Our First Full Day

Trip Start Jun 25, 2012
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Trip End Aug 19, 2012


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Flag of Sri Lanka  , Eastern Province,
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Most of the morning we just set around the lounge and relaxed catching up more with the Lucases, from here on just spelled Luci. Mike and I took a walk into Pottival which is about 5k North of where we are staying. We quickly went over the bridge and followed the road into town. Mike was looking for an ATM and me, a haircut. This reminded me of so many walks in third world countries, with every mode of transportation imaginable. My favorite is the wagon with a seat on the front where a man sits. He holds onto two long handles like that of a tiller but about 10 feet long. They are attached to an engine that sits on top two wheels. We found an ATM, a spot to pick up some converters, a fruit and fish mkt and a few memories. One will be walking into a tiny electrical shop to buy converters and running into three young soldiers holding sub- machine guns. They smiled, and we walked past like passing a stewardess on the way to the head. Remember, this country just ended a long drawn out civil war.  We got back around lunch and ate.

After lunch we walked up the beach to Mambo's where Julie and Seth had walked the day before. They wanted to show me the surf break, the neat lagoon, and a possible dinner spot where they served grilled seafood. It was called Seafood Restaurant -- Catchy. It was about a 15 minute walk South down the beach. The strong tide was forming a natural beach wall of about 4 feet in height. There were many boats on top.

Most of the boats were 15 foot long by about 2 feet tall and a narrow 1 foot with an outrigger made of local small trees and a floating pontoon about 10 feet from the boat. A funny looking little fishing boat. I still can not picture where you would sit, so I look forward to seeing one out.

Near the end of the beach before we turn the sharp turn I could see a sand bar extending out into the water making a nice little flat water swimming area. Obviously, this will continue to shift until it reaches the shore where I happen to be standing now. Currently, it has about 150 meters left to go. With the waves coming in perpendicular to the bar, it should not take too long. My guess is it will be there by my leave. This is obviously what is forming the surf break. This back and forth process with the sand is caused by the shifting wind patterns which is caused by the monsoon winds. Currently the rain is on the West coast and the surfers are here.

On we went around the bend past the catchy named restaurant and on to Mambo's. The surf break is like nothing I have seen because the waves are coming in perpendicular to the beach. This means a surfer can run along the beach, throw his board in front of a wave, jump on and start riding without ever lying down or even getting wet. He can then pull off to the beach when he wants and jump right back onto the shore. Amazing. A little more advanced than the family is ready for.

Mambo's is a great spot with a beautiful view North along what some call "one of the prettiest beaches in the world". He has several open air cabanas for laying down throughout the day and 12 colorful looking bungalows in back, and a friendly little bar with funky techno (think Thievery Company) music coming from an i-pod hook-up. Nice, but out of the budget when talking 7 weeks. We quickly met a tall very dark Sri Lankan man with longish wavy hair wearing only board shorts. He was very friendly and talked with a deep voice but good enough English to understand. When picturing his speech, think of a mix between Spicoli (Fast Times .. )and Bill ( B & T excellent ad...) with an extra shot of coolnish thrown in there because he looks good and sounds better. He also had a very toned body that often had hung around the back a tall blond modelesqe Russian girl. Got it? We discussed surfing and he introduced himself as Mambo. He owned the place. Not what you would have expected but after a few days is fitting in more and more.

We hung out, had a few drinks while the kids played in the surf, and I talked Julie out of going surfing that afternoon, so we could better plan for the morning. Luckily, reason won out. We headed back to the Lounge around 5, laid around until hungry at 7 and a nice walk back to the Seafood Restaurant.

We ordered 2 big plates of Jumbo prawns, a plate of fried calamari, and a mi gorang. The prawns were huge but had little meat. The calamari were about as fresh as I can remember. The last time I have had them that fresh was in Palma de Mallorca in 92. I so wish we would have gotten them grilled. Next time.
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