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Mirissa, Sri Lanka

12 Mar
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Sunrise in Mirissa, Sri Lanka

The yesterday choice with the accommodation was a mistake. I wanted to stay in Sunbeam Hotel and decided for something with more character, a guesthouse Anasinghe. It definitely had character but the room was small and stuffy and it made it very hard to sleep. Besides they turned off the water in the night!!!! I woke up for the sunrise and walk on the island in the middle of Mirissa, the best spot for sunrise or sunset. The fishermen were moving their boats in sunrise hoping for a good catch. A very picturesque fishermen on the shore was trying to get a good spot to fish.

I spent some time and left with a bus to Mirissa’a harbor, about 1 1/2 km away. It is about 15 minutes walk from the bus stop to the harbor.

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Mirissa’s harbor, Sri Lanka

The harbor (25Rs, yes you have to pay a gate fee) was busy managing the catch of the day, the boats unloading lots of fish on the landing. The fish was hacked by guys with machetes and all the insides were pulled out in a gory scene. Tuna and hammer head sharks and many other fish that I do not know. Besides the fish scenes the harbor is really pretty with old boats painted in various colors and equipped to go out in the ocean for fishing or to bring the tourists for whale and dolphin watching, that is big here in Mirissa.

From Mirissa’s harbor I boarded the first bus and got to Midigama, where I hoped to find the fishermen that fish sitting in a pole secured in the bottom of the ocean.

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Midigama, Sri Lanka

There are poles like this even in Mirissa but I could not find anybody there. However yesterday When I got in Galle I saw fishermen in Kolchaga or Dalwella. There were no fishermen in Midigama and I had a quick breakfast and moved on but right after, in Ahangama I saw two groups for whom I stopped and took all the necessary pictures. I had to pay both groups somewhere between 50-200Rs because they figured out that they make more money this way than from fishing.The fishing positions are inherited and a pole like this is passed along in the family. Besides the money, one woman who was managing the photo ops asked me for school pens that I gladly gave.

With the fishermen in the bag I got on another bus and went to Unawatuna. that used to be the best known resort on the coast.

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Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

But the look it has now is completely depressing. The tsunami wiped out 90% of the beach and the 70 meter of beach in the bay was reduced to a sliver of sands right under the houses walls, under which people try to lay their towels or if it permits some lounge chairs. It is obvious that any other storm would wipe all the guesthouses that are now just few feet from the water. Besides you still can see what was left behind by the tsunami almost 10 years after. I did not want to spend too much time, neither on the beach nor on the very commercial street going there and I got a bus getting back in Mirissa around 1:00 pm. I tried to find a room in one of the guesthouses but none were available. If people leave in the afternoon they keep the room till late hours and lock it. In the end, after several failed tries, I gave up and went back to Sunbeam Hotel. The reception guy remembered the yesterday discussion and obliged with the same rate of 2500rs no matter that I was yesterday actually a no show. I went to Anasighe and took my bag and went quickly for a dive in the warm Ocean and some lunch.

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Mirissa beach, Sri Lanka

 

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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Blog, Sri Lanka

 

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