Galle, a city I could live in

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April 18th 2009
Published: April 21st 2009
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The Boys enjoy their first cokeThe Boys enjoy their first cokeThe Boys enjoy their first coke

so why is Jake drinking MY Iced Tea?
Friday 17th April

After breakfast we took a tuk tuk to Galle Fort and Khalids Guest House. Chatwin would approve of this place, plain white walls, dark floor boards and ceilings, it is calm and simple except the noise of the ice cream vendors outside.

With Nick and the boys settling in the rooms I wandered. At the train station I established I could neither reserve seats nor buy tickets in advance. Walking back past the cricket ground I was ushered in to see the ground by the security. Can you imagine that happening at Lords? As I left I wandered up to the walls of the Fort, and bumped into a group of youngsters off to find somewhere to play cricket. They urged me to join them, but I resisted, instead continuing clockwise around the walls, from which I spotted what I initially took to be a moving rock and was startled to realise was a turtle surfacing. Beyond the lighthouse at a large bastion I fell into conversation with a lad who offered to take me to all the best places in the area for rock jumping - again under different circumstances this would appeal but I
The boys in their Mosquito TentThe boys in their Mosquito TentThe boys in their Mosquito Tent

In the beautiful Khalid's guesthouse with balcony overlooking fort and sea!
pressed on back to the others.

Reunited we headed out for drinks and then to the local beach beneath the lighthouse, with sign forbidding unlicensed photography and best of all “unblushing behaviour”. I fear I have rarely been anything but unblushing. Nicky was initially uncomfortable - with men in various states of undress the only women in the water were either young girls or fully dressed! Within moments of entering the sea the boys and I were called into a game of volleyball and pretty soon we were chatting to all sorts. By the time we left we had an invite for tea - sadly we had made arrangements - and the details of a newly wed couple who were moving up to his family in Kandy in a couple of days and insisted we get in touch when we go.

We had a final perambulation about the fort walls as the sun set, which was sadly obscured by clouds at the critical time. There was a real festival atmosphere, something like one imagines British sea side towns in the 20s or 30s would have been: whole families out enjoying the walk and views; groups of youths showing
The sign at the beachThe sign at the beachThe sign at the beach

Well could you resist taking a photo?
off to each other; gaggles of giggling girls. Other things were utterly alien: the freshly cooked roti we bought the boys beneath the lighthouse; the group of wreckies with blowtorches and no regard for health and safety cutting up the remains of a wreck beneath the mighty Tsunami-resisting 17th century walls. Dinner was a selection of fish and vegetable curries which 3 of us loved and even Jake managed.


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