well so it was time for some chemical intervention. The sign read "Medical Centre and Pharmacy" but the shelves weren't exactly overstocked nor was there anybody behind the counter. A couple of high voltage "hellos" and in trudged the woman working ... read more
Galle Fort
Down by the beach in Galle
Sarongs in the breeze

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa December 26th 2012

Use it or lose it. It's a mantra that rang loud 2 minutes into my first surf session for 10 months. A couple of head high waves on Hikkaduwa's beach break peaking directly in front of me was followed by duck diving and frantic paddling. Already the arms were strings of spaghetti dangling from jellied shoulders. I felt like a bird suffering vertigo. I hadn't used it and thus had lost it. No age is ideal for a surfing comeback from such a lengthy hiatus but 56 is way less ideal. Ruthlessly humbling. What didn't help was the $4 a day rental board that would be ignored by scavengers if it was sitting on a rubbish pile at a council cleanup in Sydney. The guys renting me the board told me I would also need to ... read more
Beach break
Boy and a Buddha
Coconut vendor

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa November 2nd 2012

On first impressions Hikkaduwa was nice, we walked into a bavarian style bar with people enjoying jugs of beer, a huge, fat black German Shepard greeted us vigorously, like old friends and we were shown to our room which was the cabana nearest the sea. It all seemed wonderful, we were possibly high on nitrogen or something from diving because we walked round our basic room that was kitted out with appliances from the 1970's in awe, proclaiming how nice it was. We had dinner in the hotel, the night got even better from there as I was STARVING and on the menu was mixed grill with steak, chicken, egg, sausage and BACON!! granted it wasn't the best bacon but it was bacon nonetheless! I shared the scraps with the beach dogs and then we went ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa September 15th 2012

Since I have already uploaded my photos, with comments, on Picasa in public view, I am not uploading them again here. Please see the photos here - https://plus.google.com/photos/103211832132617502537/albums/5788243424243875361?banner=pwa Planning the holiday - We had been planning a seaside vacation for quite sometime now. We had evaluated Andaman, Lakshadweep, Mauritius, Maldives and Thailand besides Sri Lanka. We looked at reviews on travel sites and also looked at travel times, costs (from Delhi), availability of good hotels and the activities and attractions at our destination. One thing we wanted to avoid was the crowds and rush and wanted to go to a less commercialized destination. Combined with our work and family commitments, we zeroed in on Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka,... read more

Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa April 30th 2012

As many mornings went spent with David and the Frenchies, we began in usual fashion- coffee and beach. This particular morning, I felt particularly energetic. It was before 7 am when I went on the beach to practice Muay Thai. I was the first one awake. Doing anything on the beach makes almost any experience better. Muay Thai was no exception. I moved as the waves approached and retracted. There was a meditative quality to the thunderous crashing of the water upon the shore. I felt a part of everything, of life, of nature. I remembered that I had my very large camera and heavy tripod. I had to get some more use out of them. I set them up on the beach and began filming myself doing what Master Danny had been teaching me to ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa April 30th 2012

Sri Lankans are a beautiful people. They assist each other without expectation. I saw it in Ratnapura, when the different gem traders all crowded themselves into one office. It didn't matter who sold me the jewel, just that someone did. I saw it on the bus rides when strangers would take the child of parents on a very crowded bus and let them squeeze next to them on a seat or on their laps. I saw it when strangers would help the old carry bags and boxes on and off buses or into cars. It was infectious. They also smile from deep within, way down in the soul, radiating out. I saw it in their sparkling eyes and wide lipped grins every time they spied a shirtless, tattooed, sarong wrapped Korean American walking down the busy ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa April 28th 2012

A rooster crowing is a powerful alarm. It definitely works. As it crowed, my eyes fluttered open. As usual, laying in bed was not an option. I would be unable to return to a deep slumber. Besides, we all had plans together, an early start on our last full day/night in Tangelle. Audrey, David and I headed for a swim down the beach. Marion stayed behind. The waves in front of our guest house were too powerful to frolic in. Audrey's small frame wouldn't allow it. Even David and I had been tossed around violently by the waves the afternoon prior. I also wanted to visit a temple to pray, something that I had not been able to do in a few days, since the boys three day party fest in Hikkaduwa. it was time to ... read more
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Asia » Sri Lanka » Southern Province » Hikkaduwa April 26th 2012

4/25 The day was going to be spent traveling to Ratnapura, the gem mining capital of Sri Lanka. One of the main reasons for coming here was to buy a gem for a potential engagement ring. Since there was no woman in my life anymore, one would assume to nix the idea. I didn't want to. I know I would someday get married to the right woman for me, so it only seemed natural to purchase a gem anyway. At the very least, it would make a great story. Plus, I had arranged with Sarath (the owner of the guest house we were staying at in Kandy) to see his gem mine. We were going to be allowed to descend into the mine and see the mining process in action. I had watched the host of ... read more
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