Due to injuring myself yesterday I am staying dry today and thought I would explore the coast road south to see the breaks that I might travel to later in the week.
I still have the moped that I hired for the princely sum of 700 Rupiah per day (Approximately £3.50) so set off early with my first stop being the city of Galle. It was developed by the Portuguese and the Dutch from the sixteenth century onwards.
As well as the magnificent fortifications surrounding the old town there are a number of colonial style buildings within the fort and this gorgeous lighthouse on the tip of the peninsular.
It is a tourist hot-spot and there are a few too many hawkers trying to get me to buy old coins and such like that I don’t need so I kept moving once inside the fort.
During the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami 80% of Sri Lanka’s entire fishing fleet was lost in the devastation here in Galle, as well as many lives when the waves swept as much as 5km inland.
However the sturdy ramparts protected some of the residents because almost everything inside the old walls was largely unaffected by the giant waves.
After my pit stop in Galle I followed the coast road south, over rivers and skirting alongside a few beaches, making mental notes of the surf options as I went along.
I didn’t see many people in the water but as with almost every other break worldwide there is usually an enterprising soul who has set up a surf shop or themed restaurant and/or hostel to help me identify the best places to catch waves.
The rocks that you see here would prevent many decent rides, but I had to stop to watch the fishermen perched on top of wooden platforms working their rods to land what they could.
Having gone so far so early in the day I decided to take my little moped onward a bit further, despite the same traffic issues as previous journeys in Sri Lanka.
The reason for this was that three surfing buddies of mine from London are actually staying in Weligama some 50 miles south of Hikkaduwa and I thought I would surprise them a day before we had arranged to meet up.
As usual it is great to have seen familiar faces, but I only stayed for lunch with Shannon, Vaughan and Tanja because tomorrow I will be getting a lift back down this way anyway to join them in the water.
It was a long trip back to Hikkaduwa in the shorts and vest I was wearing, especially because I had been out in the sun all day.
A thunderstorm also drenched me and made all the roads quite treacherous at the start of the return leg leaving me soaked for the whole journey. It didn’t aid my comfort levels at all about the usual manic activity on the Sri Lankan roads either.