Galle : Sunshine, Beach, Warm Sea, Colonial Fort,
Trip Start Dec 24, 2008
10Trip End Jan 04, 2009
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Again the Hotel did me proud - they had gone out and bought hoppers for me! They're like thin pancakes made from rice flour - some served plain to dip in curry and others served with a fried egg in them.....Yum. With it was the usual breakfast of stringhoppers, fish curry, a lentil dahl. Yum. I'd been asking and looking for hoppers since arriving - now I'm happy! We set off along the coast - a very good straightish tarmac road - you can tell we're approaching the tourist beach area where the money comes. Along the way we had a small market stop - the food area was bustling with locals and full of colour and smells - we looked briefly at some emptier clothing stalls but ended up with nothing. We also passed a tuk-tuk shop and made enquires into the cost - 2k USD new. The south coast is famous for stilt fishermen - they climb a pole in the water and fish from it......we got a photo stop (organised for tourists i think) with two of them (poles not even in the water but on the edge)- as soon as one of us had put the camera down them climbed down the poles and came looking for tips! Aswell as the stilt fisherman we also passed a group of people fishing from rubber rings! The coast is lovely - white sand beaches, palm trees, bays of blue sea, stilt fisherman everywhere. We arrived at our Hotel - Unawatuna beach resort that feels backpackery - and nice. We had lunch before heading out to see Galle town. We had a quick visit to another jewellery shop - they had a moonstone mine out the back and allegedly still mined it - we're a little sceptical and think it's just for tourist show! The actual jewellery inside is nicer than what we saw in Candy - but none of us were in the shopping mood. Next stop was Galle Fort - yet another Unesco World Heritage site. It's a Dutch fortified city and it's the best kept example surviving in Asia - Amaranga dropped us off and we wandered along the bastions. The bastions are still under repair following the tsunami - thousands died inside this city when the wave hit. It's very hot - we have a lovely walk along the seaside bastions....most of the locals are even cowering in the shade. We pop into the Dutch Church where the cleaner points out lots of stuff and asks to put something in the donation box. Almost the entire internal floor seems to contain graves. We head back to the Hotel and fulfil my other wish - some beach time.....I head into the water and don't really come out except to take some pictures. The beach is white sand lined with hotels/restaurants and lots of palm trees (one even has a palm tree growing through it) - the water is warm and has nice waves breaking - enough to dump you on the sand if you're too near the beach. Because of the waves it's not crystal blue but rather murky with sand - but we spend a lovely couple of hours bobbing around in the warm water taking in the amazing views. There are lots of firecrackers and the occasional gunshot - the locals are celebrating both the New Year and a capturing of major Tamil territory in the North of the island. We wait for sunset and get a lovely one. After the sun has gone, we head into the swimming pool - which we find to be heated!!! We head back to the room and change for dinner. We have a nice buffet meal with Sam & Michelle. After the meal Andy, Chris & I have a walk along the beach and a paddle. Some of the buildings are lit up like Blackpool - but we get a lovely view of the stars.