August 29, 2013

Southern Escapades (Part 2)

Continuation from Part 1

Day two was a day for the beaches. We started out early in the morning and drove down to Sri Lanka's southern most tip- Dondra Head.

We climbed 233 steps of Sri Lanka's tallest light house. The white washed bricks against the deep blue reminded me of the Santornini palette.

The winding staircases with furniture custom made to fit inside the curved walls, the little windows framing vistas of the ocean and finally the spectacular 360 degree view at the junction of land and water makes lighthouses in general one of my favourite things. 

The view at the top was unmistakably beautiful. The beaches only occupied by local fisherman kept the sands clean and untouched by tourist activity. We watched a few fishing catamarans riding the waves back onto shore. 

The water was so clear and in many areas we could see the rocks beneath the surface. Facing South, this vast mass of water separated us from the Antarctic. 

This beach is definitely one of my favourites. Quite unlike the others, this one had more rocks than sand. The piles of rocks create rocks pools between them. Each almost like a world of it's own with a variety of coral, fish, crabs, snails, sea urchins and other strange creatures.

I wanted to take back a shell as my souvenir, but couldn't find one that wasn't occupied. We spent ages there watching the pools and crevices in the rocks struggling to get pictures of crabs before they disappeared into the dark beneath the rocks. We stared at a shell for ages waiting for the hermit crab to emerge. We chased jumping fish from rock to rock. Our feet brushed anemone and coral, slipped over sea weed rocks and sank into fine sand. The waves didn't spare us either.

Snorkeling and scuba diving is a class of it's own, but the rock pools had quite an array of life and colour that quite easily goes unnoticed. 

The trip couldn't have been complete without some time spent swimming in the waves. After breakfast at Matara's Galle Oriental Bakery, housed in a white and green colonial building with dark wooden interiors and simple bakery fare, we drove back up the coast to the famous Mirissa beach. 

The clean stretches of sand, a few beach shacks and with waves more ideal for surfing than swimming, we decided we just HAD to rent out some boards and try level one of surfing- body boarding. It made us feel pretty cool to be walking around with the boards tucked under our arms. 

The strong undercurrents, and equally strong waves made the whole thing a lot harder than it looked. I spent more time trying to save my swimsuit and my board from being taken away with the waves than actually getting the perfect wave. But the times I did, was absolutely great fun. Being on top of the waves, picking up great speed and steering the board back to the shore. It was quite a workout which our muscles would remind us of the rest of the week.

The drive back up the coast, lunch at the fort in Galle, music, dancing and four takes of our attempt at a music video brought our little holiday to an end.

"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea." 
Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Priscilla Christo said...

Loved reading this! The pictures are fab! Not bad for that little camera and I guess the eye behind the lens.

Tanisha Christo said...

Thanks Mum. The camera is a good camera. It's just taking some time to get used to.