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Published: October 8th 2010
This photo is from the beach right in front of our hotel
crash....a weary traveler wipes the sleep from his eyes and looks out the glass veranda....crash....the sun has not yet broken the skyline so he has no idea what time it is...crash...he looks at the woman next to him, a woman that he will spend the rest of his life with, and he smiles....crash....they are so far from home and just beginning what promises to be and incredible honeymoon, and an even incredible life...crash...a honeymoon that is made even better by the rhythmic crashing of the Indian Ocean, that can be clearly heard from their room just a few short steps away.
So beings our first stop on the honeymoon, a trip that I had been planning for my wife and me in secret for 6 months now. A trip that has taken us to the remote and exotic land of Sri Lanka and will eventually take us to a country that has been the centerfold of it's fair share of high end travel magazines....the Maldives. With the entire world to choose from, coming up with the perfect honeymoon location was difficult, but I think I found it!
Sri Lanka is the "jewel" of the Indian ocean with an
View to the left of our room just before the evening showers roll in
extremely diverse landscape (from the golden beaches of the southern coast, to the tea plantations of the hill country, to the temple speckled cultural triangle), with a diverse culture (Buddhism is the main religion, followed by Hindu, Islam, and then Christianity), diverse activities (from sun tanning on one of the many hidden beaches, to going on safari in any of the many national parks, to hiking and cooking classes), not to mentions the incredible curries (that Haley and I are obsessed with). Sri Lanka does have a troubled past, it just recently ended a 25 year war against a localized terrorist group called the Tamil Tigers and then in 2004 the tsunami struck and damaged the coast, affecting the north and south coasts. The worst of it was when the tsunami hit a coastal train trapping and killing over 500 people. But the war has ended, the coastline has been rebuilt, and Sri Lanka is once again an incredible place to visit.
Our trip began a week after our wedding with a hazy two day journey that was surprisingly easy (thanks to one of the top airlines in the world, great private seats for Haley and I, and a
Sri Lanka's famous stilt fishermen
sleeping pill!). We got into Colombo without any issues, but at the odd hour of 3:30AM. After a 4 hour car ride we finally pulled up to our first destination, a lazy beach town named Ananwatuna. Ananwatuna has been described as a "banana shaped bend of golden boiling sand massaged by the gentle sea of moonstone blue". It is a small oasis on the southern coast just 10 minutes from it's larger neighboring city Galle. It is full of little boutique hotels, beach side cafes, and local curry restaurants.
We quickly fell into a routine here; rising in the early morning for a walk along the beach, a breakfast of fresh fruit served to us by our friendly waiters right on the beach, a day in the sun perfecting our tans, bowls of Sri Lankan curry or fresh seafood for a late lunch (maybe a beer or two to wash it all down with) and then the afternoon rain would come in....which would give us just the excuse we needed to get off the beach and head to the local Ayurveda (healing spa) for an evening massage and then a nap. At night we'd pick out a nice restaurant,
In Sri Lanka it is pretty typically to have a meal with numerous curries. We love it!!!
have some incredible food, a few drinks and then typically turn in early (I don't think we made it past 10:3.
Meal time was always the highlight of the day as Sri Lanka is famous for it's curry (and rightfully so!). As many of you know, both Haley and I love curry, and boy was this place perfect for that. We had prawn curry, shrimp curry, fish curry, pumpkin curry, green bean curry, lentil (dahl) curry, potato curry, cucumber curry, and this was as of day two! We haven't been as successful finding some of our other favorite dishes (samosas) but we're looking! Haley and I eventually signed up for a cooking class (Karuna's) that lasted all day and was run by the sweetest woman ever. Haley was in heaven, taking notes, tasting this and that, and asking all sorts of questions.
The Sri Lankan people as a whole seem to be incredibly friendly... More so than any other group of people i have met while traveling. They have a genuine interest in chatting with you, are very open to talking about themselves, and are quick with directions or to lend a hand. Day after day Haley and
I are pleasantly surprised!
All in all Haley and I could not have asked for a better start to our honeymoon, from the incredible beaches, to the spicy curries, to the blazing sun and friendly people. We are both looking forward to the rest of our trip!
(written from the back porch of my hotel room, overlooking a dark ocean, a lion beer in one hand and my iPad in the other...I could get used to this!)
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