09 Nov - 06 Dec 2010 Mirissa

Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka
Sun Shine Beach Inn (09 Nov - 16 Nov 2010) +94412252282 
Double room (no. 12) with private sea-view veranda for LKR 1,430.- or US$ 12.75 per night.
Central Beach Inn (16 Nov - 28 Nov 2010) +94412251699 info@centralbeachinn.com
Double room (no. 14) with private sea-view veranda for LKR 1,380.- or US$ 12.30 per night.
Sun Shine Beach Inn (28 Nov - 06 Dec 2010) +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'

Chilling out on the picture-perfect swathe of beach in-front of Mirissa which was only a few years ago Sri Lanka's most famously “undiscovered” beach and still remains one of the prettiest strands of the island's south coast: a narrow strip of soft clean sand backed by dense palm trees, which manage to camouflage most signs of human presence.

Konni: Paying the price for my nutty binge tanning, seeking medical advice at Galle’s Karapitiya Teaching Hospital and receiving professional cryotherapeutic treatment from Dr. Wijenayaka, the leading dermatologist, in order to remove a potentially carcinogen piece of my skin, free of charge and entertaining for both parties, (i) for me, the patient guinea pig, and (ii) for the dozen of observing students of medicine.

Exploring Koggala’s rural hinterland and coming across fascinating old Buddhist temples: Kataluwa Purvarama Mahavihara, Giniwela Viharaya and Ranwela Viharaya.

Visiting one of the country’s most interesting museums, the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex (admission for foreigners: LKR 200.- per person), erected in honour of the famous Sinhalese 20th-century novelist and essayist Martin Wickramasinghe, and gazing in amazement at his “sandboards”, trays of sand which were used to practise handwriting - the Sri Lankan equivalent of an old-fashioned school blackboard.

Teaming up with our close friend Maurice from South-Africa and fellow backpackers Lina & Andreas from Germany, taking a crowded local bus no. 349 from Matara's Broadway Bus Stop to Wherawena (c. 5 km, 1/2 hour, LKR 60.- per person) and visiting the neo-Buddhist kitsch temple Wherawena Purwarama Raja Maha Viharaya, home to one of the island’s most colossal Buddha statues.

Going native in the very friendly and surprisingly attractive fishing town of Weligama (as attractive as Sri Lankan towns go: a clutter of shops in the centre which trails off into quiet, lush streets of pretty gingerbread villas decorated with ornate mali lali wooden fretwork, peeking out from dense, green tropical gardens), exploring the town's shore line which meanders around a broad and beautiful bay, dotted with rocky outcrops and fringed with fine golden sand, and marvelling at the dead 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 an old Chinese proverb into “...neither feed the hungry with fish nor teach them how to fish; rather turn your back on them and buy your fish from people who are capable and motivated of helping themselves without fishy fishing teachers...”, after we had (i) listened to stories about the unimaginable level of corruption and misallocation of donated funds for the victims of the 2004 CE Indian Ocean Tsunami, (ii) read in Colombo’s Daily Mirror newspaper how the ICRC tried to distribute hand tractors for free to the so-called “needy” and the local bigwigs handled the distribution along their party lines, and (iii) spotted hundreds of unused and neglected fibre-reinforced plastic fishing boats on the beaches and in the backyards, basically plastic trash as useful as a hole in the head, with a motley collection of faded stickers from Western donor countries (e.g. the United States, Germany, the Netherlands) and the usual international aid organisations, and contemplating about the obvious cycle of helplessness and excessive dependence, created by unrealistic expectations of foreign beneficence.

Becoming regulars at the friendly Suda Weli Beach Bar (one large bottle of ice-cold Lion Lager for LKR 180.- or US$ 1.60, during happy hour) and receiving/sending emails with our feet in the warm water of the Indian Ocean (during high tide).

Matt: Having my hair cut at the local barber shop, increasing the cerebral blood flow to my aging brain with the help of the village barber's ayurvedic head-and-shoulder massage (LKR 50.- or US$ 0.40 for both the hair cut and the 15-min treatment with red Indian Himani Navratna Scalp Oil touted as "...an effective memory aid which keeps the head cool and removes tiredness...”) and enjoying tremendously WikiLeaks’ ongoing revelations about the moral squalidness of the international political class (i) where mass murder has become “justified war” (e.g. “on terror”), (ii) where brutal intimidation has become “law enforcement”, (iii) where large-scale money forgery has become “legal currency”, (iv) where greedy theft, extortion and uncontrolled spending have become “taxation” and, last but not least, (v) where organised brainwashing has become “education”; kudos to Julian Assange for doing an excellent job, for opening up a new era of transparency and for revealing all those naked emperors.

Taking one of the government-owned S.L.T.B. (Sri Lanka Transport Board) rust buckets from Mirissa to Matara (c. 15 km, 1/2 hour, LKR 20.- or US$ 0.18 per person for the opportunity to apply our passenger brakes all the freaking way, because the bus was steered by a maniac of a driver who was under contract with the devil to reduce the overpopulation on planet Earth), an important transport hub and a major centre of commerce, and taking thereafter a dodgy three-wheeler for LKR 70.- or c. US$ 0.65 from Walgama Junction straight to the highly recommendable Beach Inns Holiday Resort +94412226356 in Madiha/Polhena.

Click below for more blog posts about interesting local museums

Click below for a summary of this year's travels

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Konni & Matt Travel Photos

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