The train is the worst train I have ever been on and after 3 months in India I didn't think that would be possible. We exit the train at Weligama and take a tuk tuk to Mirissa; a sleepy village with the picture postcard beach so our guide book tells us.
The place is like a ghost town, half of the guest houses have closed down as the season is over; not that it looks like there has been a season. We stay at Giragala Village which is far better than we expected. The view from our balcony is nice over looking Parrot Rock and a small but nearly perfect stretch of beach.
Next morning Ben is not happy here either but I managed to persuade him to stay one more day
. We have breakfast (which isn't so good), walk across the garden strewn with hammocks and step on to the beach. The entire beach is ours except for a local fisherman going about his daily business. Ben snorkels and watches the fisherman catch an octopus, I sunbathe and read. A few hours later we've had enough so we head into the nearest city which is Manara described as a 'sprawling mess set beside a grubby, long beach' and this is before the tsunami! We wonder around, by a new snorkel, mask and flippers for Ben as he borrowed the ones before and wants his own. We decide to call into Sri Lankan Airlines to reconfirm our flights to Bangkok and pay for them. Behind the desk is a lush picture advertising holidays to the Maldives. Now I know this is not a back packing destination. Some of the islands are ridiculously expensive and pretty exclusive but the flights are cheap, cheap, cheap and I doubt we will get the chance to go again for this price. We ask about accommodation but they have no brochure so we nip across the road to an internet café and have a look. It's cheaper to book rooms direct so we look at a few others too. There is a great website called www.mymaldives.com have a look if you are planning on going it could save you some serious money. Click on resort/hotel guide and shop around. Anyway it's getting dark now so we head back to our room. There is no electric and then the rain bounces down for 10 minutes. We shower by candle light, sit on the balcony and play cards with a pot of tea till bed time.
Tomorrow we will head back up the coast to Bentota and continue our search for a picture postcard beach.
To be continued. . . . .
Ok people today is Monday (I think) and we catch the 10.30 train south in search of a picture post card beach!