Day 9 From Udawalawe to Mirissa

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August 25th 2018
Published: August 26th 2018
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A restful morning in the ensuite tent, pottering by the river (where the locals come to play and wash themselves and clothing) and drinking coffee. Once packed we had a taxi pick us up at 12 for the journey to Mirissa.

It was about 2 hours and our man knew all the back roads avoiding traffic, so we arrived to our haven in the coastal forest ( the spice house) by lunchtime. On the way we passed fields of rice, some already harvested and stubble being burnt / insects removed, some just waiting to be harvested and some threshing going on - lot of manual labour! Then we passed a man and his son on a motorbike with his son clutching hold of a big bale of rolled sticks of cinnamon bark - very valuable so the boy was seriously clinging on!

After lunch and unpacking, the recommended place to watch the sunset and have a beer was the Navy Hotel on the headland so we thought we'd walk there. The coastal road has buildings on both sides in places, in spite of the 100m building limit post tsunami - in other parts the sea and small sandy beach is accessible and visible. Once on the beach the bay is lovely, with little bars that come alive in the evening. To find the headland, we had to walk to the fishing port and on to the headland. Their fishing boats were so colourful, and so many of them with men out sorting the nets getting ready to go out for the night.

As it happened the hotel had a wedding (!) and was closed to casual guests - but the beach bar was open - if it was we couldn't find it, but in true Sri Lankan style, a guy who looked in charge told us the hotel was open and we should go in - stunning views but really the whole place was just waiting for a wedding party - flowers / tables laid etc etc - so we made a hasty retreat and met the happy couple coming up the path!

So the need for a beer and food ( as well as a decent ATM that wasn't going to charge my card in Costa Rican Colons - who would have thought??) - was getting keener - so we found a lovely beach bar, ordered food and drink and watched the (nearly) full moon, fruit bats, crashing waves and palm trees swaying in the breeze - not a bad way to spend the evening!

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