Hikkaduwa continued

Hikkaduwa continued
Ahoy from Hikkaduwa!

It has been over two weeks and I am still here…this did not go according to plan but I guess sometimes when you travel, it is good to get lost in a place you enjoy. After three nights in Hikkaduwa I was ready to leave, as there actually isn’t a whole lot to do during the day, and then there are parties almost every night. I haven’t come travelling to just drink and chill, I want to be doing things that I can learn from and that are going to better me. So on Saturday I started packing my things with the intent of leaving. I then decided to hang around a bit longer to go for a scuba dive and to visit the Sambodhi home for women with disabilities that Victoria, a French girl, has been helping out at…and now I still haven’t left…

When I say I have spent over two weeks in Hikkaduwa, it makes me feel like I haven’t done anything while being here, but that isn’t true. Now for an update of what I have been getting up to while here in this beach town…
On the Wednesday after I arrived I went and visited Galle, which is about half an hour from Hikkaduwa. It’s a beautiful place with a massive fort built in 1588 by the Portuguese. Walking around the forte you can feel the Portuguese, Dutch and British influence – evident in the thin streets with European buildings, and beautiful old churches. Walking the streets of the fort, you feel like you are no longer in Sri Lanka. While exploring I met a nice local named Dinash, who took me to the fort wall where we watched the sunset and the turtles swimming up to the rocks. Just before 6pm he took me to the clock tower where the Sri Lankan flag stands. A military man was standing nearby, and at 6pm he marched up to the flag, saluted, took the flag down, and then marched the flag back to where it is kept for the evening. It was really nice to watch the lowering of the flag, especially as it was carried out in such a ceremonial manner.

Galle Fort – the photos are from my phone so the quality isn’t fantastic

Dinash insisted on taking a photo with me in it

Sunset at the fort wall

Ridiculously amazing clouds

The clock tower with the military man

At 7pm I met with Gilda and Randy, who I had met back at the fieldhouse in Hettipola. They had an older Italian couple with them who run an orphanage near Galle. We spent the evening at the fancy Amangalla Hotel where Gilda and Randy were staying, eating delicious grilled tuna and drinking expensive wine. Once the couple left we moved onto margheritas and had a great night getting to know each other. Gilda and Randy have travelled all over the world shooting amazing photos and documentaries – it was amazing listening to all of the stories.
The next day we went and visited the orphanage, with a bunch of snacks and drinks that Gilda and Randy had bought. The kids were so sweet and shy, and I was so happy to see the orphanage. The couple are doing such a fantastic job there.
On the first Friday I went for a snorkel along the beach in an enclosed rock pool area. I saw so many awesome things in this tiny space, including a scorpionfish, lionfish, pipefish and eel. I then tried to explain to some Russian tourists to be careful where they were standing as there were poisonous fish nearby and they just stared at me blankly. I don’t think I’m very good at charades…haha.
I was excited to spend some more time in the water, and on the Sunday I went diving with Poseidon which seemed the most legitimate of all the different companies. We went out on two wreck dives which was great, as I had only ever done one wreck dive before. There were lots of cool little fish and a heap of amazing, colourful nudibranchs. I also saw an awesome little black and neon orange crab. The visibility was pretty good, and it was just a really nice dive. Unfortunately when we went down I tried to turn on my GoPro only to realise it was out of battery. Grrr!
My friend from England, Lorraine, and I went and explored Mirissa, a small beach town around 1.5 hours from Hikkaduwa. It was nice to get out of Hikka, and laze out on the beach, swimming, eating prawns and enjoying the beautiful weather. On the bus back to Hikkaduwa I almost lost Lorraine as the bus started driving off before she had a chance to get on. We managed to stop the bus driver, only to realise it was the wrong bus anyway. It was very funny.

Mirissa Beach
While here in Hikkaduwa I have made a great group of friends which have become my little family. We come from all over the world; England, Switzerland, Argentina, Canary Islands, France, Israel, Italy, Australia, Whales, Russia and Kazakhstan.  I guess this is also one of the main reasons I am still here! I get along especially well with Lorraine, it’s like we have known each other forever which is really nice. That’s the best part about travel – meeting people from all over who you just click with. Although it is bittersweet because everyone eventually moves on to a different place or to head back home.

Sebastian and Nacho looking sexy

From left: Dunia, Denis, Lorraine and me
I have visited the Sambodhi Home for women with disabilities three times, but I’ll save that for a post of it’s own! Otherwise I’ve just been keeping busy chilling out, swimming, spending time with new friends, eating and sleeping. The good life! My friend Sophie, from back home in Sydney, came and joined me on Sunday and will be with me for two weeks which is great. So yes, I am having a ball here in Hikkaduwa. I love all the other backpackers and I love all of the locals who I have made great friends with. It’s an awesome community vibe here and I think it will be hard to leave…

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