Somebody somewhere is looking after us . Our flight from Bangalore to Colombo took only and hour but in that time we met the very kind and lovely Jil . Jil commutes between Hong Kong and here and took time out on arrival to make sure we had some knowledge of where to go , where to stay and what to do . On her advise we headed down to Wijaya , just passed Unawantuna to a very popular resturaunt that also had guest rooms . After booking a private taxi for the four hour trip south we passed through Colombo where a weird sense of relife befell me . The citys streets are much cleaner then India and you can immediatly see that facilities are better . Looking out the window at each passing town you can see the ghosts of the tsunami . New buildings have replaced the crumbling relics and those that survived are water damaged and old before their time.
In contrast to the ocean views that are all along the coastal main road south there are areas of abandoned land which hold dozens of memorials of those that died here . Sri Lankan and Western faces peer out from the tomb stones and I can only imagine the devestation that this place incurred . Some areas were worse affected then others .
Even with all these reminders , the place is still jaw droppingly beautiful . The narrow parcels of land between the road and the beach are filling up fast with guesthouse , private villas & boutique hotels probaby counting on never seing another coastal disaster in their lifetimes .
The beaches although narrow are filled with soft white sand and crystal clear waters and is much more beautiful then Goa .
The old fort area is know as Galle and we are about 10 mins away for this very expensive up and coming area . The little streets are filled with fabulous renovated dutch cottages , galleries , designer jewelry shops , cafes , restauraunts and of course boutique hotels . There is a creative feel about the place and it is home to a whole wealth of industry professionals from Hong Kong, UK and mainland Europe which makes the town very appealing .
The local folks are mostly well educated and fluent in English so we don’t face the same misunderstandings as we did in India .
The place Jill reccomended is very cosy, and we feel at home straight away. The guy who runs the place is called Mahendra and is very laid back and cool. This is a small place with a very good restaurant with a small reef about 50 mtrs out from the beach which means that the kids can swim and play safely in the water. This is important at this time of the year as the water can be quite rough and without the reef there would be undertows which can whip you out to sea very quickly.
Within a couple of days we need to move from Wajaya as the humidity is killing myself and Lisa. It is the sort of heat that if you were on your own you wouldn’t mind but with two kids it is a killer, you get up, get dressed, and by the time you are finished running after the kids to dress them you need to shower again just to cool down, we need air-con. We get it two doors down, in the place Mahendras brother Susil runs. This place is called Rockside and is a short walk down the beach. We are given a fantastic room, plenty of space , big balcony and the all important aircon. We end up staying here for 10 days, more that we had planned but then again it is a magnetic place and hard to drag yourself away from.