December 14, 2011

Day 2: Unawatuna – Mirissa – Galle – Tissamaharama

 We had an early start again, leaving the resort at 5.30am to Mirissa for a whale and dolphin watching tour.  After some formalities of registering ourselves and waiting for another Ukrainian couple, the boat finally headed to the sea at about 7.30am.

The boat had to report to the Customs/marine police before heading out to the open sea

We were out in the open sea for some time and still no dolphins or whales in sight.  I was beginning to feel my heart sink - thinking that this would be a futile trip.

A short while later, the boatmen spotted a whale in the distance and raced to where the whale was.  Then we saw another, and another, and another…  In the end, we saw easily 10-15 whales, but unfortunately no dolphins were in sight.  Guess we should count our lucky stars having spotted so many whales in a single trip.

Only this whale showed us its elusive tail! 

A pair of whales dating in the open sea 

On the way back to the resort, we stopped for a delicious local Sri Lanka breakfast consisting of string hoppers (which tastes and looks like meehoon) with fish and dhal curries.  We also caught a glimpse of stilt fishermen.  The stilts consist of single pole firmly embedded in the bottom of the sea, close to the shore & a crossbar planted onto the pole on which fishermen sit tight whilst casting their lines into the sea when the tides are flowing right.  The stilt positions are highly lucrative, highly coveted & passed down from generation to generation.

 The rugged coastline of Sri Lanka's southern coast

After freshening up and checking out from the resort, we headed to Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Galle city was washed away badly with thousands of lives lost in the tsunami of 2004, but the city has since been completely rebuilt, mainly from Japanese funds.  The highlight of the city is the Galle Fort, built by the Dutch in 1663.  It is the best preserved colonial sea fortress in the whole of Asia.

The lighthouse in the distance

We then backtracked along the Southern coast belt to Tissamaharama, 3.5hour away.  We stopped along the way for a simple lunch of fried rice and noodles.  After checking in at Hibiscus Garden Resort at about 5pm, we headed to the pool, and had the pool all by ourselves till it was time to get ready for dinner.

Dinner was a set menu with starters, salad, soup and a main of either grilled chicken, fried fish fillet or Sri Lankan curry rice, desserts and coffee/tea.


WK Liew said...

Yan Yan also follows Yiu Yiu when posing ;)

Unknown said...

I didn't even know what place you were holidaying at until I read sri Lanka! Wow, you saw so many whales in Sri Lanka and I could even "catch" one in new Zealand... Haha.. Is it child friendly and clean there?

cre8tone said...

Nice trip!~

A Mom's Diary said...

WK - yeah, monkey see monkey do :-)

Irene - haha, exactly what my sister said as well! There are quite many things that will appeal to children. Food wise, not a problem for children in most hotels and tourist class restaurants, in terms of choice of food and hygiene. Cleanliness is OK too, though some of the hotels were stayed in could do with cleaner bathroom/toilet but I think in general, the hotels are not as clean as Malaysian hotels, except maybe those really high end ones.

Prince n princess mum - it was a nice trip indeed.

ZMM said...

Sooooo lucky, spotted Whales!

Btw, not difficult to get the kids up that early?

Was it a tour you joined locally or you bought the tickets and find your own ground tour?

Sri Lanka is a place my hubs always wanted to go for holiday with us, so far, I'd not been tempted by the idea, but after seeing your holiday.. maybe next year. :)

A Mom's Diary said...

Zara's Mama - yeah, we were lucky to see so many whales.

What we did was dress them up in the outfits that they were to wear the next day for bed, and just carried them into the car when it was time to leave so they continued sleeping in the car on the way. We only woke them up when we arrived.

I planned our itinerary and found the guide through recommendations of other travellers in Trip Advisor. He then helped to book our hotels and arranged the van to pick us up from the airport and drove us throughout the trip.

Sri Lanka is definitely worth a visit. If you do plan to visit in future, feel free to contact me for any help in planning.