Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Flash Back to Sri Lanka: These are a few of my favorite things


View from our room!

Location: Hikkaduwa Beach
Hotel: Citrus Hikkaduwa

The American and I did Sri Lanka on a really strict budget, but still managed to have a fantastic time. The water was beautiful, even though the waves could get quite rough, the beach seemed endless, the food was mouth watering and the people were absolutely beautiful. 
Our daily budget was about 15 dollars each, and we made that last for meals and fun! Definitely and easy budget location.




1. Turtle Hatchery
SO MANY BABY TURTLES

Seriously. Best time every, you get to hold little baby one-day old turtles in your hands. Have you seem anything cuter than a itsy-bitsy baby turtle? No, the correct answer is that you have not. The money that you pay to see the turtles, which is very small, goes to running the facility and keeping their rescues, turtles who have lost a fin, safe and happy. I believe that if you volunteer your time you can help them release the turtles to the ocean and watch births in the evening with them for free. You can take all the photos you like and they are happy to take them for you!




2. Galle Fort
Galle Fort

Now, Galle was beautiful, you drive down the coast from Hikkaduwa to get there, and the drive itself is absolutely beautiful, you see tons of coast, beautiful beaches and palm-trees lining the roads, stunning. We rode down in a Tuk-Tuk which was a bit like taking your life into your hands, but an experience for the books none the less. Walking along the old dutch fort is amazing, and you can go for hours, it is absolutely massive. I do wish that there had been more information about the fort, as a history buff, I love to read about the places I visit. I really didn't do enough reading before we arrived (my fault) and unfortunately there were no signs posted, so we wandered around the very cool ruins all morning without knowing a thing about them.


3. Our Tuk-Tuk Driver (and the adventures he took us on)

The American and I lucked out big time with our Tuk-Tuk man, he knew the area well, took us everywhere we wanted to go, and asked for a fair price. He also brought us to a few places that we would not have known about, they were so out of the way, there was a moon-stone mine, a lagoon, and a silk factory in addition to some beautiful monuments to honor the dead from the Tsunami a few years before our stay. The people in general in Sri Lanka are among the most welcoming I have ever met - everyone has a kind smile and a wave for you, and all are very helpful.

Thunderstorm!!!!
4. Thunderstorms.
While I know this is totally un-predictable, and based on the weather patterns, I loved watching the thunderstorms roll. We were in Sri Lanka in mid-April, and catching the tail end of the dry season and the beginning of the wet season. There is a simple beauty in listening to the thunder crack, and seeing the lighting strike. The American and I had a covered balcony with an ocean-view, so we were quite happy to sit and watch. They never lasted long, but there were one of the most memorable parts of the trip.


5. The Moon-Stone Mine
This was one of the random experiences that our Tuk-Tuk diver took us on, and I could not have been more delighted with it. While, I am sure that it was a ploy for us to buy something so he could get some commission off it, the people were not pushy about asking us to purchase anything. They took us on a tour of the property and actually encouraged me to jump in the mine-water and search for moon-stones, luckily I was wearing a bathing suit underneath my t-shirt, so I hopped right in to The American's surprise. Not sure that I found any moon-stones but it was well worth it, for now I can say I went to Sri Lanka and worked in a mine (if only for a short time).



My favorite part of the day was always the sunsets, they were absolutely stunning. It was beautiful to see people just stop what they were doing to admire it, and carry on as soon as it dipped behind the ocean. I will certainly go back and explore more of such a beautiful country.


Morning Coffee is always essential - beautiful location for breakfast!



Colourful Streets!

Fire dancers at the hotel

Our stomping ground for the week,


Galle Fort


Taking a break!
Our Tuk-Tuk Driver

Memorial

Baby Turtles!


Good-Bye Sun

Simple is Beautiful

Colours, colours everywhere