2,5 weeks in Unawatuna
Welcome (home) to Koh Tao
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From Westcoast to Eastcoast

The buses in Sri Lanka aren’t the most comfortable ones, but instead you get an adventure and experience how the locals travel.
Also, the schedule is quite generous and we didn’t have to wait long for a bus to take us to Matara. The ride was long but we had our seats and were able to daydream while local music thundered from the speakers.
Sri Lanka Bus
In Matara, we had to change buses and were lucky to find one that was about to depart, so we didn’t have to wait at all.
This ride took even longer, but again, we had seats (this time even next to each other) and apart from a headache caused by the way too loud music, we arrived healthy in Monaragala.
The next bus was already waiting and we were able to choose the seats we liked where we then soaked in the sticky heat until the bus finally started rolling 1,5 hours later. We had a window and the breeze was most welcome.
Sri Lanka Bus 2
Tired from the ride, we didn’t find it very amusing when the bus stopped and we were told we had to get on another bus to reach our destination.
Luckily though, we found the last two empty seats next to each other and next to a nice local woman and the final ride to Pottuvil wasn’t as bad as expected.

It was already dark when we reached and if it weren’t for the nice man who knocked on the window from outside, we would have forgotten to get off the bus.
A tuk tuk then brought us to our destination: Arugam Bay.
We had booked a nice place called “Peace Point”, which we had found on Airbnb.
And peaceful it was.
Peace Point
The first nice surprise was the bunch of tiny puppies who slept right on our doorstep.
What better way to regain our strength after a wearisome journey than to cuddle baby-doggies? It didn’t even bother us that one of them shat in our room…
The next nice surprise was when we found out that the food in Arugam Bay is a lot cheaper than in Unawatuna and we enjoyed one of the best curries so far, before sinking into our comfortable bed in our Cabana.

And yet another surprise presented itself: There was nothing to hear apart from the waves and the occasional dreamy squeaking of the puppies…
Hence, we slept extremely well and even Nici had no troubles sleeping for the first time in months.

Poor René was eager for adventures, while Nici wanted nothing more than to sit underneath the palm trees all day long, writing or reading while listening to the ocean and cuddle a puppy once in a while.
To stay more or less fit, we went for a walk along the beach every day, to reach our daily goal of 10’000 steps… which we usually failed.
There were no crocodiles in our way, but we encountered wild elephants, much to our delight.

As always, we compromised and after a couple of days relaxing, we booked a boat safari through the mangroves.
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A nice gentleman rowed our boat through the river, until he spotted a wild elephant in a rice field.
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He then stopped and led us through the (by crocodiles inhabited) water towards her, so we could take pictures from close by.
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The week passed way too quickly and apart from a failed try to surf by René, we hadn’t seen much, so on our last day in Arugam Bay, we rented a motor bike and drove through the magnificent landscape consisting of hills and rice fields, in which peacocks peacefully strolled around.
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On the way, we even saw a crocodile and a big turtle! But as soon as we got the camera in our hands they where already disapeared again...
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Luckily though, we didn’t encounter any large crocodiles near the crocodile rock, but the view was absolutely stunning and we knew we had found the perfect place to take pictures.

You’ve surely already heard that lots of people die while taking selfies, but the 10-seconds setting on our camera is even more treacherous, especially when you put the camera on a rock a couple of meters away and then have to hurry to the opposite side in time for the picture.
Well… everything would have gone right if Nici’s shorts hadn’t gotten hooked on the rock beneath her, holding her back while she was trying to jump down. The shorts ripped, of course (the fifth pair of ripped pants on this trip, by the way) and then the jump became a fall.
Nici managed to limp to René’s side in time for the picture and here’s the result:
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However, she ended up with a bloody leg and an injured foot, which isn’t very nice when you have a very long journey ahead of you.

Yet another bus (this time without music), brought us to Badulla, where we tried to buy train tickets for Colombo.
Everything was sold out, but the nice man at the counter told us to come back at 5am the next day, so René did that hurray, he got not only reserved seats, but the best ones with a lot of leg space in the observation wagon of the train.
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Despite the incredibly beautiful landscapes with tea plantations and carrot fields, we were glad to arrive in Colombo after the 11-hours journey.

Unfortunately, our hotel was overbooked, but fortunately, they found us a room in another hotel of their chain, where we enjoyed great wifi for two nights.

Of course, we went back to the VOV-coffee lounge for burgers, pasta and ice-cream before saying our goodbyes to this amazingly wonderful country called Sri Lanka…
We were really looking forward to Thailand because of the food, but we knew that we were going to miss Sri Lanka a lot and we also know that we’ll be back!

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