Monday, June 1, 2009

May 31st: Galle, surfing and turtle watching - all in a day in Sri Lanka.

What a day! Today was like a practice cultural tour day in that we were very busy traveling to a bunch of different attractions. We got up and left at 9:00am for Galle, another coastal city west of Tangalle that is the oldest ‘living city’ in Sri Lanka- that is, the oldest city in the country with people still living in it. We got to see some fantastic structures that were part of the military forts constructed by previous colonies in Sri Lanka. After a little window shopping at a small jewelry shop, we headed home, but on the way stopped to go surfing at a beach between Galle and Tangalle. Unfortunately, the shop owners had no wax and the waves were not very consistent or strong, so no one was very successful -of course, our lack of success could not have possibly been due to our inexperience!! But, everyone was glad to get a chance to try paddling around at least, and we can all say that we went surfing in Sri Lanka!

After surfing, we drove back and went straight to a restaurant that we have been to a few times. We had some deviled chicken and calamari and mixed seafood noodles with a fresh fruit salad and ice cream for dessert (mmmmmm). To finish off the day, we quickly walked back to Wavy Ocean after dinner, showered and changed, and then headed off to go turtle watching at 8:30pm. We were very very very very very lucky. When we got there, not only had a turtle already come up the beach, but she also came right in front of the car park (as opposed to 1 or 2 km down the beach). Some groups wait 4 or 5 hours and see no turtles, and we not only saw this one, but there was another just a couple hundred meters down the beach! After a bit of a wait in periodic spits of rain, we were lucky enough to be able to watch one of the turtles scoot back into the water. These are big turtles- like 1.5 m shells at the longest points!!!! One of the turtles laid eggs in a large hole that she dug! It was really quite an amazing experience, especially for those of us who had never seen giant turtles before.

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