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Published: September 25th 2017
After leaving Ella we headed for our first taste of the beaches that Sri Lanka has to offer! We headed for Arugam Bay which is on the East coast rather than heading south where everyone had told us it had been raining solidly!
Gillian and Ross, a couple we met on the platform at Kandy from Glasgow, had made their way down the previous evening and assured us the sun was shining so we jumped in a taxi from Ella with another couple Charlotte and Dave, from Cardiff who were staying in the same hotel as us. When we woke up the following morning we weren't disappointed to see the sun shining and the waves were only a stones throw away from our front door! After a lazy day on the beach the six of us went out for dinner and drinks. It took a long time to get going the next morning and whilst nobody said it outright, it was decided we wouldn't meet up the next day! The last night in Arugam Bay ended up being a repeat of the first resulting in Ross and I swapping shirts which I've promised to return to him when we get
back to the UK! Hopefully we will see Charlotte and Dave again when we get back! I think we owe them seeing as anything bad that could have happened to us definitely happened to them! They didn't have the best luck with the tuk tuk's, having been stopped by the police for speeding on one trip and their driver on the way to Udawalawe colliding with a pedestrian on the side of the road! Luckily they survived in one piece, not sure what happened to the pedestrian!
We were in two minds about doing the safari in Udawalawe because of the price but we bit the bullet and went for it. We were both in agreement afterwards that it was definitely the right choice. We saw peacocks, eagles and a variety of other birds. Land monitors and chameleons, deer, buffalo, monkeys, crocodiles and lots of elephants - including a three week old elephant and a stormy male elephant who had had enough and ripped the wing mirror off of one of the jeeps driving round! How our driver spotted half of the things we saw will remain a mystery to me.
Despite all the reports of bad weather
in the south and west coast we decided to head down there after the safari and ended up in a place called Thalpe. There wasn't much going on there but it was a good base to get to Unawatuna and Galle by bus. Unawatuna was unrecognisable from the place I'd been to ten years ago with lots of cafes, boutique shops and bigger hotels along the coastline. We had our best breakfast here a coconut rotti with dhal and onion chutney - I managed to find out what the chef used in his chutney and made a note so will attempt to recreate that when we get home and the breakfast was so good we booked into dinner there that same evening. It was run by a friendly man who did seem to enjoy blowing his own trumpet a bit telling us it was the best food in Sri Lanka! It was here we also bumped into a man called Lachsman who was doing a bit of gardening before he spotted us and reeled off a list of former British MP's and telling us how Norman Lamont's daughter had stayed with him. He was a coconut farmer and invited us
into his home to try one and show us photos of his own travels and family - before adding our email addresses to his collection! He didn't have any alterier motive, he just wanted to have a chat and show us his house which was refreshing! He did also tell us how the crocodile population in Sri Lanka is on the rise and how one elephant had had it's penis bitten off by one whilst going for a drink - not quite Rudyard Kipling but did make me whince!
We're now back in Negombo where we started and our time in Sri Lanka is up. We've both enjoyed ourselves, eaten very well and seen some great sites! It really is a beautiful country, there is a good variety of things to do and the people are very friendly and welcoming! It's off to India tomorrow and I think we're both agreed now after hearing so much about it we just want to get over there and get amongst it to see what it's really like for ourselves!
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