Sri Lanka #4, from Galle à Mirissa : and if this time was the good one?
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Sri Lanka and us is a lasting story but not really a love story yet… After three first attempts on this nearby island we weren’t finding any good reasons to come back except our business visa forcing us to step out of India regularly.
We had kept the South of the island in “stock”, for when it would be the good season. This time, finally arrived last month. After having explored Trincomalee, the centre with Kandy and the historic Anuradhapura, we headed straight to Galle, the celebrated colonial city and its nearby reputed beaches of Unawatuna and Mirissa.
And it’s true! Galle is a wonder, well preserved through the ages. Waking up with a view over its ramparts, bright light, transparent blue sea and colonial heritage (often well restored) is something unique. A paradise for westerners in “career change”: many shops, guest-houses, private villas or hotels are run by western people. We felt that we were coming a little bit after everyone else but the colonial city of Galle has ineluctably a lot of charm that you can’t ignore.
After having rented a scooter, we left to have a look at the different beaches of the South shore without any precise aim. One of the odd idea was to surf as the region has built a good reputation thanks to regular waves (and even if we’re total beginners). At Unawatuna, we found the beach pretty but a bit over-touristic, even if the blue of the sea is quite convincing. At Mirissa we found a good mix of casual bungalows, beach restaurants and a beach with or without waves. At Tallala, that we had been referred to, we found nothing except a deserted beach. It was too empty for us.
In between, we’ve been seriously sun-burnt while riding, checked the famous stilt fishermen (sometimes shamelessly here just for tourists and asking for money) and understood that this region was under a massive and dangerous development toward mass tourism…
So did we surf also? YES! and it was a great feeling, notably on Weligama beach, perfect for beginners.
To sum it up, this area of Sri Lanka has some serious assets, but hurry up if you want to discover it before Chinese and Russian masses are invading it (which has already started).