Day 6,7,8 : Dutch town of Galle and Unawatuna Beach
Woke up to an early morning breakfast of rice , potato curry and dry fish. To be honest, we weren’t too excited about the breakfast but it was all that was available/ prepared early in the morning. The train station was only 15 mins away and our auto driver got us there in 10. But how can any journey go without any problems; Karthik forgot our snack at the stay. Wow..we were now in a pickle. The train was due to arrive in 20 mins and the to-fro time from our stay was also 20 mins. Karthik took the chance and went ahead with getting us our food. It was a race against time but Karthik pulled through in time and barely in time. He and the train entered the platform together.. phew!
It was a very tiring 7 hours to Colombo fort and we took a local bus to galle. The bus was supposed to take the expressway or so we thought. It ended up taking the super congested colombo- galle road and it was absolute hell for the next 4 hours (what was supposed to be a 2.5 hours). Tired and pissed off with bad journey, Domino’s at galle came to our rescue.(located very close to the bus stop). Srilankan Domino’s had a variety of very interesting toppings quite different from the one found in India. We reached our Airbnb stay by 10 p.m.
Early morning breakfast at Kat’s coffee (which was pretty highly ranked) was a sort of disappointing. Sandwiches, quesadilla, ice coffee and cold brew set us back by almost 3k LKR and the quantity was barely enough. However it is a decent place if you want to just to relax and spend a lazy 2 hours going through a novel (which is what many people do).
The bus stops close to Kat’s coffee and a direct bus to Galle fort station landed us very close to the landmark of the day,,Galle fort.The fort walls line the old Portuguese town which really takes one back a couple of hundred years since a lot of the old world architecture is still preserved well.The fort itself is well maintained and a good view of the open ocean was enough to take our minds off the sweltering heat. One can spend a good 2 hours just covering the fort walls and then walking down to the adjacent open beach. The water is crystal clear!
Taphouse restaurant located in the old dutch town is excellent and burger, fried went well with beer. It was almost 4 p.m by the time we were done. It was sunset at the beach! A quick trip back to our stay, packed our swimming trunks and we were off !
The road to Unawatuna in lined with restaurants and its at least 500 meters from the main road. Now we had 2 options, visit the world famous unawatuna beach or visit the more secluded but almost as awesome Jungle beach (The name given because the beach opens out through a jungle). We wanted to visit both of course but unawatuna was a bit crowded (although not as much as one would have thought to be honest). A tuk-tuk ride from unawatuna beach cost us about 250LKR and we landed up in the middle of nowhere. Jungle beach is quite remote and passes through some thick bushes; we reached just in time for sunset to get some decent shots. The japanese peace pagada is also visible from here as well.
On the way back , we were accompanied by some russians who were last in the dark. On the way back, we entered Unawatuna beach and it was some awesome fun in the waves under the moonlight. The waves, the white sand; we spent almost 1 hour here just playing in the waves like small kids. There are a number of restaurants along the beach which are actually comparable in pricing to other non-beach side restaurants in the town. So its totally worth it to have a delicious dinner at the beach listening to the waves. As it so happened, there was a midnight beach party organized at one of the beach hangouts. But our host Vijay put in a word of caution about visiting such parties. We heeded the advice of a local and decided to skip it. A quick dinner comprising of the srilankan rotis and we were off to our hotel.
Now we hadn’t booked our stay for the next day since this was supposed to be our buffer day. AirBnb to the rescue, Fort69 at Galle old town booked at a very reasonable price of 1200INR. Time to hit the bed.
As decided, Day 7 was to spent at Wijayan Beach is famous for its white sandy shores. Before going there though, it was a quick breakfast the barista below our AirBnB stay.
The entrance to the Wijayan beach is through a restaurant which is rated very high and its a bit difficult to locate; regardless it is on the main road with a big board in front. 10 min bus ride from our stay and we were there. The beach itself is absolutely beautiful; dare I say, it was the best one I had visited ,,ever!!. Tourists from world over were taking in the sun and just relaxing/swimming in water which was not deep near the beach. One guy was even fishing in somewhere in the middle standing on jutting rock platform. We had not decided on getting wet as such but decided to enter the water at least till knee deep level since this was too good an opportunity to miss out. Not to mention, I wanted the photos.
Shaheed got his Iphone completely wet exploring the rocky outgrowth but thankfully it was functional after a bit. That called for a treat the Wijayan restaurent ; the restaurant was quite crowded and was full of people from all over the world just soaking in the tropical sun and having a good time. The multi floored restaurant offers a fantastic view of the sea and the veg pizza went well with a can of lager. If we had more time, we would probably spent hours at this joint; but time we did not have.
A quick bus ride back to our stay, good bye to our host and we were on our way to Galle fort again. FortInn wasn’t too hard to locate and is situated in the heart of galle old town. The host was a retired srilankan navy officer and stay itself was fairly new due to the renovation. The room though were not up to our expectation ; they were really small !!. Ah well, it was atleast economical and we let it go.
The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent in buying a number of souvenirs. It is recommended to visit a number of souvenir shops , decide on a baseline for a price and only then make a purchase. We spent almost 10K LKR buying T shirts, statues and mini stupas; per head i.e. On hindsight, we could have probably saved 30% of that but it was a learning experience for us for our future trips.
Galle fort beach completed our evening with a wonderful view of the sunset and an awesome ending to our last evening at Galle town.
Rest of the evening time was spent roaming around the Galle old town and fort. The “old town”, although not large is very well maintained and is littered with souvenir shops and restaurants. The newly opened rocket pizza and burger joint served us some tasty burgers and that was the end of the night for us.
#THE LAST DAY#
There isn’t much to write about the last day really; our 9 day trip was nearing its end. Our AirBnB stay included breakfast; omlette, Marmalade, Bread, butter and tea it was. To be honest, it was the first decent breakfast (to our taste i.e) we had in days. Our flight was scheduled for midnight and so we still had the entire day ahead of us. Of course our checkout time was by 11 a.m and so we couldn’t stay at fort Inn either. Well, few more hours out in the beautiful town wouldn’t do us any harm. So we checked out and spent many more hours just exploring the small town. The hula hula cafe by the fort-beach is another cool joint to just chill. It was actually quite sunny on that day and we couldn’t really roam too much either. Sand witch, Macaroni and a fruit drink kept us occupied for an hour or so ; the restaurant host and we got into a discussion about cricket as well since it is one of the things that Indians and Lankans have in common. It was finally time to wave goodbye to Galle.
This time, we were careful ! Ensured that the bus from Galle was to take the expressway and not the long Colombo-Galle road. Via the expressway, the bus reaches mahargama which is on the outskirts of galle and it took us hardly 1.5 hours and was a very comfortable ride; quite economical as well at 500LKR. Colombo fort bus station is another hour away from mahargama and many local buses can get one there. The bus passes through the center of the city ;so we got to witness the hustle and bustle of the colombo as well. But we still had time to kill after reaching colombo fort! Karthik and Shaheed went on a hunt to get some T shirts in the local market at colombo fort station; not to mention we were out of cash and took us almost an hour to get an ATM which accepted our cards. It was almost 8 p.m by the time we were done with our shopping. The bus from Fort to Airport again takes a very busy road (we had taken the express way when we exited the airport on landing) and it was stuffed to the max. A rather weird lankan TV show kept me occupied for some time and rest of the time was spent just reminiscing on our awesome past 9 days.
Another 2 hours at the airport was spent on making notes of the trip, abusing the free wifi and finally boarding the flight at 2 a.m; of course we did not forget to order 2 rounds of apple juice onboard. At 5 a.m or so, airport of our home sweet home. We still had many photos to share of course. So me, karthik and shaheed decided to catch up in another 2 weeks ; and plan one more trip!!
A journey to remember 🙂