Sitting on the beach in Mirissa having a Lion beer. The older three are body boarding, Paddy and Ciaran are building a sand Titanic. Its overcast threatening rain, perfect. Mirissa suits me so much better than Aurgam Bay which felt more like a holiday resort than a travellers destination. The people looked like they were born wearing bikinis, no obesity problem in France, Israel or Holland from what I can see. It did not help that I scalded the arses off Harry , Joe, Rosie and I on our first days surfing. The pain, the shame! People were visibly wincing if de-robed after that. Here, on the other hand, the buzz is get in the Monsoon wild sea, get milled out of it and emerge holding onto whatever swimwear you're left with. It's fantastic fun. Happy hour seems to run for hours, cocktails or beer are €1.50. We have a routine, beach in the morning, rotti shop for lunch, beach and rice and curry in some side street/ garden/kitchen/ garage for dinner. We can hear the beach parties but it's early to bed for us.
The last week has been wonderful. Escaped to the mountains with our sunburnt arses where the cooler climate had the effect of waking me up. I was mad for the walking having done no exercise in weeks. The home we stayed in in Haputale was a great experience. The accommodation was basic in the extreme but the family were so relaxed and warn hearted. All in together watching TV, neighbours coming and going, no one knocks on the door. The food was also a treat, fresh, tasty and seemingly endless. Lovely people.
Our journey to Mirissa brought us through breathtakingly beautiful scenery. As three hours turned into five we passed lush green forests and paddy fields. It's like the garden of Eden. We took a private taxi which was a good call and sounds fancy. It wasn't, the fleas ate us. Our day at the cricket was priceless. Harry managed to fall in with Percy, Sri Lankas super fan, who had Harry walking around the oval with his flag. My respect for the players increased greatly, standing out in the sun all day! When my interest waned I went over to Galle Fort and wandered around the charming 17th century streets.
We have two and a half days left. Sri Lanka is a wonderful destination. I have never felt unsafe, people are truly gracious and lovely. The food is fresh, healthy and cheap, I'll have to up my game at home to keep Ciaran happy. The best thing for me has been how diverse it is, it's like 4/5 holidays rolled into. There are beaches, mountains for walking, wildlife rich nature reserves, ancient sites, Jaffna ! It is possibly more a holiday destination , or at least becoming that way. Guest houses seem to be giving way to hotels and tourist numbers are soaring. Accommodation has cost more than we reckoned with and everything is monetised. If my room has one extra inch of a sea view you can be sure I'm paying for it. Fair enough, the economy seems to need the tourist dollar. So two and a half more beach days and home to the West for something completely different. It's good to be alive.
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