Poya Day, Last Day, Holiday

Trip Start Nov 15, 2010
Trip End Feb 15, 2011

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last time I updated you on my whereabouts, i had set down my backpack in Unawatuna and planned to stay for 5 nights. As you might have guessed, I never left. Well, until this morning because I needed to get to the airport, but you get the idea.

In total I did 5 dives in Unawatuna, my last one being the most special. A wreck dive, 28m underwater... an 1868 sunk boat from the UK in a sapphire blue clear ocean. It was magical.

However, I didn't JUST dive in Unawatuna! There are some great places to snorkel right off the beach (and I saw a sea turtle!), walks to be had around the little streets and Galle fort to visit.

Galle Fort has a really strong dutch influence and is simply breathtaking. There is literally a fort surrounding the area and as you walk up and down the roads you're overcome by the charm and soul of the place. The architecture is very ornate and colorful. You can walk to the ramparts and climb up on the fort walls. From the top of the fort walls, you have suck amazing views!! Blue blue ocean on one side and the top of the little streets of the fort on the other. There's an old lighthouse that just adds to the charm of the place. I took pictures, but i think the thing about Galle is really the feeling you get for it. The aura it has. I loved it. Went back 3 times. (it's only 10 minutes away from Unawatuna!)

I went back to the turtle hatchery with a friend that hadn't been there yet, this time I remembered to bring my iphone to snap a few pictures! I think you could go quite a few times and not get fed up of the creatures!

Yesterday, monday the 20th, was a full moon day in Sri Lanka. This is sacred here. It's a holiday and it's called Poya Day. All the shops close and there are rituals performed everywhere. I can't begin to explain how happy I am to have assisted to Poya Day! There was a beautiful parade right off the road of where I'm staying, so colorful and joyful and serene. In Sri Lanka, they have official dances and spirits associated to each dance with specific meaning. Like the peacock mask and it's dance is meant to bring luck, where as the snake mask and it's dance is meant to protect from evil spirits and bad luck. There were children dressed as each of the spirits and the costumes were beautiful. We watched silently as they paraded about with their Buddha sculptures and offerings and flowers and couldn't help but smile at everyone that passed us by. They were all so happy!! In the evening a bunch of locals came to hang out at the restaurant of our guest house to celebrate Poya day, so we sat around and sang and danced as they jammed on their bongos!

All in all, my first few days in Sri Lanka were hard. I came really close to calling it quits and running back to the comfort of Pondicherry in India. But I challenged myself to stay. In the end, I'm very glad I did. Although I'm not sad to be returning to India today (let's be honest, I'm still looking forward to it), I appreciate everything Sri Lanka has brought me. The sights, the sounds, the smiles... All in all, lots of good memories.

I'm headed to the andaman islands for the holidays, I don't know if I'll have internet...SO!

I'll take advantage of this post to wish you all a very happy holiday season. No matter where you are and what you believe, I hope these next few days will be filled with memories,  good food, friends and family. Appreciate the ones that surround you, we so easily take for granted all the love and luck that we are showered with.

I'll be having a fish-full christmas under the sea and thinking of all of you!

Much love and best wishes!

Thanks for reading,

Tani xx

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Vanessa on

PWETTY PWETTYYYYY PWETTTTYYYYY TUWTLESSSSSSSS!! ( and no i haven't had enough) XD .. have an amazing christmas Tania. If you ever feel like u wish u were here with us, remember that we all wish we were there with you living a once in a lifetime experience. Dont be sad, smile cause ur the one with the kick-ass christmas story :) we love u and miss u. Keep having fun, keep living life like never before, and keep us posted. i love reading these always gives me a little sense of " being there". Wish i Was. Love u. <3

Kalina Chibok on

Happy Christmas Tania!!!!!!!!!!! xx

Tia Cristina on

Salut...ma cherie tu es resplendissante, tellement belle.Le 24 on est chez Vovo..je vais mettre Skype pendant qu'on mange si jamais cela fonctionne tant mieux pour nous.
Si jamais on ne peut se parler...on tiens a te dire qu'on t'aime ENORMEMENT on voudrais bien surque tu sois ici...mais enfin l'experience que tu vie n'arriveras peut etre pas une deuxieme fois.Joyeux noel notre petite TANOCAS on t'aime et pense a toi souvent.

GROOOOOOOOOS bisou de nous tous

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