A Travellerspoint blog

October 2013

Mirissa photoblog

Two more weeks in paradise.

all seasons in one day 34 °C

Since our last post we are still enjoying waking up to a stunning view every morning.

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The weather on the South coast has been erratic at the least and we have had some huge storms. The thunder is so loud you can feel it booming in your chest and the lightning lights up our whole beach hut. One morning after a particularly bad storm we woke up to severe damage further down the beach where half the sand had been washed away to reveal foundations more than five foot high.

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These have been sporadic however and we have had some days lovely sunshine and others overcast and drizzly. In between this Chelsea had her second surf lesson and did a lot better, standing up most times. Liam went out on his own while Chelsea was having her lesson and the current was super strong again. By the time we had been surfing for an hour we were seriously Knackered and it took two days to recover. We have been surfing since, both on our own and are slowly getting better. We have to wait for good weather because, rainy and its too rough and sunny and we get crozzled by the sun, it has to be dull so we have been going late afternoon when the suns heat dies down. We are hoping to go a few more times before we leave.

Chelsea has enjoyed the appearance of a new puppy next door to our hut that wandered out and then wouldn't leave us alone and sat at the bottom of our steps and didn't want to leave.

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We also heard from our guesthouse that further down the beach is a good snorkel spot as it is calmer so we decided to go on an explore. It is very quiet and we walked a few coves on.

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Right at the end of our beach there is an island that you can wade out to and climb.

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There are sea breaks protecting more upmarket resorts which were covered in crabs.

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On route we picked up a new friend in the form of a dog who started walking with us. She walked with us the whole way and when we finally reached the snorkel spot two coves on we went to explore and she sat and waited. We didn't snorkel as it was too overcast but decided to go back when it was sunnier. On the walk back she was still sat there and she rejoined us for the walk back to Mirissa beach.

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The coves further on are devoid of tourists sunbathing or swimming and there were a lot of friendly locals enjoying the sea. The beach was lined with thin and colourful fishing boats nestled between the palm trees.

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We have also tried bodyboarding as it is very popular on our beach and we have be watching people for weeks.we rented a boad from a nearby guesthouse for 200rs and had a go.

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Chelsea absolutely loved it and we had loads of fun with it, especially when Chelsea caught a huge wave that took her right in and beached her. We will defiantly be doing more bodyboarding before we leave.

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The last few days have been amazing weather and w have enjoyed laying in the sun and swimming. We decided to try our snorkel spot again and walked back down the beach. The beach a few coves on is covered in broken shell and bits of white coral it is beautiful.

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The rental place only had one mask left so we had to take it in turns. There is a sea break so the whole cove has no big waves and is calm and deep.

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Liam went first while Chelsea laid on the sand and waited...... He didn't sea anything except rocks and sand.

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Chelsea went next and Liam swam with her. She saw some sea grass..... and some rocks and sand.

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On the surface however she saw what looked like a dorsal fin to which we both promptly almost pood our pants and ran out. The splashing we made would hundred percent have attracted a shark if there was one but when we got out we saw in two more times and decided it was a big turtle head and Liam went back in to see if he could find it. He didn't see anything new except a big lobster but we had fun and might go back for another try.

On the walk back running around the broken shells and coral were tiny hermit crabs which we enjoyed watching.

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We have around one more week on the beach before we head off to explore more of Sri-Lanka. We are planning on enjoying some more surfing and bodyboarding, swimming and relaxing in the sun.

Posted by Chelsandliam 02:17 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged sri_lanka mirissa Comments (3)

Our week in pictures, Mirissa

all seasons in one day 31 °C

Our first week in our little green house has been lovely and we have thoroughly enjoyed living on the beach.

Our time has been spent playing in the huge waves and relaxing on our balcony. We have acquired some new friends in the form of pesky squirrels. At least twenty a day run through our house and walk around our balcony. It is no problem unless you have food. One managed to eat half of Chelsea's watermelon, chewing through two plastic bags to get to it..... its safe to say Chelsea is no longer friends with our squirrel neighbours.

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At the beginning of the week Liam had his first ever surf lesson. We were taken to the next bay, Welligama for the lesson as it is a safe beginners beach to surf on. It is not too deep and the seabed is sandy. He learned the theory of how to stand up on the beach and then it was time to try it in the sea. He managed to stand up loads of times and is hoping to practice more while we are here for a month and take advantage of the waves on our beach.

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Check out his celebrating on his first successful stand up.

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He really enjoyed it and they took him further out to try some bigger waves half way through the lesson.

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He managed to surf properly a lot of times and can try on his own next time.

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Chelsea went along to watch and thought it looked fun so booked a lesson for later in the week.

Between our sea and sand fun however Liam managed to get bit by a dog, it is only really tiny and you can hardly see the mark but we went to the medical center across the street to be safe and were old to go into Matara the next day for anti-rabies treatment. Matara is the next town on, only around 12km away. We caught the bus to the vaccination center and were shocked by how clean and modern it was. They told us however they do not have the resources for anti-rabies and sent us to the general hospital. This was not a clean, modern hospital but looked like a hospital out of the 1950's. No computers in sight and a ticket system like Argos. The whole place was packed and we were taken to a few different rooms and through what looked like a very confusing system and Liam was given an anti-rabies injection. To his dismay the wound was labeled 'superficial'. We have been twice this week and need to go another 2 more times to finish the treatment. The craziest thing about the whole hospital is the stray dogs inside the anti-rabies area of the hospital just chilling out on the floor. Liam is ok though and on our trips to Matara we have been buying fresh fruit from a friendly man with a stall in town.

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Also in the middle of the beach is the coastguard and at the back the Turtle Conservation project, we previously visited in Rekawa, has six tanks with turtles rescued in them. We have visited several times on our way past to say hello to all the little fellers and we thought it was a bit sad. We were not sure why they were there, as only one seemed to be rescued and the rest looked ok. Also the tanks were not very big and we didn't really think it was fair but we decided to call in at feeding time to find out more. A man from the coastguard was feeding them with small sardines and we were the only people watching. He let us help him feed all the turtles and he obviously cares a lot for them. He explained why they were there and which ones would be going back into the ocean. Only one can't go back and it has to be kept here as it has to have injections several times a week as it is very sick. It has been caught in a net and so has a fin missing and can no longer dive to the bottom so it just floats around. The rest are being looked after and will be released back into the ocean. It was lovely to feed them all and find out about them and we really enjoyed it. there is several green turtles, a hawksbill and an olive ridley.

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Later on in the week it was time for Chelsea's lesson. She learned the theory and then they went straight out to try.

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She fell off a lot....

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and a lot more.....

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and a lot more....

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but eventually after another beach based lesson of how to stand up....

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She stood up!!

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She only grasped the hang of it towards the end of the lesson and as the current was very strong it was difficult so she has to go back in a few days for another lesson free of charge.

Apart from sunning ourselves on the beach, swimming and surfing we have not really done anything. We have enjoyed some amazing seafood and sunsets, giant prawns, a whole barracuda to share, and all different fish, crabs and shellfish. The choice is different everyday depending what they catch and delicious, and fresh.

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There is a small local restaurant in town where Liam can gorge himself on a mountain of curry for breakfast so everyone is happy.

Posted by Chelsandliam 00:54 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged surfing sri_lanka mirissa Comments (2)

Finding our new home in Mirissa

sunny 35 °C

We left Colombo first thing Tuesday morning, and jumped on the local bus again. It was a hell of a long ride back to Mirissa but was worth it when we finally stepped back on to the beach.

We found a room to stay in, dumped our bags and went to look for a place we could call home for a month. We did have something in mind, a little green bungalow on stilts that sits on its own on the western side of the bay. We had seen it the last time we came and thought it would be amazing to stay there. We were not even sure if it was tourist accomodation, or if it was who even owned it. If we managed to find that out we were pretty sure we wouldn't be able to afford it, but if you never ask you never know.

It sits next to a small restaurant and that seemed as good a place as any to ask. Turned out they did own it. Next came the price, normally Rs3000 a night, which is cheaper than we thought but still that is half a days budget for us, it is too much. We asked if they would give a discount as we wanted to stay long term. 'How long?' they asked, when we told them a month the guy looked surprised and then proceeded to think about it for a long time. Finally he said we could stay for the month for RS70000 or £350, less than £12 a day. We could not argue with that. We had to wait until Thursday for it to become unoccupied and we had not seen the inside yet but we left happy.

We past the remainder of Tuesday and Wednesday relaxing on the beach. Cheap, awesome Jumbo prawns were back on the menu and we went straight for them Tuesday night. Wednesday we headed to the local town of Weligama, a 10 minute and 10p bus ride away to restock on cash and supplies that we will need over the coming weeks. We were back by 1 pm and wasted no time crashing onto the beach, baking in the sun before cooling off in the sea.

We were out of our room early this morning, eager to see the inside of the bungalow, hoping it was as nice as the outside, or at least nice enough for us to live in for a month. We had to wait for the previous tenant to depart, and we passed the time with a terrible breakfast and a litre of tea. When we finally got chance to see inside we were more than happy. A four poster bed sits inside a basic but clean room with windows and glass doors that open on to the balcony, the bathroom is the only slight negative, just needs a bit of attention but it is clean and we have easily stayed in worse. There is plenty of storage and the first thing we did was unpack. We have not taken everything out of our bag since the safari in July, it is fair to say there is a certain smell to some of our clothes that have lived in the bottom of our bags for 3 months.

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Our New home on the Beach

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Chelsea on our Balcony

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View from our balcony - look how close we are to the sea!

Posted by Chelsandliam 01:43 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged sri_lanka mirissa Comments (5)

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