Christmas Vacation

Trip Start Sep 26, 2006
Trip End ??? ??, 2007

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Monday, January 1, 2007

I spent Christmas in Unawatuna with Denise. We were up at 6 every morning to do yoga which really paid off because the first few days the sun only came out for a few hours (between 6 and 9). Had we slept in we would have missed out on those few precious rays. Most mornings we would hear the monkeys in the trees up above us - they came to eat the mangos. One morning they even left one (mango) at our door.

After yoga, we would go for a swim in the ocean and then enjoy a nice breakfast of fresh fruit, toast (we brought peanut butter - what a treat) and tea at the guest house. Some days we relaxed (read, did sudoku puzzles, played guitar, played cards, etc...). One day, we went to Galle to see the old fort. Other days - later in the week when the sun decided not to tease us anymore - we spent at the beach.

I did a bunch of snorkeling and saw some really beautiful fish. On one occasion I almost ran into a wall, which turned out to be a school of fish! There must have been 300 of them, silver with bulging eyes - all about 30 cm long and 5 cm tall. I hung out with them for a bit but they didn't have much to say, so I went on my merry way. I also saw jelly fish, big fish that shimmered like opals, yellow fish with black stripes, black fish with blue polka dots, a big red scary looking guy (though he ran away from me...), some helicopter-shaped fish and so many more! Not to mention the beautiful coral!

Panasonic makes a case which allows me to use my camera underwater. It's only about $300 CAD. If anybody is feeling generous my camera is model DTZ - . hahaha

I also went for a massage. This was a very interesting experience. Remind me to tell you about it when I get home.

Christmas day was one of those days were we saw the sun for a bit in the morning. Then it poured the rest of the day. I did all those things I was saving for a lazy/rainy day. Admittedly, it didn't feel like Christmas due to the lack of snow, family and friends. Regardless, it was nice.

Boxing Day is the anniversary of the tsunami. Unawatuna was severely affected and as such, a small ceremony was held on the beach. Also, the monks chanted. For two days straight. Amplified and broadcast on speakers along the main road near our guest house. For over 48 hours. At one point (at about 4 am on the 28th) someone must have passed out on the volume button: the volume went way up! I awoke thinking a monk on a bullhorn was just outside my door. I often hear chanting from my home - it really doesn't bother me. In fact I find it calming. This particular session though was quite disruptive...

The guest house is owned by a German woman and her Sri Lankan husband. It was a two minute walk to the ocean. The three-story structure allowed us a great view of the ocean, the surrounding neighborhood and the monkeys and beautiful bids in the trees.

The staff was excellent and the food delicious. But apparently the woman was upset that I was playing guitar (in the afternoon ?!?!?) and that Denise could speak Sinhala (?!?!?!?). So we got kicked out. No explanation. Just lovely.

We moved into another guesthouse down the road which (was a pain in the arse, but) turned out to be much more tranquil.

Overall, it was a bit shocking to see 'other' white skin (I represent about 40% of it in Matara), and the prices were a bit steeper because of the tourism factor; but all in all, this vacation was a really nice and relaxing - just what I needed!
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