Monday 29th October – Sunday 4th November 2018
After a lot of moving around, sightseeing and cricket over the last few weeks, we really fancied a chilled week – and that has gone exactly to plan. We feel so at home back in Vesma Villas, in the pretty village of Thiranagama, in Hikkaduwa. It’s a 10 bedroom villa complex tucked away amongst fruit trees, coconut palms and paddy fields – so incredibly pretty and peaceful. And the staff are delightful, especially Asie who is just always there with a big smile, ready to provide whatever is needed.
We’ve sort of fallen into this relaxed daily routine. Breakfast at the hotel (always freshly and deliciously cooked by Monty, served by Asie. There’s just one other couple staying at the hotel – the lovely Claire and Andy from Yorkshire – so normally we have a chinwag over breakfast. And the most amazing thing happened … just in conversation we realised that we know Claire’s best friend – Bobbi Jo Harrison. Until recently, Bobbi ran an hotel in Phuket and it just so happens that Steve and I stayed there for a month last year … such a small world.
After breakfast we normally spend a few leisurely hours sunbathing, swimming (I get my 50 laps in a day), Steve tries to fit in an early morning run and I do some yoga – we just generally luxuriate in the peace and serenity of our little haven. The only noise being the birds, the odd dog bark, relaxing music (c/o Claire and Andy) … oh and occasionally the washing machine! In the last couple of days, we’ve been treated to some pink gin and tonic at lunchtime (how decadent) – kindly provided by our new Yorkshire friends.
Then early afternoon we take a walk through the pretty village of Thiranagama to get to the beach … and every day is different. We pass by the paddy fields, we see cows grazing at the side of the road, numerous wild dogs just strolling around, beautiful peacocks in large musters running through the fields … and the village folk so ready with their smiles and hellos – some walking, lots on bikes, young children with their fascinated faces (I guess we stand out like sore thumbs – our villa is a bit off the beaten track).
So the afternoons are generally beach time and in contrast, the beach can be a fairly busy place – there are restaurants, bars and cafes along the whole strip. The sunbeds are free and then you buy drinks and food from whichever establishment you have based yourself at. And they’re all pretty good. Our favourites are Neelas, The Drunken Monkey, Buddes, Sunny’s and Chill Space – so we’ve tried a few. The beach is gorgeous but unfortunately the sea is really only for strong and confident swimmers. The waves are so high and the currents strong – it looks great fun – there are plenty of swimmers, surfers and bodyboarders … but this time we’re just watching. We tried it last time we were here – it’s not for us. We’ve been told that there are 4-5 fatalities a year here with rip tides!! But we’re happy relaxing on our beds and having the occasional paddle – also kept busy with the frequent visits from beach-sellers – products and services ranging from sarongs, wooden elephants, monkey and cobra photo opportunities, spices and Sri Lankan flags. My favourite has to be the team of men who look about 90, generally with one tooth, carrying a little plastic bag of aloe vera, offering foot massage! Haven’t been tempted yet!
Most days we stay on the beach for drinks and then early dinner so we can catch the sunset – all very casual dining. Mostly living on curries, chicken & rice and seafood – not complaining however, the food’s amazing. Naturally accompanied by Lion Beer / wine / cocktails.
Sometimes we go back to the hotel to freshen up first – especially if we’re meeting friends. It’s been fabulous meeting up again with Karen, George and Howie (previously called Harry in error) in Hikkaduwa. We’ve had dinner and drinks together a few nights – such great company – lots of laughs. We’ll be seeing them at the cricket again next week and Karen and I are hoping to slope off for some girlie time! We also had a fun evening on the beach with Claire and Andy – I started off planning an alcohol-free night but, best-laid plans and all that – great fun.
No sightseeing trips this week, just pure relaxation – it’s been fantastic. Today three more friends are arriving out from the UK, ready for the test matches which start on Tuesday in Galle. So, let’s see what next week (our last week in Sri Lanka) brings in the land of palm trees.