4.5 hour drive - July 17th 2015

Today started out well with great brekky and a lazy start as we instructed our “Driver” to pick us up at 10am. Well he arrived and we set sail for more hours of torture! This time the Colombo bus sat right up our backside so it loomed through the rear window like a menacing monster horn blaring! We don’t blame the bus driver as we were pottering along at a steady 30km hour or so. The bus eventually powered by missing us by centimetres. Unfortunately it had to stop to pick up passengers resulting in us passing it whilst stationery and the whole horn blasting procedure repeated itself several more times. We are unsure what our driver suffers from but it must be nasty!

Baby turtles ready to fly

Baby turtles ready to fly

On the way to Yala, Erica got our man to stop at a Turtle Hatchery as per our itinery and she paid $5 to go in. I pigheadedly refused as it should have been included and waited outside. She had a good time looking at both adults and hatchlings of 5 of the 7 breeds of turtles in the world.

The stilt Fisherman were next stop but when our man told us you have to pay to take a photo I sniffed commercialism, stuck to my principles and did not stop. However on the way back today I took a quick sneak pic, and when the minders were alerted by the lone fisherman to come and charge me we quickly mounted our steed and were away before they got to us! Incidentally “Our Steed” is a Nissan Sony and has the most uncomfortable rear seats in creation! We have made a mental note to never mount one again!

Stopped at an incomplete Memorial To Tsunami victims at Tangalla beach headland. A beautiful structure and position. The beach at Tangalla has been badly denuded by the Tsunami and rocky outcrops have replaced it in places. The Lighthouse at Dondra was a stop for us and was a wild rocky place covered with palms. It was very pretty. Mirissa beach had white sand and was smaller than Unawatuna, less hotels and on the busy main road. The Tsunami has left lasting effects on the beaches here as the sand has not come back as one would have expected.

Memorial To Tsunami victims

Memorial To Tsunami victims

Lighthouse at Dondra

Lighthouse at Dondra

Mirissa beach

Mirissa beach

Passed through the large town of Matara and drove through the Old Dutch Fort which is still intact and filled with old Dutch buildings now used by government for things such as Court Houses. One of the buildings we passed was built in 1797.

We were glad to see the entrance to The Villa again after four and a half hours drive. At least the 138km was covered a little quicker today. Maybe that honking bus helped!

The weather here is still overcast and is a part of the Seasonal South West Monsoon that strikes western India and Sri Lanka this time each year. We have been lucky that the few heavy showers we have had have not affected us.

Last part of today after bidding our driver farewell has been spent settling back into our old top floor room and lazing on the beach.