Sun, Sand, Sick
Trip Start Dec 26, 2010
51Trip End Sep 10, 2011
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Where I stayed
Sunshine hotel (5 nights - 17500 rupee)
So as you may have gathered from Simon's previous entry, I have been unwell the last couple of days. I am well enough to sit on the veranda and type this while the boys go for a run up and down the beach.
On New Years' Eve I think I had some dodgy fish curry for lunch. It had suddenly rained for half an hour or so, as it often does in the afternoon, and we had sought shelter in one of the cheaper looking places along the beach. We had our usual sri lankan curry, which is excellent value and delicious, coming with one bowl of curry, and three additional bowls of dal and different curried vegetables, poppdoms and a bottomless pile of soft shortgrained sri lankan rice. This curry wasn't as good as previous ones, and bits of it were cold. Sure enough I began to feel queasy.
Later on we had an extravagant dinner at our hotel of crayfish (which they called lobster) and the sri lankan curry again
The beach was busy on NY Eve. Many of the shacks along the beach had gone all out. There were a couple of bonfires, and hundreds of coconuts or watering cans filled with kerosene. The kerosene smell seemed unbearable to me, but the boys were ok with it. There were fire poi's (Simon's particular favourite). It gets dark here promptly at 6.30 which surprises me each night, and by 9pm I was exhausted and nauseous. I went home, and by the time we heard the midnight fireworks on the beach I was sobbing and clutching my stomach, feverous and out of it, with Simon and James trying to convince me to stick my fingers down my throat. Eventually I threw up (sans fingers) and by morning I felt much better, as you always do.
I am ashamed to report that I have spent the last three days feeling sorry for myself and being grumpy while the boys have kindly and patiently looked after me. I have been largely confined to my bed and the loo, with the boys stopping by every couple of hours to check on me and bring me iceblocks and sprite. Luckily the toilet has an excellent view of the beach (see photo). I haven't been able to eat anything except toast and twice pancakes. Today I have had two bits of toast and feel quite high from lack of food
The boys breakfast about 10am, and then spend the days swimming and walking and reading together. And ferrying me my four bits of toast and five bottles of spite. They go out for lunch. And take tea on the veranda. Just before sunset they go running together while the rest of the beach watches on while sipping their sundowners. It takes them half an hour to run up and down the beach three times. They go pretty quickly and swim afterwards. There are quite a few gay male couples on the beach, and they always give Simon and James a smile and nod, which they quite like.
We got here by train and bus. An hour train from Negombe to Colombo - standing, with the morning commuters. About three hours along the coast from Colombo to Galle - sitting in between the carriages, where up to half a dozen boys would hang entirely out the doors, like dogs out the car window, except they were entirely outside the train. Later, when it was my turn I was too terrified of losing my grip as the train bounced so violently, to do anything except pop my head out occasionally. James looked so odd to the children that he made one of the small ones sob inconsolably for about an hour, hiding his face in his apologetic Dad's lap. Then we caught a local bus from Galle to Mirissa which took about half an hour. The whole trip cost us only a couple of quid.
It is too short for long hair, so on NY eve, before I got sick, the boys cut mine shorter with blunt scissors and a line drawn on my back. One side is about an inch longer than the other, but I quite like it. I wonder what Marco my lovely sweet camp hairdresser would think? I think he would approve
Some things about Mirissa:
- There are giant hermit crabs scurrying on the beach at night-time and the biggest ones are almost as big as my fist, with their legs like my fingers. (Slight exaggeration).
- There is lightening at night that lights the sky up, and you can see the bolts of lightning forking down towards the water.
- We are on the southern coast of Sri Lanka and there is a beach called 'Views of Antarctic’
- All the places along the beach sell fresh fish, which they have on ice out the front. We saw a six foot sword fish, which the waiter was desperate for us to eat. The crayfish we had were tiny; their tails were only a couple of inches long. Definitely wouldn’t be legal size in NZ.
- There don’t seem to be any noticeable tides and the waves are inconsistent. Every quarter of an hour or so a particularly big wave will dump the inattentive swimmers, and wash up under the tables on the beach. You quickly learn not to leave your bags under the tables.
- The tourist part of the beach is spotless, but round the next cove the locals burn their rubbish on the beach. They understand that we care, but they don’t care at all.
- The guide book says that in 2006 rumours started in the conservation world of something big lurking in the waters in these 'ere parts
- A lot of the tourists, like us, have netbooks. (Small laptops). And there are lots of thai fisherman pants and meditation on the beach. James is quite at home. Techno-hippies.
- Kottus are made from Godamba Roti, and vegetables, egg, or meat, and various spices. It is made on a heated iron sheet on the side of the road and the kottu is chopped and mixed using two blunt metal blades with much flourish and grinning. The clashing of metal on metal is quite loud, and acts as advertisement. Apparently there are many songs written about the famous dish.
Now I am feeling much better, tomorrow we go to Kandy. If we leave at 6am we should be there by about 2pm.