Weligama, the peaceful and relaxed surf town next door was a huge contrast to our disorderly Mirissan entry into Sri Lanka. The beach was a stones throw away from civilisation, perfect for our 6 AM mornings. Surf shacks were dotted along the beach and the friendly Sri Lankan’s with their free flowing locks were incredibly clever at tempting us to rent their surf boards.
One particular individual, Malind, became one of our favourite surfer ‘dudes’ and although his English was almost as bad as our Singalese, we managed to bump into him most days. Our conversations consisted of the same three words “you party tonight?”, nodding heads, followed by laughter at the acknowledgement that all three of us didn’t really have a clue what was going on.
Eve’s unexpected epiphany when she suddenly decided she wasn’t afraid of the sea anymore, led her to the other extreme; obsession. So much so that I actually caught her watching a YouTube video on how to do tricks on a surf board.
We were in Hangtime Hostel, an incredibly hip surfer hang out, (albeit slightly overpriced) sitting at the rooftop bar supposedly socialising, but Eve had other ideas. I popped to the bathroom and arrived back to her face staring intensely at her phone screen whilst people were blissfully chatting next to her, with not a care in the world. She would occasionally press her ear close to the speaker to hear the man’s (I assume) very helpful advice, making me laugh even more than I already was.
Our homestay, I hate to say, was awful. Consisting of almost no windows in what can only be described as slightly larger than a wardrobe, Eve quickly realised that the dirty fan made her white dress dirtier rather than drier, and it didn’t give the slightest bit of relief to the sweltering heat. I guess it was a good thing, because we succeeded in spending as much time away from there as possible, confirming our previous theory that arriving and casually looking for a hostel was far better then scrolling through booking.com. We surfed most mornings and our sometimes embarassing failed attempts at standing caused huge bouts of hysterics from both of us.
To really put the cherry on top, walking back to our homestay on our last day we came across two enormous mating iguana’s. I am definitely not a fan of any kind of reptiles and these two were absolutely no exception. As I let out a little scream of terror, Eve looked at me whilst picking up her phone, laughing, to film my pathetic reaction. In my defence, they were huge. She thought I was being ridiculous and relaxedly walked past them as if they weren’t even there. I was paralysed about 50 metres away and refused to move until they scuttled (even that word reminds me of them and makes me shiver) underneath a fence into the undergrowth. Three children and their mother were watching me, also laughing, adding to the whole embarrassing ordeal. It’s safe to say I was happy we were leaving the next morning.
Unawatuna, an hour further up the coastline was a rather strange experience. We arrived in a bleak downpour to Mr Funk’s, a hostel further our of town, where we’d assumed would be bursting with fellow travellers, but was, in fact, completely empty. Even so, it was very peaceful, and since we were the only people there we used the quietness for some well deserved early mornings and R&R. After all, we had been feeling like shells of humans for a while.
We woke up on our second morning determined to surf early and miss the crowds, only to be taken to the top of the completely wrong beach! Dalawella beach, not Dewatta beach like we’d asked. Although it was beautiful, with white sand and palm trees we couldn’t help but feel slightly irritated that we were missing the early morning surf and weren’t where we wanted to be.
Luckily, we left enough time to still find Dewatta. The next problem arose when there were almost no waves… every ten minutes or so we would see perhaps two good ones. It seemed the odds were not in our favour that fine day.
Our itchy feet began to settle in on day 3, and an unexpected visit from some Weligama friends almost led to another night of chaos. The fact that we actually considered making our way an hour down the coast for a night out really says it all. It was an absolutely absurd idea, but nonetheless we debated it for over an hour, far longer than was necessary. It was a close call, but luckily we saved ourselves and our bank accounts by staying put for one more night.
The next day we made our bumpy journey to Ella. The mountains were calling…