I love a good wedding abroad and jumped at the chance of a 2 week adventure in Sri Lanka in September 2018. I planned the trip either side of the wedding with beaches, avoiding the monsoon rains and elephants in mind. After a brief stop in Colombo, a delicious crab curry at Barefoot cafe and a memorable feast at the Gamage household, we hopped on a train south to Galle.
Galle was the port of call with it’s lighthouse, Portuguese influences and city walls. I enjoyed an afternoon wandering around the streets, pottering in the shops and kitting out my house with some amazing vibrant Sri Lankan poster art from Stick No Bills .
Mirissa was my favourite spot; a relaxed beach hangout and great for beginner surfers. I divided my time between surf lessons, exploring the coast on foot and enjoying a beer and coconut based curry at a beachside café. The vegetarian food is so tasty in Sri Lanka; it must be the sweetness of the coconuts and the freshness of the produce. If I lived there I would definitely convert to being a full time veggie!
It was then time for the big day at the Blue Water Hotel. The wedding ceremony took place in front of the beach and the party in a large marquee that had been erected overnight.
The bride was beautiful as ever….
the traditional Kandyan dancers were amazing…
and the sunset was epic!
KAUDULLA NATIONAL PARK IN HABARANA
I desperately wanted to visit Kaudulla National Park, as a long time fan of elephants ever since I went to India for 6 months in 2009. I had read about ‘the gathering’ that occurs each year in September/October time when guests of the park can be rewarded with sightings of up to 300 elephants at the same time. Kaudulla is located next to Minneriya National Park and is the site of an important elephant corridor.
It doesn’t attract the same crowds as some of the more popular national parks in Sri Lanka. In my experience, that usually means better opportunities for wildlife spotting. I counted in excess of 100 elephants that day, however, was most impressed by elephants casually walking down the road or chomping on foliage by the roadside, who locals barely raised an eyelid at!
There was still time to explore the east coast of Sri Lanka. That meant taking a 6 seater plane across the island. Not the cheapest of ways to get there but when time is of the essence, totally worth it!
I’d like to say that we did lots of cultural things but Nilaveli beach, where we were staying at That’s Why beach cabanas was just to good to leave. The sea was so blue and the waves were silky smooth
The accommodation provided simple huts to sleep in, which were practically on the beach. There was a simple bar for food and drink requirements and music in the evenings. All in all a great place to run down the clock on the final few days of the holiday.