kalpitiya sunset

Sri Lanka – Sleep and Sea

It is crazy that we travel 5000 miles to sleep, but we do.  Far away from the phone and family, pets and guests, routine and duty we sleep. Lulled by the sea, by the trains, by the palms, by the horns of the buses that skirmish outside the small places we stay.  We sleep, on white sheets in air con cooling, white light basted rooms on the edge of the Indian Ocean.

We sleep in the mornings after lazy breakfasts of pancakes filled with honey and coconut. In the afternoons after lunches of dal stuffed paratha and roti spiced with sambal. In the night, after sunset swims and tussles with the incessant waves. Under starry skies and flickering tropical tangerine lightening, we sleep. 

The beach at Alankuda, Kalpitiya

Some mornings I wake and I walk out onto the beach and I think Fuck me, I’m in Sri Lanka, and that’s the Indian Ocean and I thank my luck again.  And Nick sleeps on, soft breaths on slim pillows, dreaming in the pearl of the Indian Ocean. His smiles are slow here, his breathing deeper. He doesn’t cough here and his bones don’t hurt.  “I feel so chilled,” he tells me, so surprised.

We should, we could, we ought to be rushing from one site to the next, from temple complex to rock tomb, taking in the cultural highlights and getting it all done and ticked off a list, but we’re not, we’re sleeping and watching and talking and learning. In this instance we have time.

Fisherman on Ratgama Lagoon

We experience the lagoon at dawn – where the water monitors wriggle through the dark glass water and the ghost of a full moon slides down the sky

We experience the fishing boats at sunset – when they launch, high thin snouts to the sea, narrow like an oar fish, fast like a barracuda

We go for dinner at a local restaurant the night their second storey is completed –

We let people talk to us and we listen –

Then we sleep, like we always should, like we hardly ever do, and Sri Lanka rocks us.

Sunset at Narigama Beach

Part One of Sri Lanka 2019 – a 28 day, 1200km trip by tuk tuk from Colombo to Kalpitiya, then along the west and south coast to Mirissa, before turning inland to Unawatuwa and Ratnapura before returning to Colombo.