My last day in Sri Lanka did not disappoint. I was disappointed it was my last day, but the activities were great.
I met with Sampath for breakfast before our adventure. I had to check out of my hotel by noon and my flight wasn’t until 2am the next morning. Oy Vey!! I left my bags in the hotel office and started the adventure!
There isn’t a lot to do in Galle but it’s definitely worth a day trip. The fort and jungle beach are easily accessible from the bus station.
We made our way south of Hikkaduwa to the Southern Province Capital – Galle, Sri Lanka! We started with a self-tour around the huge fort. We’re talking HUUUUUUGE! Sampath told me all about it and in great detail. I saw the jail, the lighthouse, and went swimming!
As we walked around the fort, we came across a group of teenage boys who were daring each other to swim in their clothes. I’m a sucker for a dare and since I’m a fish, the water was calling. I joined them and they chickened out. Good times. We continued walking around the fort when I decided to sit on the edge of the wall. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, people love to take pictures of me. I don’t know why, but whether they’re in the picture with me, or they’re trying to “sneak” a picture, they always say thank you. As I was sitting on the edge, a chinese woman sat next to me and her husband spent 3 minutes taking pictures of us. I have no idea who they are but I better be on their picture mantle. Thanfully Sampath was on his photographer game and captured the moment for me.
Next stop was jungle beach. There were monkey’s EVERYWHERE! It was a steep hike but it was really cool. I’ve never been so close to monkey’s in the wild. The beach was beautiful but very crowded. the area available for a picnic or sunbathing was less than 20 yards long. So, we talked for a little bit about life and then we were off to the beach where I could lay out and swim before I made my way for the bus up to the airport.
I’m the queen of sunscreen but there wasn’t enough to help my poor skin this day. I got fried. To the point people stopped, pointed, and stared. “Hi, hello… yes, I know… yes, it hurts…. NO PLEASE DON’T TOUCH ME!”
There was one minor problem about the end of this beach day – I didn’t have anywhere to shower or get dressed before I had to sit at the airport for 6 hours. My best friend Sampath, being the angel that he is, found me a guesthouse that would let me shower and change before he took me to the bus station. While I was showering, he went on a search for a real aloe plant to help my skin. He’s such a genuinely nice person. So, I showered and got ready to make my way to the bus station. Sampath and I were silent on the drive. I was really sad. Not the typical sad where your vacation is over, but the type of sad that you’re saying good bye to a friend that you know you won’t see for a long time. We stopped for a fresh juice before he helped me bring my bag on the bus and found me the best seat. We had an awkward hug – the kind where you don’t know which way the other persons head is going to go. We didn’t acknowledge it but we exchanged my email, his mailing address, and his skype name. We’ll be in touch and I will be back to visit. I spent three full days with Sampath and it was long enough to establish a friendship.
As I sat on the bus listening to my music, a man sat next to me and kept trying to talk to me. At one point he kept trying to rest his arm on my leg (never okay!). At least it wasn’t a thigh kiss, but it was still not okay. I made it clear to him and the other men on the bus told him to stop.
I then sat in the airport for 6 hours freezing from my sunburn and reminiscing about my week in the most beautiful country I’ve ever been. I am so grateful for my time in this country seeing it’s natural beauty and meeting the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my travels. I have told many people that if I passed a school and they asked if I could move there to teach English, I wouldn’t even go back to Thailand for my stuff. I truly could live in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s tourism is gaining popularity. There are areas that still need major help with raising their accommodation standards but it was ignored because the Sri Lankan people made you feel welcome and appreciated the second you step into their area. I really encourage you to visit Sri Lanka before tourism takes over. Go to the places that you never thought you would visit. Step out of the resorts and stay in guesthouses. Take a bus and not a private taxi. Talk with the restaurant owner and ask your new friends about their culture, their life, their friends, anything. They want to know about you so it’s time to learn about them.
I’ll be looking for flights back to Sri Lanka frequently.