wk 34 – Marissa, Mirissa & whales

Loc had been wanting to return to Mirissa all holiday; all I remembered was a small island you could walk to, a random photo of me from 2003:

…and not much else. Loc was right, the beach was spectacular, and there was the cutest mini surf area at the end, imagine someone creating a fake wave pool with perfect crests coming into shore on just a 20m wide strech of the beach, palms one side, small rocks the other, amazing.

Add to this the newly found peace in Sri Lanka, and resulting lack of navy patrols or restrictions off the coast, and you also have one of the most recent and spectacular wildlife experiences in the world, the ability to see the largest animal alive, merely an hour by boat from the beach, the magnificent blue whale. Loc never tired of the Marissa, Mirissa only place you can see the biggest animal humour, luckily my bum doesn’t look too big in a life jacket…

We set off with a boat run by a guy called Raja, he’d been great responding to my emails, and there were a few good reviews, all justified, he clearly had a major passion and respect for the whales, was really careful not to get too close.

He even had a couple of specialist researchers on board tracking the whales and setting up a case for a shift in the current shipping route, scarily it goes straight through the canyon where the blue whales congregate, as you can see from the photo below.

It was difficult to fathom their actual size as of course they are predominantly under water but you do get an idea with the photo below, this is just one whale; pretty huge…

On the way out to the whales we also spotted a speedy manta ray and a gorgeous turtle floating right next to the boat.

Our last few days in Sri Lanka were spend back in Galle fort, UNESCO heritage and rapidly changing into a high end boutique hotel haven, luckily there is also a lovely guest house that is a fraction of the price with views over the fort to the sea. Slight drawback being it’s neighbour, a famous local school, who start band camp at 6.30am in the morning, being woken by 20 eight year olds playing loudly is quite an experience…and yes they were a tad flat…quite cute though, so you can’t really be that annoyed in the end, and it does get you up for sunrise…and then keeps you up as they are also building another building about 3 inches from the guest house he he he.

 

Before flying out to HK for a return to major civilisation, we stayed a night in one of the best hotel rooms of the trip so far, casa colombo, interior design was really funky, huge rooms and bathroom with a copper bath, and my favourite feature, the pink swimming pool, flashpacking extreme…

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