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Published: January 18th 2015
Mirissa was a fast and frantic three hour bus journey. Actually the bus only went to Matara and from there we got a tuk tuk to our hotel, the Edelweiss Resort.
We got off to a stuttering start but we think it's because the guy on the hotel desk didn't speak English too well. It turned out he couldn't find our reservation because he was looking under February! He asked if we wanted to upgrade to a seafront room but when we said no to paying an extra $10 a night he upgraded us anyway. It turned out to be a great hotel and we were reluctant to leave in the end. It was just so relaxing chilling out by the pool whilst watching and hearing the ocean's huge waves crash to the shore just metres away.
The hotel was a short walk away from the gorgeous Marissa Bay beach. Sadly we couldn't walk along the sand from the hotel and had to brave the edge of the busy road for a while. At night you definitely need a torch as the track from the road to the hotel is not lit at all. Quite an adventure really! The beach was
stunning but the ocean's rage was too ferocious for us to venture in. Apparently it is usually very calm at this time of year but once again we seem to have encountered uncommon conditions. Still, at least the sun was shining most of the time. The beach bars and restaurants are good value but the service is at times appalling - unless you are a young buxom blond that is. They had no trouble attracting the attention of the waiters!!
The main reason for visiting Marissa was to go whale watching. That meant another early start. Up at 5.45 we were taken by tuk tuk to Marissa harbour where the fish market was in full swing. We were the first to get on our boat and an hour later there were only six of us. Just as we thought that was it, a group of about 20 others joined us. Not too bad though as we had feared being on a boat with 50-60 people.
We sailed out into the Indian Ocean for a good hour wondering if we were in ever going to see anything. Suddenly a guide pointed at a blow spout in the distance and
A blue whale?
Or possibly a fin whale.
the boat rushed off to investigate. Soon we were gazing down on a giant blue whale which glided gracefully through the waves, arcing high from time to time to show off just a small portion of its body, before saying goodbye with a high five from its tail before plunging down into the depths. This pattern continued for a couple of hours and, although the guide said they were all blue whales, we now know that some were sperm whales and there could well have been other species too.
As we set sail back to port we had our closest encounter with a whale before we were joined by a pod of dolphins swimming around the bow. They looked like they were having so much fun. We also interrupted a pair of sea turtles making baby turtles (!) but they proved to be camera shy!! We also got pretty close to some of the huge container ships which ply their trade in these waters under the watchful eye of the coast guard and navy, presumably on the look out for Somali pirates.
It had been a great day out. Nature is unpredictable and we know that we have
been so lucky to have seen so many sea creatures in such a short time.
Tempting though it was to stay on and relax by the pool again, we were soon on our way to pastures new.
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Bringing back memories
I'm not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I'm glad I did. My daughter and I visited Sri Lanka in 2012 and visited many of the same places. Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to the next instalment. My blog is mostly about the Camino de Santiago, but I also posted about our trip to Sri Lanka http://www.magwood.me
Wow, some nice photos! Would love to do that boat trip and see the whales :)
D MJ Binkley
Dave and Merry Jo Binkley
Great .... perfect photos.
Very helpful blogs Russ, I think we're doing a similar itinerary but in reverse order. Currently in Unawatuna and heading to Mirissa today.