Free lunches, crashing waves and motorbike shinnanigans. Standard.

19 Mar

Well after sorting out the cards and the cash, we hired a motorbike and went to the beach. The waves are huge here – well over 6 foot. We played in the sea for ages and got knocked off our feet a couple of times…we kept having to have a break to get our breath back as the waves are so strong and just when you want to get out, a massive wave comes and you have to scramble out, bikini akimbo and full of sand, just so you don’t get dragged back out. Definitely not a place for swimming when you’ve had a few. If you can swim out during a moment’s calm, you can catch a big wave and it will bring you all the way to shore!

After swimming, we went off to the guy’s restaurant we met the day before. He was delighted to see us and immediately sent Craig back to Hikkaduwa to get a bottle of arrack for us to share. We explained we were on a bike so couldn’t have too much but he explained that if we ate, it would be ok!

We hadn’t any breakfast so were pretty hungry, but the guy brought out fried fish and poppodums to keep us going – I was a bit dubious about the fish as it was whole but it was actually very nice mackerel once you’d picked the bones out of it. His wife was cooking us lunch whilst we talked with him and his son about his son’s studies – he’s training to complete CIMA in English which will be a massive achievement. His other son is working in Dubai as a lifeguard earning 30,000 rupees a month which is £150. Once Pathum has completed his studies, he could earn 40,000 rupees as an accountant but is trying to get a sponsorship to another country. His dad buys 10 lottery tickets every so often…we asked him what he would do if he won and he said he’d visit Dubai so he could see his son.

We were eventually given food after half a bottle of arrack had been shared, mixed with ginger beer. Craig explained that he was driving so he didn’t want to have too much, but everyone insisted that he would be fine if he had some food. And typically, we had an enormous lunch

Enough to fill four people! Chunks of tuna, dhal, ochre, other vegetables and rice…we were stuffed! I tried Sri Lankan style – with my fingers which was pretty liberating! I did have a commentary on exactly what proportion of rice, dhal and curry I had to have at one time but I think I got the hang of it :)

As we had had quite a few soft drinks and arrack, along with the meal, we asked what we owed him: nothing. He said that it was a pleasure to have friends round and that we were family now so we couldn’t possibly pay. He showed us his house, his dogs and his parrot (which talked back to his son, saying he would really like some rice now please!). Unbelievable as we’d had such as massive meal and several drinks, but he insisted that we could not pay. I was sure that we would end up paying something…a lesson in leaving your English cynicism behind and taking lovely people at face value for a change.

We went to have a nap for a little bit and then to get Craig’s hair cut. He got a hair cut and a head massage for a couple of pounds

Which sexy 80’s haircut to choose???

Bang tidy.

…and then on to Sam’s bar for a cold beer and more importantly, a wifi connection. Managed to get hold of Mum on Mother’s Day for a chat – I sure looked crazy as I was standing under the only light in the bar, bellowing into my computer, ignoring the bemused looks but it was very nice to speak to her and Hannah.

The next morning we went to the harbour at seven o’clock as nowhere was open for breakfast: unlike Vietnam, everywhere here is very relaxed and laid back so doesn’t open until 10 or so. We bought a red snapper-kind of fish for 320 rupees and got it gutted

and stuck it in a little plastic bag and then hopped on to the motorbike, local style. We drove to Pathum’s place where we gave him the fish (praying it was the eating type and hadn’t massively offended him by bringing the equivalent of catfood!) to say thank you for the lunch the previous day. He gave us free coffee and ginger beer in return – we will be forever in his debt!

Pathum said that the best place to get sarongs was 4km away so we hopped back on the bike but decided to take the scenic route off the Galle road. We were very glad we did

and stopped at a moonstone mine along the way

Everything they had for sale was beautiful but essentially unnecessary for our travels so with a heavy heart we avoided their bargain prices and hit the road again.

As we’d come so far out of the way, we stopped at Ajit’s again and made his little girl’s day by bringing her some nail polish and did her nails. She was so excited I swear she didn’t even breathe whilst I did her fingernails and toenails! I also gave her some lipbalm and she said she was so happy she wasn’t going to eat again because she didn’t want to wear it off, so I gave her the whole tub as I’ve got tons floating around in my bag

Craig and I got back to Hikkaduwa and found a little place that did lunch, where we ordered rice and curry. As usual, a feast was put in front of us

which we really couldn’t do justice but it was amazing. They have a way of making vegetable dishes so delicious that if I lived here I could definitely go back to being veggie again :) The man was very concerned that we had had enough food and we liked it…we could barely breathe afterwards, never mind eat anything else!

Another nap called us so we got up about four o’clock to wander down to the bar for an internet connection and a couple of cold beers, where we met an English guy called Mark who had spent a year working in India for a women’s charity. He is having a month’s break in Sri Lanka before he goes back to the UK which he is not looking forward to but he has to go back for his girlfriend. I guess we are very lucky that both of us wanted to travel at the same time…

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2 Responses to “Free lunches, crashing waves and motorbike shinnanigans. Standard.”

  1. jenraytion 21 March 2012 at 3:36 am #

    Your blog is so much fun to read! I’m glad you found mine so that I can follow yours! Best of luck on your journey.

    • toaustraliathelongway 21 March 2012 at 4:39 am #

      As is yours! I had a look at your list – impressive! I’m only 3 years off but 30 is in the “too difficult” basket so I am firmly Not Thinking About It!

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