09 Nov - 06 Dec 2010 Mirissa

Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka
Sun Shine Beach Inn +94412252282 
Double room (no. 12) with private sea-view veranda for LKR 1,430.- or US$ 12.75 per night.
Double room (no. 14) with private sea-view veranda for LKR 1,380.- or US$ 12.30 per night.
Sun Shine Beach Inn +94412252282
Bungalow (no. 3) with private garden-view veranda for LKR 1,500.- or US$ 13.40 per night.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Sun Shine Beach Inn in Mirissa and for directions: N 05° 56.72' E 080° 27.56'

Click below for an interactive road map of the Central Beach Inn in Mirissa and for directions:N 05° 56.71' E 080° 27.55'

Click below for an interactive road map of the Sun Shine Beach Inn in Mirissa and for directions: N 05° 56.72' E 080° 27.56'

Basking in the sun at the picture-perfect swathe of sand at the village of Mirissa which was formerly the island’s most famously “undiscovered” beach and which still remains one of the prettiest in Sri Lanka, with a narrow strip of sand backed by dense palm trees which manage to camouflage almost all signs of human presence.

Konni: Being conscientiously observed by a dozen of young medical doctors during a cryotherapeutic treatment, carried out by Dr. Wijenayaka, the leading dermatologist, in Galle’s Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in order to remove a small, potentially carcinogen piece of my skin - the whole “operation” was free of charge for both parties, for the patient guinea pig and for the eager students.

Exploring Koggala’s rural hinterland thus coming across fascinating old Buddhist temples (Kataluwa Purvarama Mahavihara, Giniwela Viharaya and Ranwela Viharaya) and visiting one of the country’s most rewarding museums (Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complexadmission for foreigners: LKR 200.- per person), erected in honour of the famous Sinhalese 20th-century novelist (mostly about the impact of the modern world on traditional Sri Lankan village life) and essayist (mostly anti-colonial and liberation mumbo-jumbo) Martin Wickramasinghe (most interesting were the “sand boards”, trays of sand which were used to practise writing - the Sri Lankan equivalent of a blackboard).

Teaming up with our close Seffrican friend Maurice and with fellow travellers Lina & Andreas, taking bus no. 349 from Matara and visiting the neo-Buddhist kitsch temple Wherawena Purwarama Raja Maha Viharaya at Wherawena, home to one of the island’s most colossal Buddha statues.

Getting a feel for local life in the surprisingly attractive fishing town of Weligama (as attractive as Sri Lankan towns go: quiet and relatively traffic-free, with a clutter of shops at the centre trailing off into lush streets of pretty gingerbread villas decorated with ornate mali lali wooden fretwork, peeking out from dense, green tropical gardens) which meanders around a broad and beautiful bay, dotted with rocky outcrops and fringed with fine golden sand, and marvelling at the denizens of the deep (e.g. tuna, seer fish, mahi-mahi), who end their days being hacked up and sold from the roadside fish stalls.

Modifying a famous Chinese proverb into “Neither feed the hungry with fish nor teach them how to fish; rather turn your back on them and buy some fish at any prospering market where the locals are motivated and capable of helping themselves and where there is enough fish available for sale”, after (i) we listened to quite a few stories about the unimaginable corruption and the misallocation of donated funds for the victims of the 2004 CE tsunami, after (ii) we read in Colombo’s Daily Mirror newspaper about a double flop, when the IRC tried to distribute hand tractors to the “needy” for free and, when this distribution was handled by local politicians along their party lines and after (iii) we saw the hundreds of unused and neglected fibre-reinforced plastic fishing boats (basically plastic trash, obviously as necessary as a hole in the head) with a motley collection of stickers from international (many US, German and Dutch) donors and relief organisations on the beaches and in the backyards - we will neither encourage nor contribute to a cycle of excessive dependence, created by unrealistic expectations of foreign beneficence.

Becoming regulars at the Suda Weli Beach Bar (one large bottle of ice-cold Lion Lager for LKR 180.- or US$ 1.60 during happy hour) where we conveniently could receive and send emails (for free) with our feet in the water of the Indian Ocean (at high tide).

Matt: Increasing my cerebral blood flow (thus being able to enjoy WikiLeaks’ ongoing revelations about the moral squalidness of the international political class where mass murder has become “justified war” [e.g. “on terror”], where brutal intimidation has become “law enforcement”, where large-scale money forgery has become “legal currency”, where greedy theft, extortion and uncontrolled spending have become “taxation” and, last but not least, where organised brainwashing has become “education” - kudos to you, Julian Assange, for doing such a brilliant job, for opening up a new era of transparency and for becoming the Nicolaus Copernicus of political science who has displaced government, the "naked emperor", from the centre of society) and getting pleasure from ayurvedic head-and-shoulder massages (LKR 50.- or US$ -.40 for the 15-min treatment with red Indian Himani scalp oil [“...an effective memory aid which keeps the head cool and removes tiredness...”]) at the local barber shop.

Taking a S.L.T.B. (Sri Lanka Transport Board) government bus (using our passenger brakes all the freaking way, because the bus was steered by a maniac of a driver who must have been under a contract with the devil to reduce the overpopulation on planet Earth) from Mirissa to Matara (fare: LKR 20.- or US$ -.18 per person for the half-hour long ride), an important transport hub and a major centre of commerce, and thereafter a dodgy three-wheeler for LKR 70.- from Walgama Junction to the friendly Beach Inns Holiday Resort +94412226356 in Madiha/Polhena.

Click below for a summary of this year's travels

Click below and visit the Konni & Matt photo albums

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