Sri Lanka

14 June – 21 June

Time to escape India for a week and head to Sri Lanka.

 

UNAWATUNA
Japanese Peace Pagoda
First night on the south coast in the very scenic resort of Unawatuna and headed up hill to the Japanese peace pagoda.
A huge monument next to one of many Buddhist temples with amazing views over to Galle Fort.
Built to inspire peace, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds to help unite them in their search for world peace, it certainly was a lovely spot to spend an hour.
Views from the top.  Best time of day, I think.
Sunset.

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GALLE FORT

A UNESCO world heritage site in the Bay of Galle on the South west coast. First built in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onward, before falling to the British in 1815 until Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948.

It is however still known as the ‘Dutch Fort’

Amazingly it withstood the boxing day tsunami which caused extensive damage to many other areas of Galle.  Walking around there today you would never know that this part of the island was even affected.

 

ENTRANCE TO THE FORT

It really made me chuckle to learn that it was the British that built that pretty ugly clock tower because of their obsession with time keeping!


Dutch buildings and views from the fort walls

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Wildlife


Street Art

Some people might just call this graffiti but I thought they were pretty cool, bit of modern mixed in with the old


View from the fort walls

Now I have my camera back working fully I took the opportunity to mess around with the settings.  The bottom photo I took by accident but its actually worked out pretty well

One of the famous ‘fort jumpers’.
I paid $8 to watch this guy jump from the bastion into the sea between the fort walls and the rocks.
A 13m drop.
It was only afterwards they told me the water was only about 5ft deep!
Felt a bit guilty at this point at having negotiated him down from $11.
For me it was a bargain, luckily managed to capture it on camera too, but for him, well I think I’d have put a higher price tag than $8 on my life!!??

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Cricket

Sri Lanka wouldn’t be Sri Lanka without someone playing cricket.  This is actually just off the edge of the fort walls, not sure what they do if someone scores a 6!!!!

cricket1

cricket2

Not massively impressive photos, 2 from the 30km cycle I did, which I really enjoyed, made me realise how much I miss cycling.  And the third one of the beach.  About 5.30pm and the heavens opened and it absolutely lashed it down.
Thankfully I was in a bar under cover enjoying a beer!
So in a week that saw me negotiate a lot of buses & tuktuks, learn to surf – yes I managed to stand and stay standing on the board a good few times, cycled 20 miles through really lovely countryside, taking a million photos in Galle and having a bit of time on the beach I pondered whether I was really sold on ‘solo travel’.
There’s definitely pro’s and cons to it, as there are when you’re traveling with someone else.  The compromise of having the freedom to do what you want, how you want, when you want against having someone else make a few decisions for you so you just don’t have to think and of course share the experience.
I definitely can’t quibble though, how many people can say, “oh yeah I just popped over to Sri Lanka for a week to have some time out because I needed somewhere to have a clear head to think about things”? Not many.  And there aren’t many more beautiful places to be, its certainly an island where you can do everything from extreme sport, to wildlife watching, to musuems and culture, to relaxing on the beach.
So for me as I made some pretty important decisions about what next over the coming months there was no better place to be!

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Sri Lanka

  1. Pauline

    Hey Jo, That’s taking me back to my trip to Sri Lanka in April 2013, lovely place and friendly people too. Galle luckily escaped the damage and loss of life that happened further along the coast east of Galle during the tsunami. There is an amazing antique shop in Galle with collectables from further afield than Sri Lanka. The sun set between 6 and 6.30 in April and you could have amazing shots for the duration…
    Well done you with the surfing! I tried hard in Portugal – part of a Yoga & Surf holiday !! I enjoyed the experience but only managed to stand for seconds and was glad of the yoga to keep me mobile enough to try again the following days ! Perhaps I should have attempted 20 yrs. earlier.
    Delighted to hear things are progressing with Silo India. Keep up the good work. Pauline xxx

    1. Surfing is a lot harder than it looks for sure! It took a good few days for my arms to recover from it and I certainly have a few bruises to show for it. Shame there wasn’t any photos as there were a couple of spectacular wipe outs, definitely not for those with a fear of water!
      Hope all well with you xxx

      1. Pauline

        The effort of walking back out dragging the board against the waves ..takes it out of you…I got a belt from my own board into the ribs – I did not realise how sore it was until later or even the next day! One of the trainers ‘assistants’ asked what age I was …I don’t think I broke their record but I was up there in the top of the age group. Best to keep you mouth shut when you topple off the board into the deep !!!

        It was on my bucket list and now it’s off it !!! I don’t carry a sense of defeat more ..glad I had a go ! I have not decided on the next challenge yet. It is getting the kitchen revamp completed at present !!! Reading you blog reminded me again how good it was to be away from the things that consume us daily here in the Western world and at the end of the day are insignificant in the BIG picture. I may work on getting back into that mind-set again !xxx

  2. Helen B

    You lucky duck! You’re right, we can’t just pop to Sri Lanka 😉 beaches, sports & a spot of sightseeing sounds fab! glad you’re enjoying yourself and have made more plans. Look forward to seeing what they are 🙂 xx

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