Sunday, October 14, 2012


Well, my travel sojourn to Lanka is not complete yet. I abruptly stopped writing about them. When you visit a new place, meet new people, learn about the place, discover the culture; gaze in awe the food, the practices; to the amusement of the locals; you want to come home and share it all. You want to save all those experiences somewhere; in a diary; for you to read years later and reminisce or better write about it and share the joys with others. But after a while; you just stop doing it. It doesn't matter holding onto the memory; what it matters is experiencing the experience then and then moving on. But I think I will share them here; sharing is good :)

The final leg of journey was falling into the sea to laze and relax, with a can of beer in hand. Yeah, so after those cultural, high country and other tours; traveled along the coast from south east to south of Sri Lanka. The base was Hikkaduwa; from there roamed around Galle and back. The days were just as what the beach days could be;  a room with back door kissing the Indian ocean; bright sunny days and partying nights.

The towns along the coasts were interesting.Visited turtle hatchery, roamed around the village of Rathgama - now known as Lasith Malinga's village, explored the shops selling famous Ambalangoda masks; haggling at a workshop hoarded with antiques. Connected over a common language with a couple of Muslims jewelers..and not last but the best - being invited to Indika's home for an authentic lunch. It was once in a lifetime experience; I do not remember how many times I have told this - once in a lifetime experience.

Never mind my incapability in expressing the joys of travels; words can never do justice. Nor even pictures; however let me try :)

Hikkaduwa beach; thronged by Europeans....

Saw scores of these star fishes on the rocks enjoying the sun. 

Just outside the hotel room veranda was the sea. 2004 tsunami  has changed the sea scape; the corals are exposed now...

A stilt fishing  platform. Stilt fishing is famous in Sri Lanka. Fishermen sit on the platform where the 3 sticks converge and fish in shallow waters

Turtle hatchery farm. Its a non profit conservation effort by few folks wanting to protect turtles. Turtles are protected; eggs are collected from the shore, hatched, babies looked after and left at sea.Many endangered specieis like Loggerhead, Green back, Ridleys were protected and sustained. The males are left at sea after 3 days of birth; whereas the females are looked after for 4-5 years being left out at sea.

They grow as big as these...and weigh ~50 kgs easily. It was good to see these creatures being protected. The eggs buried in sand, maintaining right temperature and taking care of their food and health with little or no financial help is a great deed.

This one is white; handicapped. In the sense being white is abnormal and is prone to be attacked at sea by predators due to easy visibility.

The world famous masks of Ambalangoda; these are traditional hand painted masks made from Kaduru wood. The masks were used for healing, rituals and witch craft purposes. Each face symbolizes curing a certain disease...

The middle one is the 18 sanni mask which has cures for 18 diseases. Each face represents a disease; the story is more elaborate; as to how these masks were used. I forgot them :)

Vihara built by Japanese after the Tsunami at Hikkaduwa, Galle

The Tsunami Memorial; the 2004 tsunami derailed a train with 1000+ people on board.

An art shop on the sea coast road.