We slept soundly and enjoyed the breakfast provided by Ragu. Upon our departure, he gave us some tea to take with us. We said our goodbyes and felt a sense of regret that we had to leave. We would have gladly stayed for a few more days. We took a tuk-tuk to the city center and immediately caught the direct bus to Tangalle, our first stop on the southern beaches of Sri Lanka. The bus ride was the most dreadful experience ever. We were seated apart. There was hardly any fresh air, the bus zigzagged down the mountains, and it was crowded with people. We had various body parts pressed against us, along with their accompanying sweat. Quite cozy, indeed. Near Inez, a woman with her young son became nauseous during the journey. She vomited into a bag and held onto it for an hour before finally disposing of it outside. Half an hour before arriving, her son also vomited into her handbag. The sounds and smells were overwhelming. We were relieved when we could finally get off the bus.
As we disembarked, a man spat, and a few droplets landed on Inez’s knee. Even a five-minute walk to our hotel was too much with the pain in our legs. The reception at the hotel was friendly, but the man didn’t realize how tired we were. He hugged us and started chatting. We politely declined and immediately took a shower. On the rooftop terrace, we were offered a drink. We saw numerous monkeys on the neighboring roofs, around twenty jumping from one roof to another. It was pretty impressive to witness. We had our dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, and afterward, the bed was more than welcome.
We slept well and had breakfast on the rooftop terrace. A walk towards the beach took us to a secluded beach with little to see. But for relaxation, we didn’t need anything more. In fact, we were glad that there weren’t many tourists around. We settled on a few beach beds, had some drinks, and dipped in the sea multiple times. It was refreshing and incredibly relaxing. In the evening, we had dinner at The Trees, a small restaurant where we enjoyed delicious curries and grilled prawns. We took a pleasant evening stroll back to the hotel.
The following day, we took the bus to Mirissa. According to many, this was the best beach spot in Sri Lanka. We had booked four nights here, split between two different hotels. The first accommodation didn’t live up to the expectations they had promised us. There was a cold shower, a hard bed, and dirty pillows. We had had enough and decided to stay for only one night instead of two. We had to wait for a heavy rain shower before venturing outside. Afterward, we explored the town to find a place to eat. We stumbled upon a nice restaurant by the beach called Zephyr. We had a meal and enjoyed ourselves. Later, we strolled along the coast and drank by the shore.
Our night’s sleep was not so good. A cold shower woke us up quickly. Our decision to check out early was final. We also canceled our next accommodation and drove straight to Unawatuna. Mirissa is a nice place, but it had a bit too much tourism for us. We couldn’t find peace there. We had breakfast at a nice place where we enjoyed sourdough bread with avocado. We walked along the beach and climbed a rock to get a better view of the beach and the ocean. We took the bus to Unawatuna and arrived at SeaChange, a hotel near the beach. We received a friendly welcome and a King Coconut as a greeting. This was a last-minute booking, so it was good for one night. There was no electricity due to work, so we visited the town. Taking shelter from the rain, we had coffee and tea and ate a cake at Kat’s Coffee, a coffee shop run by a German. Inez finally had a super delicious cappuccino. We read about one of the best restaurants in Sri Lanka. Of course, we couldn’t pass that up, so we visited BedSpace. The kitchen closed at three o’clock, so we decided to have something small to eat and come back the next day before three. After a beach walk, we had some food on the beach and took the bus back to our hotel.
Our air conditioner was so loud that we had to turn it off at night. Due to the heat and the barking dogs, we didn’t sleep super well. We are still searching for that one place that will give us the restful sleep we need. We left for our next overnight stay. Villa Olga, run by two cousins, was known as one of the best in Unawatuna. We were warmly welcomed and enjoyed the tranquility in their beautiful garden, even though we arrived a bit early. Inez still wanted a coffee from Kat’s Coffee, and this time, I felt like eating at BedSpace. Inez had a tasty vegetable wrap, and I chose the tuna steak. Both were incredibly delicious! We ended up eating here multiple times. Our bedroom was fantastic. Comfy bed, clean, nice shower, and a lovely terrace outside. In the evening, we had some soup and sat on our terrace, enjoying doing nothing.
We slept wonderfully! Absolute silence. We asked to stay an extra night, and it was no problem. Three nights instead of two. On the way to Unawatuna, we saw some stilt fishermen we wanted to see up close again. When we arrived at the spot, it seemed like these fishermen were mainly there for the show to earn money. And we were not wrong. We were stopped when we wanted to take a photo, and they asked for 500 rupees. We didn’t do it. We decided to photograph these men from a distance secretly. Afterward, we read that along the entire coastline, there is a lot of this scam going on. The actual fishermen are in other places and can usually be spotted early in the morning or late at night.
We slept well again. We enjoyed a fantastic breakfast. Since the weather was not beach-friendly again, we took the bus to Galle for a day trip. Galle is known for its Dutch fort that was built there. We walked around the village and enjoyed the charming streets and shops. You didn’t feel like you were in bustling Sri Lanka for a moment. We had something to eat and quenched our thirst. It was extremely hot that day. We took the bus back to Unawatuna and ended our last evening at BedSpace.
We thanked the two cousins for a fantastic stay and headed to Hikkaduwa, our last stop on the coast, before returning to Australia. Here, the sun finally shone for over five minutes, and we immediately went to the beach after checking into our hotel. Our hotel was only three meters away from the train tracks but was otherwise fine. Friendly reception, beautiful new rooms, and not too far from the beach. The marine sanctuary at the beach provided us with a perfect spot for snorkeling. We saw a lot of fish and some beautiful coral. We indeed weren’t alone, but underwater, we enjoyed the tranquility. We both got a bit of a tan by relaxing on the beach. After a shower at the hotel, we took a beach walk and drank at the bar Mambos. Inez wanted to have Sri Lankan curry one more time before we returned “home.” She enjoyed a delicious curry at the restaurant Aroma. After dinner, we took another beach walk and found a spot where many giant turtles were close to the shore. It seemed perfect to come here for snorkeling the next day.
At night, trains passed by regularly, disrupting our sleep. We persevered and looked forward to snorkeling and, once again, the beautiful weather. The sun was shining brightly. We went snorkeling at the turtle spot and were lucky to encounter about four turtles. It was fantastic to have these creatures so close to us. However, the snorkeling itself wasn’t as good as in other places. The underwater visibility was relatively poor. We had our lunch at Salty Swami’s, a restaurant run by two Sri Lankans who had studied in Australia. The Australian vibe was definitely present, and the food was incredibly delicious! We enjoyed watching the sunset together at the beach and returned to our hotel.
The next morning, we took the train to Colombo. This train mostly ran along the coast, allowing us to see the Indian Ocean as we traveled. We stood for one hour and then were able to sit for another hour. Upon arriving in Colombo, it was very hot and crowded. We spent over half an hour searching for our bus to Negombo. This bus ride turned out to be one of the worst. In Colombo, we were stuck for 45 minutes with slow progress. It was hot, and we longed for fresh air. We finally got some fresh air once the bus left the city center and started driving better. However, Inez began to feel nauseous in the last half hour, and we couldn’t arrive fast enough. We were both thirsty and hungry. After an hour and a half, we arrived. We checked in and enjoyed a refreshing shower. We relaxed and had a pizza at Prego, which was quite good and very welcome. We drank by the pool in our hotel and went to sleep.
The last day was the longest. We checked out at 12 p.m., and our flight departed for home twelve hours later. We left our backpacks at the hotel and went to have lunch. We worked on our blog at the hotel. We had dinner at Prego in the evening and enjoyed a nice glass of red wine. At 8 p.m., we took a tuk-tuk to the airport. We had to wait for a while, but soon we could board at 11:30 p.m. We arrived in Kuala Lumpur around 6:30 a.m. Two hours later, we took the six-hour flight to Perth. We arrived there at 2 p.m. We were thrilled to set foot on Australian soil again.
x Ely & Inez