Namastè Sri Lanka! – II
Namastè Sri Lanka! – I – The first part of our trip 🙂
I remember when me and Urmi thought of SriLanka as an option for our vacation, Kinz(my cousin brother), suggested beaches! Not once did he mention staying in Colombo. And by the end of the trip I am gonna agree hands down that, brothers always suggest the best places! When we started looking for BNBs in Galle, we had short listed a few places, and – The Cozy Nest was one of them. There was something about this place that we all loved… but this place was not available in our dates. So we literally kept stalking this place till the last moment hoping for some miracle and it did happen J. We stayed in Galle for the remaining days of our vacation and I assure you all the stalking and praying for some miracle was all worth it. Coz this place… was heaven!
– GALLE –
Our stay! <3
The train was on time and we reached Galle at around 9:30am in the morning. Our check in time at Cozy Nest was 3pm, but we had requested to drop our luggage at the place and move out, and they agreed. The place was hardly 10 minutes by tuktuk from Galle station. The host suggested we go to the jungle beach and so we thought of covering that on that very day.
A tuktuk ride to Jungle Beach costed us 500LKR and it was a ride uphill into some secluded jungle. We had to trek by foot to reach the beach. This beautiful beach was tiny with few people sun bathing and relaxing. We were still in our travel clothes so we couldn’t get into the water but it was a nice beach to get into the “beach holiday mood” and relax for some hours. You can also do snorkelling here, though I am not very sure if its worth it. We trekked back and had our lunch at the ‘Jungle beach café’ and the food was fresh, delicious and super cheap!
The trek to Jungle beach starts from a Buddhist Peace Pagoda – Legend has it, that this uphill was a piece of the Himalayan mountain from Ramayana’s time. When Lakshman was injured, Ram had sent Hanuman to the Himalayas to search for ‘Sanjeevani booti(herb)’ and Hanuman, confused, thought of carrying the whole mountain to Ram. And while carrying the mountain, a piece of the mountain had fallen at this very place. And till date this place has the most fertile soil with n number of life saving herbs growing there. Fascinating and Intrguing!
After a good and satisfying lunch we headed ‘home’ and the welcome we received was one of the best things that happened to us from the time we arrived in SriLanka. True to its name, this cozy little place, best for 4 people was a dream home with its colloquial interiors and the best hosts! The place belongs to Ruvinda and he stays in Colombo with his wife and kids. It is his parents who looked after the place and the guests. By evening we were utterly happy, satisfied and well rested… we headed to explore Galle by foot.
Later in the night we decided to go to the Unawatuna beach, just 15 mins by tuktuk, this beach would be our place for partying and chilling at night for the next few days of our stay. And the pool at our place would be our 2am place to chill and celebrate friendship.
If the warm welcome to the cozy nest was not enough… the next morning we found our dining table ready and waiting, laid out with the most delicious breakfast. In the previous few days in Colombo we were literally struggling for our breakfast (that is one problem with bnbs – searching for food. So its really important to do your research well while booking. Because none of us would love to go on a vacation and cook our own food, if we wish to sit and chill at the place. Just see they provide you with a cook on demand and if the hosts are approachable, friendly and responsive. We missed that in Colombo.
After the delicious and heavy breakfast we freshened up and headed for Hikkaduwa. Uncle had already booked a tuktuk for us and he had told the guy to take us around every possible place on the way. Hikkaduwa was around an hour by tuktuk from our place, the road is straight, clean and in good condition. On the way we visited a herbal garden, which was not really impressive as I had already been to such places in Kerala and growing up in small towns I had seen these plants grow in my garden itself. The entry and tour around the garden was free but the products they tried to sell us was beyond expensive! DO NOT fall for it!
Next we headed to the Hikkaduwa turtle hatchery. The entry ticket to the hatchery was 500LKR per person but it felt good giving the money because the person who owns the hatchery has opened it on his own initiative. He is among the few good men who makes you believe that, ‘good is still alive in this world’. He narrates his whole experience of how he started the hatchery and how the whole process works. You can ask him questions and he has kept a separate tank of tiny turtles for your photography before they are left out in the sea.
After the hatchery we went to the Tsunami Museum. I did not have the heart ti take any photograph of that painful account I went through there. It’s been 10 year to the incident and the family who had lost everything on that fateful day has kept the whole account of the incident in photographs, lives the pain everyday! I almost broke down. But its worth a visit!There is also a moonstone mining quarry very near to the museum you can visit.
Thereafter we headed to the Hikkaduwa beach. A clean beautiful beach with clear turquoise colour water, this beach had some amazing shacks, really amazing food and really good vibes! We chilled on this beautiful beach and headed back to our place as we had a party invitation in Unawatuna beach.
The next day we got up well rested an after some good srilankan breakfast we planned on visiting Mirissa.We had heard so much about this beach. We knew we couldn’t get into the waters as the water is rough there. This beach was surfer’s favourite, and many called it the surfers beach.
Our tuktuk had arrived by the time we told them(people are very punctual!) and we headed to Mirissa. It was around 1.5hours from our place of stay and the road is beautiful with delightful scenic beauty and architecture.
Other than these beautiful view , you also get to see the famous ‘Stilt fishing’ on the way to Mirrisa. But if you want to take a photograph of this unique activity… you gotta pay 1000LKR per person!!!
I have always loved going to the beaches but when it came to Mirissa… there was something absolutely magical! The water… the people… the vibes everything seemed to be my kind! It’s sad that we couldn’t spend more time in this beach because it was far from our place of stay… but if ever I am gonna go back to Srilanka again, I would definitely spend more time here!
The day ended with our ritual visit to the Unawatana beach at night and our “very” late night gossip by the pool.
This was to be our last day at our beautiful cozy nest and we wanted to do nothing but stay indoors soaking in all the coziness of the place. At night we had to attend a party and we had the whole day to ourselves to relax at the pool, enjoy some music, chatter endless, read some good book or just lie down by the pool.
The day started with yet another delicious breakfast prepared by aunty.
We had to vacate our place by 12pm and our flight was at 1:40am at night. So we had the whole day to ourselves. We had planned on exploring the Galle fort today. It’s not that we havent visited Galle fort, but the place itself was so beautiful we wanted to spend more time exploring every street by foot.After some good breakfast and packing our stuffs we headed to the Galle fort.
If you love exploring and if you are into food adventure, this is heaven! Galle will be close to our hearts forever no matter how many new places we go!
Our exploring Galle fort was so much about food and we fell in love with every bit of it! Our dinners on a few days happened here in some quiet cafe by some quiet street with strangers who smiled and greeted everyone passing by them.
Evening lights, pretty streets and cozy cafes
And some delicious food journey!
Before leaving Srilanka, we had to visit the amazing hosts who took good care of us. Uncle had booked the cab to drop us to the Airport and we paid them one last visit… for being so wonderful!
My trip to SriLanka will always be close to my heart. not just because it was my first trip outside India… but also because it happened with the people I have known since I was a kid. A girl’s trip with your best friends whom you have known since eternity is a dream come true and I am glad that I had been lucky enough!
— Truth Bombs —
Thankfully there is no con I would like to point out from our trip. There is nothing I would call a blunder after we left Colombo. We wouldn’t have mind more time here other than spending it in Colombo.
- You have amazing souvenir shops in and around Galle fort but make sure you pick up stuffs from govt. owned ones. Lakshala and LUVSL has some amazing stuffs with good priceand so does a tiny shop named Ruben’s.
- Make sure you spend one whole day exploring Galle fort by foot. Get in random cafes, talk to strangers, buy stuffs you don’t need and do have ice cream! They have some amazing flavours!
- Hikkaduwa has some good party places(I had heard so from the locals) but we stuck to Unawatuna beach as it was the closest to our place and also the cheapest to reach.
Party scenes in Unawatuna –
- Wednesday – Catamaran (met some amazing people!)
- Thursday – Diving Centre (was really boring!)
- Friday – Happy Banans ( Highly Recommended! )
- Saturday – Kingfisher (Highly Recommended!)
For more pictures on the trip, you can head to my instagram and check my highlights on SriLanka 🙂 – Preeya darshini