Biking Marissa to Galle on LifeDay 25411

Tuesday 21 February 2017

A beach

The weather returned to the normal blue skies and heat so a good day for Sri Lanka to show of its crystal clear sea and stunning huge beaches.

I made a very leisurely start, after 10am, catching up on blog posts whilst the masses slept. The route followed the coast line and was pretty flat apart from my detour around Rumassala and its incredibly steep hills ๐Ÿ™

On the way I called in at the Martin Wickramsinghe Folk Museum in Koggala. He was a very famous author and the museum is in his old house. Unfortunately 12 bus loads of school kids had arrived a few minutes before me ๐Ÿ™ so everywhere was packed and of cause I couldn’t hang around…

Camera shy fishermen

Near here are all the ‘fishermen’ perched on their sticks in the sea, unfortunately they are museum pieces too and get angry, really really angry, if you try and take their pics. In fact one chased me down the road brandishing his fishing rod in a threatening manner!

The beaches are really fantastic, if you are into fine sand, miles long and just about deserted they look really inviting. However, after my experience in Cuba of swimming in warm water (it just isn’t refreshing) I gave it a miss.

Main street Galle

Galle was only 25 miles away so I arrived at 2pm. Goodness me what a change. The moment you go through the fort walls a air of tranquility and peace descends. The mad noise of buses, trucks honking awayย evaporate.

I tried to check in at the first hotel but alas was full (or so he said!) However, the kind lady next door at The Old Dutch House came up with a great deal so I decided to stay for two nights.

After a shower, it was unbelievably sticky today, I went for a wander around the walls etc It really is very pleasant with a host of tourist shops mainly selling quality jewellery, tea and lots of splendid looking restaurants.

A rubbish head massage chair

I saw The Tropical Spa and decided to have an Indian Head Massage, oh dear she needed to take lessons from Sally! It was probably the worst head massage ย ever! I was made toย sit in an executive high backed chair ๐Ÿ™ and to make it worse to wear a robe!! total disaster. No wonder they wanted to take your money up front!

I recovered enough to have a fantastic, if expensive, meal at the Fort Printers Hotel

An excellent day the Strava is here and Pics here

 

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 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