From November 27 to December 16 we fled the cold and grey weather at home to visit Sri Lanka. Our goal was to be somewhere warm and sunny where we could learn to dive.
We stayed all three weeks with Poseidon Dive Center in Hikkaduwa and left the place for only one daytrip to Galle. So, this page is about some of the things we have noticed. The beauty of the place, the terrifying traffic, our one-day trip to Galle and, of course, diving. But, the two most important parts are missing.
One, the friendly and cheerful people we met. We want to thank all the staff of Poseidon Hikkaduwa who made this vacation so memorable. Life was easy and we had a great time. Miss you guys a lot. No Problem - Sri Lanka!
Two, the underwater world. As we do not own an underwater camera yet we could not take any pictures of the beautiful fishes, nudibranchs and corals.
Hikkaduwa village is built along the beach and a bit into the forest. It seems as if the town's income mainly comes from tourism. There is a tourist and a locals part of the village. Most of the pictures were shot in the tourist zone.
Once we got out of the airport we were immediately surrounded by aggressive taxi drivers who tried to cheat us into believing that there were neither buses nor trains today because of whatever reason. Well, of course there are buses and trains today. Eventually, we found an AC'ed bus that would take us to Colombo Fort. After some waiting we hit the road in a local bus to Hikkaduwa.
Travelling in a local bus is an unforgettable death wish-like russian roulette experience for any western european visitor. Buses are allowed to go up to 80 kmph even in villages and towns and they are definitely not shy to go that fast. At the same time tuktuks and mopeds are limited to 40 kmph. Consequently, our busdriver overtook on a very busy Galle Road these snails madly honking in suicidal manoeuvers while we, the poor western blokes, were sweating bullets and wetting our pants. No question why all buses are well equipped with buddha statues and tons of lucky charms.
The buses are old. However, to become really nostalgic one only has to look at the trains and the bicycles.
Galle is a charming town in the south. The old town (the fort) is an UNESCO world heritage site. People there very much like to play cricket. You can see them practice on every big square as well as on the beach. Even if they have to climb into houses and beautiful old trees to retrieve the ball.
Unfortunately, we do not yet own an underwater camera. What we can show, however, is the bustling moring times in the dive centre. It took hours of wait until we could shoot all the beautiful stills without any people disturbing the peacefulness.