Surf, Sun and Temples

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hikkadwa  is a nice layed back beach town.  It has 2 surfing breaks, miles of sand and a smattering of seaside cafes.   It was the perfect place to work on my surfing while enjoying the beach.  I met a lot of people that had been there for months!   I guess Sri Lanka has always been a major surf destination but I was unaware. 
      One day while going for a walk on the beach I came across some fisherman loading up their nets.  After snapping some photos they invited me the next day to come fishing.  I was suppose to meet them at 7 Knowing that the best fishing is done in the early morning and grateful for the opportunity I showed up on time.  Little did I know that 7 a.m. in Sri Lanka is really more like 8..... I was invited into a hut for some lemon tea while we watched the news (in Sinhalese) about the LTTE.   The fisherman told me his whole take on the situation before we headed outside to join the rest of the crew.  Some men were mending nets while the rest stared out to sea. When I asked what we were waiting for I was told to look for jumping fish.  If they don't see any they don't go.   That day no fish were jumping so he invited me back another morning.
       The following day I slept in and awoke to find the boat already out.  As I walked down the beach I could see about 20 people on shore pulling a giant net.  Not wanting to miss the action I jumped in and helped. At first it was good fun but the net was massive and the whole process took about an hour!   I was tired, hot, sweaty and my little girly hands hurt from gripping the rope!  I figured they must a good sized catch because of the amount of work it took to haul in... Man was I wrong.  They barely caught anything!  I went for a run later that week and saw the exact same result!  Bummer.  Some of the guys pulling in the net were super old!  One guy was 92 with not an ounce of fat on him! He had one tooth that stuck out of his mouth like a cartoon baby!
       Gaul is Sri Lanka's  3rd biggest city and it was only 18 kilometers away.  I met an English guy who was also keen to check it out and we split a tuk-tuk.  The city has a massive old Dutch Fort that overlooks a giant cricket stadium.  There was a huge day long cricket match going and the fort was flooded with school kids.   School kids all wear white in Sri Lanka kind like a US navy outfits.   After checking out town we went to inspect another beach that was about 10 k down the road.    It was here we picked up a deaf guide.  These unwelcome "guides" are like leaches they point out random stuff and then want a tip.  This happens all over India and Sri Lanka.  Because this guy was deaf it was more funny than annoying.  He followed us everywhere! Clapping was how he got our attention followed by a  theatrical pantamine explanation.  We had no idea what he was on about but it like traveling with our very own clown!
      The rest of my time in Hikkadwa, I wondered around some temples, met some cool monks, and ate kotu rotti (like dough salad) until it came out my ears!

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