Category Archives: Sri Lanka

Whale watching from Mirissa LifeDay 25,410

Monday 20 February 2017

Breakfast

I spent the night worrying about being seasick on the trip today ย ๐Ÿ™ Even thinking a good use of the watch would be to put a pebble under the strap to act on the pressure point.

However at 6am the kind lady at Club Mirissa provided my breakfast – a seasickness pill and 5 dry biscuits! perfect, pity the weather was anything but perfect grey and drizzly.

I embarked on The Good Boy to be told to sit downstairs ๐Ÿ™ I asked about the roof, to be told it was for VIP’s I asked how much was it to be a VIP – 500 Rupees (less than ยฃ3) ย I gave him the money and went on the roof with all the Chinese VIP’s ๐Ÿ™‚

A modern day whaler

The boat eventually left at 7.15 into the swell. The tablet worked well, no discomfort at all, I even ate the eggy sandwich that was offered foc. We eventually caught up wth the flotilla of 10 or so other boats searching the ocean grey ๐Ÿ™‚

The first spotted was a large school of dolphins who made a half hearted attempt of a display, but it was far to wet for them ๐Ÿ™‚ Then a blue whale was spotted, well a bit of its back anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ It occasionally did a blow all very desultory. It then just sank out of sight. This happened a couple more times, each time the ship raced of to join the party. After the third time and 2hr 30min we headed back to port having covered about 15 miles of ocean.

A blue whale resting

I arrived back at Club Mirissa feeling wrecked. I must have slept for most of the rest of the day, I put it down to the tablet, way to strong as I didn’t feel queasy in the slightest.

As for the wildlife I think you are better of watching a decent TV documentary ๐Ÿ™‚ totally sure that VR will take over pretty soon. Maybe the ship could have a gigantic projector :-).

Here are the other grey pics.

 

Cycling Tangalle to Mirissa on Lifeday 25,409

Buddha of the day

Sunday 19 February 2017

It was grey and drizzling again when I left the peace of Gayana Guest House to be confronted by the frenetic Tangalle literally a few yards around the corner. Quite a shock that early in the morning.

The road went alongside the sea and it was great to see the palm fringed beaches. I kept making little detours from the road down narrow lanes with incredibly steep hills, a bit like Cornwall riding. At Horseshoe Bay I was watching the locals surfing when a guy sidled up to me and asked if I enjoyed Sri Lanka – he then proceeded to tell me if I bought some land I could become a citizen ๐Ÿ™‚ must say it has its attractions ๐Ÿ™‚ I wished him well and tried to bike up the incredibly steep hill! At least his land wouldn’t be affected by tsunami flooding.

Three likely lads and a great T shirt

At the lovely named Noonnawella beach I met these three lads one of whom was wearing a great cycling T shirt saying 1947 L Alpe d’Huez very appropriate for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Eventually I came to Dondra and the lighthouse marking the southern most point of the island. No fancy spot to take a photo ๐Ÿ™ I ended up going through some guys garden to get to the rocks so I could get a decent pic of the bike and lighthouse. Disappointing compared to San Pedro.

I retuned to the village and it’s huge statue of the Buddha and continued onto the main road past the huge beach at Gunawardena and across the river eventually arriving in Mirissa. I saw a good looking hotel and so went to enquire to be told by a very snooty lady they had no vacancies intrigued I left and checked on booking.com to find they had loads of vacancies! Not worth paying ยฃ250 though to see the look on her face ๐Ÿ™‚

Bike at the cabana in Club Mirissa

I continued down to the harbour and all the whale viewing boats. On the way I spied The Club Mirissa with its cabanas in a huge garden and only ยฃ16 per night ๐Ÿ™‚ I booked in for two nights and the whale viewing trip the next morning.

In the evening the lady at Club Mirissa arranged for me to have a 90 minute massage at Badora Spa definitely not a relaxing Sally massage! He pummelled my legs and found all the pain points, suddenly I remembered my stab wound in the left thigh (I was stabbed at school when I was 13/14). ย Another time I suddenly sat upright. Did it do any good time will tell I guess. One thing for sure – he needs a table with a hole for my head ๐Ÿ™

The Strava for the day is here but with the wrong date as I didn’t reset it before I left but the night before ๐Ÿ™ the pics are on Dropbox here

Biking Hambantota to Tangalle on LifeDay 25,408

A big Buddha

I woke up to a muggy drizzly day ๐Ÿ™ ย I had the full Indian breakfast – identical to last nights dinner ๐Ÿ™‚ I slept OK at The Samren Hotel but the mattress was so thin I could feel all the slats on the bed ๐Ÿ™‚

Loading the bike up I discovered the bar bag rain cover was missing, couldn’t find it in the room so assumed it went AWOL fortunately the drizzle had eased of so it was merely damp now. Then it was straight up the ย clover leaf ramp and onto the dual carriageway bypass, pretty much deserted.

Last night I planned a route up into the various lakes. However due to the paucity of bridges across the various rivers it meant coming back down to the coast road. So with the poor weather I stuck to Plan A, staying on the coast road!

Not such a good idea for a laden bike…

At one point I thought I would go down one of the beach roads to see if I could actually follow the beach, bit of a mistake, apart from seeing the folks buying the catch of the day from a boat all I managed was pushing the bike through cacti and other prickly plants. Fortunately I didn’t get a puncture ๐Ÿ™‚

Back on the road I came across the pretty amazing Agro-Technology Park at Bata Atha thinking how great it would be if PHH would suddenly appear and guide me round. But for me the most stunning thing was a gateway of two clasped hands totally made from header bricks! Just incredible ๐Ÿ˜‰ and a testimony to the skill of bricklayers.

clasped hands brickwork
Amazing clasped hands brickwork
Brick detail inside the hamds
Brick detail inside the hamds

I eventually arrived in Tangalla and remembered the book RIDES AROUND SRI LANKA ย by RICHARD COOKE ย which I had read on the plane over here where he mentioned the Gayana Guest House. Maps.me showed it in the wrong place (now corrected by me). When I arrived I showed the staffย the picture from the book and they instantly recognised the folks in it.

My room overlooks the ocean which with the wind and waves crashing ashore is very noisy ๐Ÿ™

Unpacking my bag I found the bar bag cover right at the bottom!

Todays 31 mile Strava is hereย and pictures here

 

 

Biking from Kirinda to Hambantota via Yala on Lifeday 25,407

Elephant of the day
Elephant of the day

A lazy start to the day leaving Wild Tusker Resort just before 8am after having my two fried egg sandwiches and mango juice for breakfast. I came away feeling robbed, I’m sure I paid for my dinner when paying the owner last night. ๐Ÿ™

I decided to bike to the gates at Yala National Park knowing I would return the same way. It was a pleasant ride thinking myself lucky not to be in one of the viewing 4WD vehicles bombing along. I had a chat with the gatekeepers and felt sure I could have hopped on one of the vehicles entering the park, but couldn’t be bothered so pedalled back and getting rewarded with a good photo of an elephant, it seemed to notice me so I quietly pedalled away.

Buddha of the day

After Kirinda town I disappeared down meandering country lanes on unbelievably quiet roads, I don’t think I saw any vehicles except for a couple of motorbikes ๐Ÿ™‚ No sea views though until I came into the busy town of Hambantota after having another big pot of curd this time with some disgusting honey substitute ๐Ÿ™ but it was cheap.

I spent time looking around the town and found another Dialog shop so I went in to find out why my SIM still wasn’t working. Turns out yesterdays payment went onto a different number ๐Ÿ™ and of cause that was just unlucky since I didn’t have a receipt ๐Ÿ™ Good job the amount was only ยฃ2 or so. So today I splashed out ยฃ5 to get 8GB day data plus 7GB night data and of course I made her give me a receipt ๐Ÿ™‚

Smart junior school

By the time I got turned away from entering the docks and finding my way onto the road past all the houses about to be demolished (tp close to the water I think), ย I decided to call it a day and so I’m now at The Samren Hotel. Which is relatively cheap and cheerful.

Todays 48 mile Strava is hereย and todays pics are here