WP_20131118_027The wind was howling off the sea today and the surf was getting ruined as a consequence. I didn’t do anything yesterday as a result of my hangover, so felt that I should get out and about rather than stagnate once more.

There really isn’t much to Hikkaduwa where I am staying, and I will soon have bagged all the breaks here so I needed to go and do some exploring. I hired some wheels to help with that, and after a wobbly test ride immediately treated the tyres to some air, which the owner must consider an optional extra.

BusIt was great to be mobile again and I would have enjoyed cruising north up the coast road towards Ambalangoda a lot more were it not for the other drivers and in particular those in charge of the buses who must be insane.

The town is only a half hour ride away and it was largely an enjoyable experience, feeling the spray of the waves that landed on the beaches next to the coast road hitting my face as I drove along. However at times the journey was as close to death as I have ever felt on this trip. This clip of Sri Lankan bus driving that I found online should explain why. It is an accurate portrayal of the roads here.

WP_20131118_039I was in no rush so was happy to go at my own pace letting any buses and tuk-tuks past as soon as they appeared beeping their horns in my mirrors, and took a few breaks to get out of the madness and check the surf available at the beaches I saw.

This scene along side the road was also particularly tranquil, so I couldn’t resist pulling over for a few minutes. I couldn’t find out what it was for though.

WP_20131119_007The reason for my journey to Ambalangoda was because I had read it was a centre of excellence for the making of the devil masks that are used in local ceremonies to ward off sickness and ill fortune.

I wanted one to add to the collection of wooden masks I have acquired around the world and took a tour around one of the few museums here that explain the history of the culture and offered a demonstration of their workshop.

Many of the masks in the shop were brightly coloured, but I liked the look of this one sporting a cobra, in a nod to my recent snake dancing exploits. After a healthy bit of haggling it was soon stashed in the space under the saddle of my moped.

Hikkaduwa SunsetI didn’t hang around long though because I wanted to get home for beers watching another of the amazing sunsets over the sea here.

There was no way I would consider driving after dark. It is horrendous enough during the day!

 

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