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Published: November 1st 2015
We left Tangalle and visited a natural blowhole on our way to Mirissa. It was scorching hot and the climb up to the blowhole almost defeated us as our muscles were still sore from climbing Adam's Peak. We waited for 15 minutes until we saw a small but impressive blowhole in action. Then we visited a Buddhist temple built on a tiny island.
When we arrived at Mirissa in the afternoon we dropped our stuff at a beautiful hotel which was under a lot of construction. This is extremely common in Mirissa as the tourist scene is increasing. There is a new hotel being built almost everywhere you turn, which can spoil the views.
We had lunch on the beach and sunbathed for the rest of the afternoon with a cold beer in hand.
The next morning we were picked up at 6am to go whale watching! We were so excited that we might be lucky enough to see a blue whale or orcas.
The boat we were on only had a few other tourists, which we were relived about as we could see other boats being packed full. We set off and were served tea, biscuits,
fruit and eggs for breakfast (which is difficult to eat on a moving boat).
We were given a small introduction into the animals we might come across and how to look out for them. We were also warned that the sea can make it very easy to become sea sick. Within a matter of minutes we had both turned green.
The next hour or so was pretty dreadful, until someone spotted some Dolphins. They were feeding together and jumping around near local fishing boats. Our sea sickness has vanished and we headed further out to try and spot some whales.
Eventually we spotted a blue whale. The largest and heaviest mammal in the world! It was hard to believe one was so close to our boat. A blue whales dorsal fin is actually very small, so it was difficult to grasp just how big he was. Then he swam towards the boat and we could see his dark shadow in the water. He was HUGE! About 30m long. The crew were unsure how old this blue whale was but they told us that blue whale calves grow by 200lbs every day!
After spotting the first blue
whale, another one appeared, as they were feeding together. And then we even saw a a white whale. We had to be very vigilant, because they were only visible for a short time, and if you missed it then it was tough luck.
After about half an hour, the captain of the ship, who's name was Raja, told us we were going to turn back because he did not want to follow the whales. We managed to have a long chat with him and he was very willing to share his story. Raja used to be a fisherman, and explained his job as 'you do what you're told by the man in charge'. So he admitted that he had caught and killed dolphins and turtles in his past. We weren't sure if he meant he had harmed any whales, and we didn't want to ask.
He said that he managed to turn his life around and set up his whale watching company as a means to make a living whilst carrying out research. He works closely with St. Andrews university in Scotland, and says that he can gather data whilst taking people out on his boat to spot
whales. We sincerely admired the way he spoke about caring for the ocean, and his attempts to clean up the beach and recycle in a country where people laugh at the suggestion. However, when we showed our admiration, he quickly told us that he used to be a very bad man, and he is a hypocrite because of the bad things he had done in the past. We still admired the work he does now, and the recognition of the error in his ways.
We returned from whale watching in the afternoon and headed to Mirissa beach for some lunch and then some body boarding. We hired the boards for an hour and joined others flying on to the beach being carried by huge waves. It was great fun.
We enjoyed dinner on the beach like many others and sat there for hours until tables started to get hit with the waves.
It is amazing that you can be so high up in the hills in Sri Lanka that you need a hat/scarf/jacket, but in a 3 hour drive you can be on the beach in scorching hot sunshine. We absolutely love the natural beauty of Sri
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