Travel Journal

Mirissa, Yala National Park and Tangalla (Sri Lanka)

(Sunday 13 May 2012) by Lynda
Sri Lanka, lapped by the Indian Ocean, the coast is fringed with idyllic and sometimes refreshingly undeveloped beaches, while the interior boasts a compelling variety of landscapes ranging
Nogombo beach
Nogombo beach
from wildlife-rich lowland jungles, home to extensive populations of elephants, leopards and rare birds, to the misty heights of the hill country, swathed in immaculately manicured tea plantations. A great place for a lazy stop-over on my way back home.
I arrived in the middle of the night and took a taxi straight to Negombo, a long sequence of hotels and guesthouses strung out along the sand; definately not my cup of tea......but perfect because of the proximity to the international airport.
I took the local bus to explore the less developed beaches of the south coast. I'm used by now to the busdrivers of Asia, they love to drive their rattling buses in monkey-gear, but I was absolute not prepared for the Lanka drivers.......monkeys with a death wish.....the horror, the horror!!!!! But I did arrive in one piece (shaken that is) at the picture-perfect swathe of sand that is the village of Mirissa. A narrow strip of sand backed by a dense thicket of coconut palms which manage to camouflage most signs of human presence. Perfect to while away the time, sleeping, reading, sunbathing and eating fresh fish from the bbq right at the beach. But being alone in paradise gets boring after some days, time to hit the road again. Hopped on the bus with my monkey-friends to Kirinda and booked 2 days safari in Yala National Park famous for the large numbers of leopards and Bundala National Park, birdwatchers heaven.
Tusker in Yala National Park
Tusker in Yala National Park
I've seen so many beautiful animals, elephants, tuskers, monkeys, langurs, kingfishers, hornbills and birds in all colors of the rainbow. And to top it off : a leopard sleeping in the shade, what an amazing place this is. But going on safari is dusty business, back to the beach to wash it off. Tangalla beach, the hidden gem in the south. Perfect white sand, aqua blue water, a great wooden bungalow with a hummock, great food and ofcourse excellent local tea!!!!
To beach or not to beach?
To beach or not to beach?
Sri Lanka is perfect for relaxation, beaches and wildlife and I'm very glad i made this stop-over. A great way to end yet another epic journey. I've visited amazing places, seen so much wildlife, experienced true hospitality from the local people and made invaluabled memories with fellow travellers and new friends and found my inner strenght to overcome fears. This trip was amazing, wonderfull and memorable.

Ubi bene, ibi patria - home is where the heart is and my heart flew back to Europe some weeks ago - time to follow my heart and fly back home.

Travellyn

 


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