We arrived in Sri Lanka late at night so we grabbed an Uber to a hotel near the airport. The Uber only cost 230 rupees, and the cabs were trying to charge us 1000! We’re sure glad our phones worked here!
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get an Uber the next day because the stupid app kept placing our pick up location at the airport instead of our hotel. So we grabbed our bags and headed out to the road and found a taxi which we negotiated to a rate similar that Uber would charge to bring us to the train station. The 4 hour train ride was only .80 per person. I was dreading this train ride because it was so hot out and all the first class was sold out with air conditioning. Little did I know how awesome our view would be, and the cool breeze that came off the ocean felt amazing. We met another girl from Germany who we chatted with and before you knew it we arrived in the city of Mirissa!
We chose to stay in the busier/touristy city because after being in India for 3 weeks without meeting any other tourists us extroverts were really missing the company of others. We would have loved to stay at the hostel but they didn’t have any private rooms. Although, we did have a very nice hotel called Central Beach Inn that was just steps away from the beach. Just like in Goa we pretty much lived in our bare feet walking from our hotel to the beach and restaurants. The waves were quite large and exhausting to jump over so we would just go in for a few waves to cool off. The only unfortunate part about this hotel was the wifi hardly worked so I couldn’t get any work or blogging done, which was frustrating since I had the time! On the other hand it is nice to escape the real world every once in a while.
The next day we went took the local bus to Weligama beach, just about 10 minutes away to test out our surfing skills. We rented a surf board for 300 rupees for an hour and took turns. Well actually, I spent more time on it as I had a harder time getting up than Rob. I found surfing extremely frustrating, and I started to throw a little tantrum like I did when I was little when I couldn’t beat my dad at golf. Thankfully I managed to get up for about 5 second, unfortunately it was not caught on camera. Although I must say the highlight of my day was not the surfing, but all the puppies to play with at the surf shop!
After 3 blissful days at sea we decided to head to Yala National Park. While waiting for the public bus I went to grab us lunch. I was greeted by this sweet pre-teen who had impeccable English. He grabbed a packet of instant noodles and asked if I wanted that and I agreed. He insisted that we take a seat because our bus wasn’t leaving for another hour. Although there were many flies around we decided to wait it out because this kid was just too cute! When he brought out the noodles, it looked much different than Ramen. He told us that he didn’t make us the instant noodles, the pasta he made us with veggies was much healthier he said. Than he sat down to show us all his money from around the world. I dug through my back pack and found a quarter and dime to give him, and a coin from South Africa. He gave me some old coins from Sri Lanka and even though I tried to give them back, he insisted I keep them. He waited with us until the bus came and shouted for it to stop as they kind of just keep going.
We were the only foreigners on the bus. We were hot, and of course, there was no A.C. Thankfully we were able to get seats by the window. Two teenage boys sat next to us and tried to talk in the little English they knew, it was very sweet. Another young man sat by us at the end of our journey asking if we needed assistance with hotel/tours – and it just happened we did! Four hours later we arrived in the city of Tissa. The man took a tuk tuk for us to look at his cousins hotel, which we were happy with for $16 a night! We also arranged for a safari bright and early the next morning. Read about our safaris next!