Sad to leave...

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Saturday, August 4, 2012

After my visit to see the Kandy Perahera I came back to Tangalle via Colombo, not wasting any time.  The scenery on the way down is just stunning though, I been this route several times now and I make sure I get a window seat taking in the beach and palm trees on the coastline the whole way down to Tangalle, beautiful.  I really do love it here, although I’m getting a bit too comfortable, I could easily settle into this pace of life and just stay here.  For some reason Tangalle doesn’t get a huge amount of visitors compared to other parts of the island although I’m guessing it’s purely because of the distance from Colombo.  If you are on a fortnight trip you would go to the cultural triangle further north, Arugambay maybe in the east and probably only down as far as Unawatuna or Mirissa in the west, it’s a long way down to Tangalle being right in the middle of the south coast, but I think it’s worth seeing.

I continue in my way of life that I left, I go down to the harbor or beach in the morning, have breakfast in one of the many local shops, potter around town and the markets, or head out cruising on the motorbike speaking to anyone and everyone on my travels and it’s nice people being used to you and chatting away.  I particularly love watching the fishermen bringing in their catch whether it’s hand lines on the beach or pier, or the big boats at the harbor.  There’s something mesmerizing about watching them working, and getting ready to head out to sea for sometimes months on end, it really is a hard life they lead. 

I met a lovely lady who works down at one of the guest houses on the beach, she passes Hotel Harmony daily going back and forth to work and we get on instantly.  It’s a real shame it’s only my last month here that I spend any time with Concy and I was delighted when she invited me to the family home for Sunday lunch.  I arrange to meet her and she takes me up to the house in a tuktuk after going to the Sunday Market.  Her house is right next door to her mum’s, and her oldest son and his family are living just along the road.  I’m welcomed my her mum and sister’s and nieces, meet her husband and son and get to meet her grandchildren, two beautiful twin boys although identical in many ways their personalities are very different.  One was all over me straight away, prodding away at my skin and pointing, wondering what the freckles were, whereas the other one initially just stared, trying to sus me out I guess.  I pretty much ignored them both until they were both wanting all my attention at which point I scooped them both up to go and see the fishies.  It turned out to be the funniest thing ever, the wee quiet one wouldn’t leave me alone and was telling me big, big stories, it was such a beautiful moment, he was chatting away to me in Singhalese thinking I could understand him, meanwhile Concy was at the kitchen door in fits of laughter and trying to translate what he was telling me and give me responses he would understand, it was so nice, no boundaries out of the mouth of babes. 

After playing and being entertained by the children in the family it was time for lunch, I was sat at the table in the living room with her husband to eat and although Concy, her sisters, nieces etc. were all there, no one else ate until her husband and I were finished.  I found it really embarrassing initially but was delighted when everyone else came in with their food and chat and we spent a lovely afternoon together.  At one point the twins mum took them into the room to feed them, once asleep one of the nieces went into the room to help and give the mum a rest, although when moved one of them woke up all upset, he would only come to me and fell fast asleep straight away my shoulder, it was lovely and all the family were delighted, looks like I’ll be welcome back anytime.

The people of Tangalle have welcomed me in and it’s going to be very difficult to leave, Fasloon in particular, his generosity and kindness of inviting me into his home is overwhelming, I’m taught how to make different curries mixing up the different spices with coconut oil, to making the samba with the coconut ‘grater’ and this is the first place I saw it in action and I have a go myself, it’s not as easy as they make it look.  I enjoy spending time with the extended family too, down at the nearby beach which although stunning, is dangerous for the children, you have to keep a close eye on them.  I’m back and forth so often that the neighbors all know me, so do the Navy guys who are working across the road building a watch tower type building, they recognise my motorbike first and wave on my arrival, everyone here is so friendly.

I enjoy the many bays and beaches of Tangalle, and although I’d be hard pushed to pick a favorite I think it would definitely be Tangalla Bay which is in front of Fasloon’s home, there’s even a parking spaces for visitors because it’s so spectacular, although I did fall I love initially down at Frangipani’s stunning white sands with palm trees, and I’ve enjoyed many days with Nalim and Caroline down there, for me Tangalla Bay and the rugged wildness of it is my place in Tangalle.  

So it’s with sadness and a heavy heart that I leave Tangalle, but if I don’t leave now I doubt I ever will, realistically I think this could be my place to come back not only for a holiday but perhaps more...  But for now it’s time to move on to adventures new and get my backside to China for some cycling (yep cycling… more info to follow).  On route I have a nice five day stopover in Kuala Lumpur which is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit and see the Patronas Twin Towers before heading to Beijing for more exploring of new lands which I have been thoroughly enjoying so far.  I'm accompanied to the airport and it's a sad farewell.  

Tangalle I love you, I hope you, I come back soon xxx 
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