Ceylon! Beaches! Trains! Roti! Whales!
Since I couldn’t go to Tibet for the week, I decided to go to Sri Lanka instead because it’s close, I saved money on changing the plane tickets, and I’ve always heard about how nice it is.
I flew into Colombo, but I had two connections – one in Kolkata (Calcutta), and the next one in Chennai. I had a nine hour layover in Chennai, so I got a hotel room close to the airport, and I was bitten my mosquitoes all night😩 Not the first or last time that has happened on my trip. My only solace was that I was soooo tired that I would quickly go back to sleep after each time I was bitten!
When I got to Colombo the next morning, I took a local bus to the train station, about an hour away from the airport, and then I took a train to Mirissa. The trains are super cheap… they’re also super old, super crowded, and super hot! Mirissa is a beach town on the southern end of the island. The trip was 6 hours, and when I got on, it was completely packed (even though I had a ‘second class ticket’), so I stood up in the aisle for the first hour or two.
But, some of the trains are actually full – literally, can not possibly have any more people in them, and there are guys hanging out the doors. I’m glad I didn’t experience that. I actually enjoyed the train rides, packed, sweaty, and everything… hard to explain why, but maybe because it was the connected feeling I had with the other people on the train, or maybe it was feeling less like a tourist. Anyway, I liked it😃
Also, the view out the windows for part of the trip from Colombo was ridiculous…
The first town I went to was Mirissa – it’s just a small, chill place, and the marina has a lot of whale watching companies.
The ocean rocks and waves kind of remind me of California coastline. And the sand on every beach that I went to was soft and white😍
I went whale watching with a company called Raja and the Whales because they have a high success rate of seeing whales, and they give you half of your money back if you don’t see a whale:) There are BLUE WHALES and sperm whales in this area, and I really wanted to see a blue whale.
The trip ended up being around 7 hours, and the waves in the Indian Ocean are pretty severe, so a lot of people were getting really sick! Ew:( I felt nauseous on and off, but it wasn’t too bad.
The dolphins were wild – front flips, totally out of the water, double twists – they must’ve been in a really good mood when we spotted them😄 They were hard to get pictures of, but we saw probably four different groups, the biggest group had maybe 20-30 dolphins. Really cool. AND, after hours and hours of driving out to sea, we saw a whale!
It was a sperm whale, not a blue whale, but still – really huge and cool to see. We saw it for maybe two minutes. It was using it’s spout to shoot out water, and then it dived down and away. The sperm whales stay under water for up to 45 minutes at a time, so we didn’t see it again after it went it under. I was just happy I got to see a whale – had never seen one before☺️ Also, on the way back, we saw a sea turtle swimming on the top of the water😆
That was the two days I had in Mirissa, and after that I moved north up the coast to an amazing town called Galle. Another packed, sweaty train ride😅 And then, I hit one more beach town – Aluthgama – before I left out of Colombo.
Next up: Amazing Galle Fort!