Monday, 17 September 2007

Right Place, Wrong Time

The lyrics to Ghost Town keep spinning around my head: "all the clubs have been closed down...". Hikkaduwa is the centre of Sri Lanka's surf scene... but only from November to March.

I arrived after a typically torturous journey of a 13 hour flight — no sleep, a 3 hour wait in Singapore — no sleep, 4 hour flight to Colombo — 30 min snooze and a 5 hour drive to Hikkaduwa — van broke down outside Colombo but had a surprisingly swift transfer to another van laden with a Bob Marley tape which on the fourth repetition lulled me into a sleep-like trance state. My bank had handily suspended my cash card which took a £7 phone call en route to reverse, but finally I arrived at my hotel able to pay the taxi and check-in. It was 5pm and I was keen to explore and even keener to get into the sea. My hotel is directly on the beach so I braved the torrential rain and walked up and down the shore looking initially for a surf opportunity — the sea was a blown-out churning grey-blue mess with no discernable peaks and absolutely no-one else in it so I decided to give it a miss, and then for any other signs of life — there are none! All the bars, restaurants and hotels that line the beach are boarded up and derelict looking.

I am the only guest at the hotel so the staff of 6 seems a bit over the top. I have an early dinner of Tuna with a great spicy salsa and a papaya salad, a couple of beers and a quick chat with Chaminda the hotel manager who tells me there's currently only a handful of foreigners here in Hikkaduwa , and then I turn in.

I'm asleep by 9pm and have a well needed 10 hour kip.


Lisa said...
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Lisa said...

The lyrics "Things can only get better" are going around my head! Hopefully you have woke up to glorious sun and magnificent peaks (and if not, sure they are just around the corner). You are in our thoughts, especially last night as we watched "Riding Giants" - Stacy Peralta's surfing documentary - some seriously big ones!!
Love you Lisa & Jake xxx