Saturday, 25 May 2013

Sri Lanka - the final few days in Hikkaduwa

This post will be very photo heavy as there's just too many photos to share!!

Amin joined us the previous night and we set him up in one of our many spare rooms. We began the following morning by getting into a tuktuk and going to the sea turtle hatchery.  It was quite educational, there were little sand lumps labelled with different egg breeds, plus some tanks filled with injured turtles.  A lot of turtles get their flippers trapped on fishing nets or bits of plastic in the sea, and then end up swimming round in circles if one of the flippers is injured beyond repair.  It's really sad.





 We were allowed to hold the turtles which was a great experience, the baby ones are SO CUTE.  We got chatting to the owner, who had started the sanctuary after losing his entire family in the tsunami - the sanctuary was his way of keeping busy and making a living.  I nearly cried whilst he was telling his story - seeing things on the news is one thing but meeting actual survivors is another.








  


We then headed to the tsunami photo gallery down the road, again very haunting.  It's housed in a building that was flooded by the tsunami, and wall after wall is filled with photos and memories of people who'd survived.  It's incredibly moving.




We ended up on the beach where we could see turtles swimming in the distance.  We had a bit of a swim but it was very choppy so we didn't go too far out, the sea also wasn't very clean - I got hit in the face with a tube of toothpaste!














We gave up on the sea and returned to the villa's clean pool, where we continued with our Olympics.

In the evening we headed down to the beach to check out the Poya celebrations, it was really rather lovely.  There was a festival feel in the air, all of the usually dark roads were lit up by candles and all of the houses had lanterns outside.  Whilst on the beach a few guys came up to us to chat, they had an adorable little kid with them who was about 1 and a very happy chappy.  We ended the evening lying on the couch playing cards.









The following day, our last, we headed into town for a final bit of last minute gift shopping.  In one of the shops a little boy hit me with a plank of wood (owch!) and then asked me to pick him up (well, I assume that's what 'up, up, up' with arms outstretched means!).  Even though he had hit me he was quite cute so I obliged!



We had headed into town at the right point - as they were celebrating Vesak Poya, and a large carnival was in town.  We took our places at the side of the road, cameras out, and enjoyed the show.  It was amazing - like nothing i have ever seen before.  There were waves of different dancers in different costumes, each proceeded by a huge elephant kitted out in coloured, bejewelled sheets.  I'll end with some photos of the festival.










































We ended the day by taking a stroll down the town to the harbour where we watched the sun set and playing around.










Sri Lanka was beautiful and the perfect getaway holiday with two of my best friends - I would love to come back and stay in the villa with a big group of people, maybe when we're all married with children :)