Greetings from Sri Lanka!
Time to get you up to speed with the past 2 weeks…
Our flight from Dubai to Sri Lanka was through Sri Lankan Air, hello coolest outfits ever to exist. Loved what the crew was wearing. The flight was insanely bumpy, but went by very fast. We flew late night and arrived in Colombo for 6am. We were graced with tons of locals begging for us to take their taxi. Once we found our driver, we began the 3 hour ride south to Hikkaduwa. Both of us were exhausted and took turns sleeping before we reached our destination. We got to Siri’s Blue Ocean Villa, a recommendation from John’s best friend. They immediately offered us a place to relax and enjoy some breakfast. Yum! We were very fortunate there was one room available for us, beach front view. Our hostel was among many other hotels and restaurants that lined the shore. The town of Hikkaduwa is very hectic, with narrow and congested roads full of buses, cars, mopeds, and tuk tuks. As far as the food, there was a similar Sri Lankan menu at every restaurant that consisted of mostly rice, fresh fish, curry, and prawns. Lion lager is the local beer, with an occasional place having Lion stout, John’s favorite. Arrack is the local liquor.
Celebrating 2 years 🙂
The Local Water
The marine life was amazing. We were able to see many sea turtles as the waves crashed, and were fortunate enough to see a mama turtle come walking up to shore to lay her eggs. It was fantastic! One morning we ventured over to the part of shore where they take you out snorkeling. We hopped into a skinny boat, and I mean skinny to head for a patch of rocks not too far from edge of the beach. I tried my best at snorkeling, but I never do too well. I preferred the “swimming pool area” as the local man called it, aka the shallow water 🙂
Our Skinny Boat
Unfortunately, the water was not too clear and lacking in fish, unlike the fish market. We went there next to prepare for a BBQ. Our hostel staff said they would gladly cook the fish and prepare the meal. All we had to do was take the journey to the market and cough up the cash. It was quite the scene, and hot spot for the locals. They had beautiful produce and very smelly fish, which had to be a good sign. Delish!! After dinner we were introduced to a Swedish couple who were spending their holiday (vacation) in Hikkaduwa. Overall, we had a wonderful time in our first beach town and felt so comfortable and welcomed by all.
From Hikkaduwa, we headed south to our next stop: Unawatuna. This was once one of the world’s top 5 beaches, but over the past year the Coastguard decided to insert a rock wall to further protect the beaches after the Tsunami destruction. The plan backfired and shortened the beach by 100 meters, leaving minimal beach for tourists flocking here to see the town’s natural beauty. A lovely couple we met from Holland told us all about this, and gave us tons of insight on Sri Lanka and our future destinations. Perhaps the best piece of advice they gave us was the golden ticket, aka the food tuk tuk (insert applause). This form of meals on wheels is thee bomb diggity! It is a common meal for locals with a supply of fresh stuffed pastries and even loaves of bread. It is extremely inexpensive and serves for a great snack midday! We ended our time in Unawatuna with a splurge. One of the local street vendors sold beautiful paintings, and we couldn’t resist. A gorgeous 6ft x 3.5ft elephant painting is currently on its way to the US. It will be the perfect way to remember this incredible trip.
Food Tuk-Tuk ❤
Our last, and most southern beach was Mirissa.We took another tuk-tuk so we were able to see the famous stick fishermen. Unfortunately, there were only a few men out while we passed by, but still a great shot. We were able to find a hostel right away, but only stayed one night after sleeping with one eye open. It was beyond sketchy and we heard music and dogs barking into the wee hours of the night. We eventually settled into a lovely little hotel at the end of the beach that was perfect for the rest of our stay there. The beach itself was much longer than the other two, but also lined with more tourists. It definitely seemed to be the most family friendly beach. We were graced with rain two of the afternoons we were there, but we found other ways to entertain ourselves by checking out the local food and street vendors. We officially became obsessed with rotti’s, which seem to be a cross between a crepe and tortilla. They are then warmed on the grill, filled with the ingredients of your choice and folded into their shape. Our favorite by far is chocolate and banana. Mouth watering! Another local delicacy is a lassie. This is a flavored milkshake made with curd instead of milk- also fabulous. We have solely been living on street food now that we found the cost can be twice as less compared to on the beach. Usually it twice as delicious too…
All in all, we enjoyed a wonderful week on three beautiful and very different beaches. It was exactly what we envision as far as a relaxing atmosphere and not a worry in the world. We met some great people…in particular our three favorites from Sweden, our Holland friends, and Georgie and Rob from Australia. Whether it was for dinner, an around-the-world travel chat, or dessert at the #1 Rotti shop we thoroughly enjoyed the chance to meet and spend time with you! We say goodbye to the Sri Lankan sand, and make way for the gorgeous green mountain views ahead. Until then!