Touch down in Sri Lanka after an incredible 5 day stay in the Maldives! We arrived in the early evening so we booked a night at the Galle Face Hotel in Columbo before making our way down the coast line.
In the morning we booked a taxi to take us to Unawatuna which felt a lot like the Koh Samui / Koh Phangan strip full of restaurants, hotels and clubs. We stayed for 2 nights and did some exploring around the area and found so many little nicnac shops stocked with tons of wooden products like bowls, elephant souvenirs, salad spoons and puppets. We were tempted to get a mask but the more we saw of them the more we felt like they were just novelty items and rare antique or vintages ones were long gone.
We were told it wasn’t peak season which is usually June to December so we got to enjoy a quieter strip (at night that is) Unawatuna has such a chill vibe about it and there are so many activities during the day that you can do like snorkelling, surfing, whale and dolphin watching and so much more. There are so many restaurants in the area it’s kind of overwhelming and a total tourist spot with some hotels signs blatantly stating that locals were not allow to stay in their hotel… Hmm…
The next day we headed to Galle Fort which was initially built in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The buildings were beautiful and were started to inhabit shops and hotels in the original structures, although about 50% of them were open or in use. We walked to the end where the famous Galle Lighthouse was (and most of the tourists) took a couple of photos and then went to fins shelter in a shop because the heat was almost unbearable. We didn’t buy too much, just some lovely wooden handcrafted salad spoons and a small ivory elephant that reminded me of the one in the movie The Secret Garden. This was to be added to my ever growing elephants from around the world collection which just happened to be because people started getting me elephants as souvenirs, now I’m making it a thing!
After 2 nights in Unawatuna we headed down to one of the surf spots Weligama where we had booked and paid to stay at a hip surf school, we ended up getting there pretty early so we had to wait a couple of hours till our room was ready but while we waited we noticed that it was more hipster than hip and didn’t look like the photos on tripadvisor at all. We waited about 2 hours on the hotel beach front while we watched the hotel guests surf and come back for a bathe. The owner a hippy Russian who had obviously decided to stay and set up shop for good in Sri Lanka after a visit (like many tourists) told us that the entire beach was out of electricity and would be back soon. Time went buy and as honeymooners we felt like we were crashing a hippy high school graduation trip. We decided to talk a walk and the area was still up and coming with a lot of new growth and hotel chain- Marriott on the way. The area was untouched, there were a lot of locals going about their day with no sign of anything to do there. We dragged our feet back to the hotel and as the room still wasn’t ready and reality sinking in about how we felt like adults crashing a school trip we decided to walk around the other side of the hotel and voila, we couldn’t believe our eyes it was like seeing a lagoon after a long walk in the desert. We both walked in separate directions so excited about the minimalistic luxe looking hotel that was right next door the whole time. We sat down for lunch and decided we had to switch hotels. So for 3 nights we stayed at Weligama’s 2nd best hotel where I got food poisoning which was terribly upsetting. I had only had one day of surfing which I absolutely fell in love with and the next 2 days had me bed ridden and unable to explore and surf more with my new husband.
On the day we left to our next destination I figured that I needed to see a doctor but he was unavailable and that I could go to a hospital 40 minutes away which i politely declined. We drove to our next spot which my knight in shining armour set up doctor to come visit me at our next hotel I got some medicine and rested a little more. We were in Kosgoda, famous for its turtle hatcheries and during the early afternoon I felt like i needed to talk a walk otherwise Sri Lanka would have been a total bummer. We walked along the coast and stumbled across a netted fence and it was man made turtle farm! I couldn’t believe that we had stumbled across one thinking that my luck had ended and we were going home in a few days. We ended up taking a tour and saw lots of baby turtles and deformed and albino turtles that sadly wouldn’t have survived in the wild so they were cared for by the volunteers.
So our last few nights we not so eventful but I was feeling better and we got to see the capital a bit more because I had left my wallet at the Galle Face Hotel which they so kindly notified me and held on to it till our last day.
Sri Lanka is beautiful and the people are so friendly and the surfing was so much fun, I can’t wait to go back.
Love, P x