From time to time you will find yourself in a position you definitely don't wanna be in and you are asking yourself why am I doing this. This after all these months of travelling still happens to me. Obviously the existence of innumerable glorious moments make it that I am still on the road. The last few days my iPhone is acting weird and that sounds not like a real problem to a lot of travellers, but lets just say Im a different traveller then. I definitely need my iPhone and no, I can not travel without. My best travel buddy in years wont charge anymore. He is slowly dying and has about 4% left at the time of writing. Although I got my MacBook with me to keep me online so now and then, an iPhone is a must have travel gadget for me.
What am I going to do when I go out eating by myself? How do I entertain myself during those really boring travel days? Those hours waiting for a connection, or sitting in a bus, train, airplane. I cant listen to music anymore and worst of all my iPhone is my camera, that means I cant collect memories by taking photos! Its driving me crazy!
Surfing the Sri Lankan South Coast
Well lucky I already travelled around in the South and the Southwest coast from Sri Lanka with a big smile just like the locals. It was quite an adventure to end up in the South. I really love travelling by train and this train ride will definitely be added to the list to remember. Sitting in a train is mostly really convenient, I can stare out of the window for hours watching the permanently changing scene. There is always something cool to spot! Train tracks go off the beaten track, take the back roads and meander through the forest where roads take the easiest route. The ride down South from Sri Lanka's capital will take you along the coast for about 125km to Matara, where the train track ends.
When my train arrived at Colombo Fort station, I couldn't believe my eyes, cause it was packed already! Although I asked for the most expensive ticket, which happened to be 2nd class and cost me 280 RS. ($2), there was no way I could get a seat in this train. At some point I somehow managed to get a special place though and I found myself hanging out of the train holding on to a rail. Probably not the safest way to travel, but definitely worth experiencing! Besides I managed to shoot some great pictures.
Since the beginning of 2014 there is the opportunity to travel South by an express bus that takes the newly opened Highway E01, the first highway in Sri Lanka. Buses will get you in 2,5 hours from Colombo Fort to Colombo or vice versa. The ride will set you back 600 Rs ($4). and could be very convenien, wasnt it for the annoyingly loud local music and the extreme cold temperature! I would say go for the train.
Staying at the beach of Unawatuna
The South coast of Sri Lanka is extremely easy to explore. I decided to leave my big suitcase in Colombo and travel with only my little daypack. There is not much that you need if you are living a beach-life. I packed some boxer shorts, t-shirts and a boarder short, enough to survive in this surfing scene, cause that is what it is all about here. A couple famous surf beaches are lined up next to each other and all of them have what it takes to become really popular holiday destinations once it all will get developed. Thats probably why in most of these little villages they whip up big hotels. The not yet finished high-rise hotels look extremely ugly next to the numerous homestays and cozy guesthouses. I made my way to Unawatuna, a quiet beach town, set back from the main road. In this bay you can find loads of beach bars to spend your day in the sun and have a sunset drink at night.
Surfing in Weligama
Once you get off the train you can travel from village to village by tuktuk. Besides the fact that these rides are fun, they are convenient and cheap as well. Another cool idea is to rent a motorbike to explore the region all by yourself. There is only one road along the coast and you cant get lost here. Head to Weligama if you are looking to surf and chill out. There is not much to do, but the surfing supposes to be the best in this region. I stayed here 3 nights also because it has the best juice bar I have ever seen, with over 500 different fruit juices on the menu. A 5 minute tuktuk drive away is the more bustling Mirissa with beach and lounge bars to entertain you, but the surfing is not as good as in Weligama.
I can understand that surf freaks get stuck in these sleepy little towns. Surfing, lovely weather, good vibe, nice food, drinking and smoking the night away and on top of all that living here is cheap! As a surfer you gotta love South Sri Lanka! Not being a surfer does definitely not mean this area is not worth exploring, make it a town hopping adventure. The people down here have such a positive attitude and are so friendly and lovely that there is no way you not gonna like it. Just take in all the relaxed vibes of these places and head to the old Dutch fort in Galle to do some sightseeing. Keep in mind that Colombo is only a couple hours and dollars away if you are looking to hop on a different adventure!