It’s a long road to Hikkaduwa…

18 Mar

We had a lie in the next morning and woke up to see Mathias and Frederik playing cricket with Ajit’s children and their friends. They were absolutely soaked in sweat but looked like they were having a great time. After paying our bill and eating our breakfast (leaving us with 1,000 rupees…£5), we joined them and played a quick game. They played it with a tennis ball and if you knock it out of the garden it’s not a six, you’re automatically out which seemed a bit unfair! I started off fielding and then all too soon it was my turn to bat. I was praying I wouldn’t knock myself unconscious but I managed to hit the ball, even if Frederik caught me out…a good excuse to get out of the sun :) Craig did much better but the kids were amazingly fast and thought nothing of running over broken bricks to try and catch the ball. Mathias and Frederik were great, albeit slightly bewildered by the rules (“why do two people have to run? why can’t we stand here and someone else runs for us?”). No one seemed in any great hurry to leave, but all too soon our bags had to be packed and it was time to go. We were genuinely sad to say goodbye to Mathias and Frederik as we’d had a really nice couple of days with them, but they were off for to Nepal for new adventures and we really needed to see more than one village!

We strapped on our big bags, medium bags and little bags and decided to give walking to Hikkaduwa a go. The bus was only 19 rupees each but we needed to save a bit of cash and we thought it would be nice to give the death-bus a miss for a change. It was seven kilometres but that’s never put us off before so off we went. Mathias bet that we would have over 1,000 offers of tuktuks along the way, but in the end we stopped counting at 15. So it was probably around 1,000 by the time we collapsed into our guesthouse.

The walk was pretty nice; we got to see a lot of things that would have just been a blur on the bus

We got passed by little bakery tuktuks – tuktuks that are filled with cakes and bread and play a little tune. My favourite one plays Santa Claus is Coming to Town. We were accompanied by a dog for quite a while – we stroked it when we stopped for a drink. Another guy gave it a pancake, but it obviously knew people who loved dogs as it didn’t give the guy a second glance before it came with us, wagging it’s tail the whole way until we got to town and it turned back. We also got stopped by lots of people just for a chat – “where?” is “where are you going?” and “crazy” is “why are you walking from Akurala to Hikkaduwa?”. We even got offered a lift for free but we explained we were long of leg and big of belly so it was good for us to walk carrying 15kg of stuff each.

We arrived at Hikkaduwa just in time for the sunset

but found that our card was still blocked. We found a little restaurant which had wifi and managed to change a couple of dollars into rupees so we could have a beer and get something to eat. I phoned the bank and eventually got them to unblock the card after a very stressful 15 minutes of security-grilling. I have no money, my priority is not to remember my stupid memorable place I thought of three years ago, it’s to get you to understand I HAVE NO MONEY!! But both cards are now working again now so all good.

We were pretty hungry after our walk (which ended up being nearly 13km due to the cheaper guesthouses being at the other end of Hikkaduwa) so went for a cheap rotty, or filled chappati/pancake thing. When we got there, it also said kottu on the menu so we decieded to try that. The old man making it was amazing as he could turn little lumps of dough into pancakes in seconds. He fried up vegetables, bacon and chicken and then got two huge chopping knives and rhythmically chop-diddy-chop-didy-chopped at full volume until everything was smushed up into tiny pieces. Soy sauce, chillies, a fresh egg and then it was done

It tasted a million times better than it looks!

We went for a quick drink by the beach and then to bed, absolutely knackered. We spent this morning on a pilgrimage to the cashpoint so we could use the now-unblocked cards and plan to spend the day at the beach and going for lunch with one of the guys we met on our walk yesterday. To celebrate the use of our limbs (quite an occasion when you’ve spent the last couple of days lying on the beach!) we might break out the matching teeshirts. Oh yes. You have been warned.

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