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June 24th 2012
Published: June 21st 2017
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Geo: 8.56915, 81.2329

I arrive in Trincomalee via Sigiriya which is the Sri Lanka equivalent to Ayers Rock in Australia, although after some disappointment I can't climb to the top of it, I didn't realise it was so expensive to get in (3700 Rs, around 18 GBP) and I didn't have enough cash on me. Their card machine is broken, there are no banks and they won't take travelers cheques so guess it wasn't meant to be, at least I suppose I can see it, I just can't climb to the top of it so instead I go into the museum and read the history of Sigiriya after taking some photos.

I meet Wright from Taiwan on the bus and we end up exploring Sigiriya and the museum together before heading onto Trincomalee and the bus gets us in around 7pm, with no room booked I'm hoping we'll find something okay. The bus journey was great, the scenery is very green and lush and I watched the sun set over the paddy fields. Unfortunately though there are road works so it's a really bumpy ride, which results in me getting thrown clean out of my seat on more than one occasion and landing
back down with a jolt to my back, the breakneck speeds doesn't help! Anyway I find a cheap room and although looks fairly dodgy in the night time it's actually ok, and I end up staying around five nights.

I'm not sure about the town, the sea and beach area is full of boats and fishermen, their homes back onto the beach then it's the main road and it feels a bit of a no go area. I did wander down to have a look but I didn't last long which is saying something, it was full of men, I mean millions of them all asking ‘where are you going?', it's a bit intimidating to say the least and after a few remarks on the way back I just need to give as good as I get. The next bay however is a beautiful white sandy beach where everyone goes swimming although here they call it ‘taking a bath' which I find funny, I remember years ago in Ireland with one of my cousins going into the sea for a bath with a bar a soap but we were young at the time! The swimming area is marked off with white floats out to a small island, you can see all sorts of wee colorful fish, and the area is full of locals splashing around.

Fort Augusta is at one end of the beach, and the road leads up to one of the many temples, on the way up I see the biggest banyan tree I've ever seen, it's the width of a house! In the grounds of the fort there are many red deer, they are very tame and walk right beside you with no fear at all, there are a number of them in the town also which wander on the roads! The temple at the top of the hill has a huge golden statue outside and many carvings cut into the stone of the cliffs of the fort which looks out to the Indian Ocean. On the way back down all the soldiers talk to me, one even calls me ‘darling' which I was a bit taken aback with they're not usually that familiar, many of them are nice though and I stop and talk to them, well answer their questions really but it's all good although I normally stand so their gun isn't pointing at me, I don't think I've ever seen so many guns before.

There are some beautiful beaches near here, Nivaveli which is very long and wide and has many guest houses but I love Marble beach which is where the locals and local tourists go, this place is a real find. I get off the bus and walk around 3km down a dirt track road to get to this beach, it seems to be a fairly well kept secret and I'm not surprised. It really is stunning, clear green, blue waters, white sands, lush green cliffs behind and not another tourist in sight. There's a family all in swimming together, some of the women are wearing black ‘burkas' while in playing with the kids, it's fantastic to watch. A coach load of Muslim school girls appear on the beach, throw off their sandals and head for the sea, they are dressed top to toe in white, they're soaked and having a ball, they're loving it. This is probably my favorite beach in the Trincomalee area although I'm sure I'll find more. Not far from Marble beach is Kinniyai beach which is a more black sand beach but even with my flip flops on it's burning my feet, the temperature is so hot here definitely not for sunbathing which is why I end up walking around with my umbrella up, it's roasting (around 38 degrees).

I caught the local perahera which I have to say isn't a patch on Beliatta, although this one has the Sri Lanka army and the navy in their white uniforms, the men really are stunning… there are local colorful dances again plus kandy dancers and I enjoy the parade from the rooftop of the hotel.

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