01.02.2012 - 03.02.2012 31 °C
Day 124: Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka 01/02/2012
Another good night's sleep aided by the Lion lager and we are ready to leave Colombo and head for some sun, sand and surf. Gemma washes her hair (I know!), whilst I head for some directions on how to get to the place we have our eye on next. We eventually catch the right bus with the help of some friendly locals and find that the Sri Lankan bus system is infinitely less stressful than India's, with smaller crowds and a chilled out atmosphere.
An easy two hour journey sees us arrive in Hikkaduwa, a town which seems half surfer orientated, half more upmarket hotel resorts. Find a cheap room for the night across the road from the beach and head out for the beach after booking a couple of nights here. We grab some lunch and a couple of drinks on the beach (again a bit more expensive than we were expecting) and then have a quick dip in the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean. After a quick shower, we take our now customary long Sri Lankan walk. We pop our head into a couple of other hotels/guesthouses that make us wish a) we had got off the bus/walked a bit further down the road b) booked only one night at our place. Oh well. Have dinner at one of these other places (very good) and the old man is a bit of a charmer, though he does tell us some heart wrenching tsunami tales.
Day 125: Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka 02/02/2012
Up early (7am) for our day on the beach and learning to surf. We stop for a quick breakfast at the side of the road, which sees us get some quality doorstop toast. We hire a board for the day from a guy who tells us he is too drunk to do anything but does point us to a board he claims is ideal for beginners. Hit the water. Hard. Repeatedly as it turns out. It is hard work and we both get a little bit hurt (Gemma is hit on the head by the board first time in the water) but I eventually manage to stand up about four or five times over the course of the (very long) day, so some progress is made.
We leave the beach at around 6pm and the two (now lobster red) British travellers head back down the road, sore, knackered and with highly sensitive skin. Shower and dinner from the barbecue tuk-tuk, where the chef is stood at the roadside in his full chef's whites. The fish and chicken are excellent and after a couple of games of cards we have a very early night (9.30).
Day 126: Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka 03/02/2012
Well after yesterday's efforts and early night we are up and ready to try again at about half past seven. Both a bit pink and sore we vow to give the sun a little more respect today. Breakfast is the same as yesterday and we go to hire a board from the same drunk guy. He tries to give us the same board as before but we would like a smaller, lighter one. Which he apparently doesn't have. We manage to hire a beauty from the place next door for about the same price and the much smaller, lighter board is far easier to control and I find myself able to stand and ride a few waves pretty much straight away. Still crash a few times but the young Ukrainian guy next to me in the water (a dead ringer for one of the Klitschko brothers) asks me to teach him so I must be doing something right!
After lunch, Gemma resumes her position in the shade and I go back in the water. I am nowhere near as successful as I was in the morning but I put this down to fatigue, dehydration, loss of concentration, the wax coming off the board and pretty much any other excuse I can think of that I think sounds feasible.
Knackered again and after another barbecue dinner we play cards with the other English guy at the hostel and have another early night, glistening in our new aloe vera gel.