Trincomolee and Uppuveli
09.11.2013 - 12.11.2013 32 °C
Leaving Anuradhapura a few days ago was more complicated that we thought it would be. There are some major roadworks on the Auradhapura - Trincomolee road, meaning that the direct bus currently no longer runs. Thankfully there was a helpful man at the bus station who told us that we could still get there by changing at a town called Horowupotana. Judging by the amount of looks we got when we climbed aboard the bus, it is not a town that see many visitors. It took around 2 and half hours to travel the 60km or so to the town, which is roughly half way to Trincomolee. The other passengers were very much intrigued, especially the kids, some waved and some looked until you looked back and then hid away out of sight.
Once we arrived at Horowupotana we needed help of yet another man. He was also going to Trincomolee and could tell by our vacant faces when we were dropped off in the middle of the town, that we had no idea where to go to get the next bus. He led us to the bus stop, chatting to us, asking us the usual questions, and when the bus arrived he even got us a couple of seats. It was another 2 and a half hours to Trincomolee, primarily due to the roadworks and we were exhausted by the time we arrived. We did not even bother to haggle with the tuk tuk driver that took us to our hotel we were so impatient to get there.
Uppuveli is 6km out of Trincomolee and it is where we have decided to base our selves. It is the middle town of three, Trincomolee, Uppuveli and Nilaveli, which is a further 6km on. We are staying in a very nice hotel called Coconut Beach Lodge and the whole area is very peaceful and quiet. There are only a dozen or so people staying up and down the beach, as we are out of season, some places are even shut until next year. Our room has a proper mattress and pillows and even had petals thrown on when we arrived. We are not used to such a comfortable bed, believe it or not we are having trouble sleeping.
Sunday and Monday we decided to do as little as possible, we explored the beach, and called into other hotels for beers. Our beach is long, with nice sand and is shaded by palm trees.
It is a bit derelict, and there is a lot of debris that has been left by the tide. It has a certain charm though. Half way down the beach there is an abandoned boat which we enjoyed exploring as well as a huge anchor.
At the other end there is a tiny harbour for the local fishing boats.
During our walk we also spotted several dead pufferfish that we imagine have been left by the retreating tide. Chelsea was fascinated and has took several photos.
We already have a favorite bar, it has a nice view of the sea and huge friendly dog - we have spent a good portion of the last two days there.
This morning we decided to go out for a little explore and spent a few hours in Trincomolee. We got the bus in, which was an experience in itself. The bus that turned up was actually a mini bus, but this did not stop people from cramming on. Luckily we only had to put up being shoved and our feet being stamped on for around ten minutes. Trincomolee is one of our favorite cities we have visited in Sri Lanka. It is quieter, with less traffic. It is spaced out and has a beautiful coast line. When we arrived we were immediatley heckled into a nearby eatery. We hadn't had breakfast yet so we did not argue. We shared a pile of rotis, with curry and dahl for £1.70 before heading back into the sun. We walked for a while through the streets until we came to the sea.
We stood and watched the one or two locals that were walking up and down the beach, at one end we could see what was left of an old fort, the other way led to the harbour. We decided on the latter.
Trincomolee has a lot of religious structures throughout the streets. On the way to the harbour we passed, Hindu temples, Mosques and several churches. Some next door to each other. Also there are the faded remains of British rule, including some red postboxes.
It did not take long though until we got lost. We came to a crossroads had no idea which we needed to go. Inevitably a tuk tuk driver pounced and asked us if we needed help. We asked him which way and he told us, he then offered to take us for free as he was heading that way. This is a first for us, we thought it was almost definately a con so declined a carried on walking. The tuk tuk driver carried on his way. At the next junction he was there parked up and pointed us in the right direction. He then offered to take us again for free. By this point we had walked a fair way and the midday sun was in full force so we hesitantly accepted. It was only a couple of minutes to the harbour, the driver took us, gave a little guided tour on the way and once we arrived simply drove off, we are still confused as to what actually happened. He was just a lovely man.
The harbour is not as grand as we accepted, it is vast set in between two headlands and has a little island in the middle. There were only a handful of small boats though, and apart from a quay for the local police, very little activity. We stood around for a while having a look around before deciding to head back for the afternoon.
It has been really hot today and we are hoping the wheather holds up so we can visit Nilaveli tomorrow. It is another beach town, and 1km off the coast there is a national park called Pigeon Island which we hope to visit. There is suppose to be excellent diving and snorkelling around there as well but we maybe too out of season we will just have to wait and see.