13.08.2015 - 15.08.2015 30 °C
We left the wonderful Haputale a couple of days ago and took a taxi to Mirissa. In fairness we'd snookered ourselves a little regarding transport out of there. We could have done a marathon journey by taking a few different buses but none of us wanted to do that. The journey down from the hills took us off the usual routes and through some really nice scenery. Lots of lush jungle landscape and sleepy looking villages. It was obvious after a while that our driver and his sidekick hadn't a clue where they were going. I was in the back of the van tracking the route using GPS on my phone so I could see what route we were taking. They used a combination of orienteering methods up the front. They'd just stop at major junctions and ask someone at the side of the road or they'd ring someone on their phone who knew the general direction. At one point the police stopped the van and did a cursory inspection of it. They poked their head in the window and asked us about the driver. Caroline stated he was an excellent driver and felt very safe letting him drive us and the kids. That was a small fib to be honest - if the truth be told his brakes sounded a little shabby. Either way we made it to our destination in one piece. A couple of hours later I noticed a multitude of bites on my feet and legs from the flea ridden van we'd been travelling in. The little buggers were obviously feasting on me for the entire journey.
The place we booked into is delightful - they gave us some orange squash on arrival and the place is spic and span. The first thing we did was go to the beach, rent some body boards and jump in the sea. By we, I actually mean the others did. I sat in a chair and drank some Lion beer. Mirissa is a little more normal than Arugam Bay, at least on the surface. It caters for a broader range of tourist and it's quite busy even though it's off-season. It still has the a local surf crew element - one half Rasta, one half Sri Lankan - which was also evident in Arugam Bay. Another key difference between the two spots is the price of everything - the accommodation is half the price and so is the food.
Yesterday we took the public bus into Galle to check out the cricket - Day 3 of the 1st Test between Sri Lanka and India. Being the big spender that I am I splashed out on pavillion tickets for the family - that worked out at about four euro each. It was a delightful afternoon watching Dinesh Chandimal knock up over 150 runs while we were there. Sri Lankas self proclaimed greatest fan took Harry off on a lap of the stadium with a big flag. He was a total looper but everyone in the crowd seemed to know him and want their picture taken with him. Great buzz altogether.
One peculiar thing about this country is their Bottle or Wine shops as they're sometimes known. Drinking appears to be frowned upon but in most towns there exist premises which are shebeen like in their nature. You can't even get into some of them - those kind have bars over the front windows and serve punters through a hatch. I remember similar type off-licences in Phibsboro. No one likes to tell you where the beer shops are. I guess they want you to drink in the restaurants instead. The one I was in whilst in Ella had about twenty 60+ year olds drinking the local Arrack spirits. Last night I took a spin to the neighbouring town as there's no Bottle shop in Mirissa. It was the caged variety but I got given the VIP treatment and was let in the side door. It truly was a special privilege to be angrily stared at by about twenty locals outside. I must tell you about the bread vans in my next post.