Days 8 & 9
We started the day with a new guide, Kumar. This was due to Bandu having to return home for a funeral of a friend who had been killed earlier in the week by a wild elephant. Obviously our thoughts and prayers where with his family at this time (2 others had also been killed).
We had planned to stay in Tangalle for tonight but on looking around the area it seemed very local, not much to do there. The accommodation we were also shown was far too much for what it was. It was then that I decided we should travel another 90 minutes down the road to Mirissa and stay there two nights instead of the previously planned one. This was an inspired choice as the beach here was just what Aida wanted, less so myself but I made do with making myself red for her pleasure. Mirissa is also a surf beach so if that’s your ‘cup of tea’ then head there for a few days. Our accommodation was pretty basic ‘Dumindu Resort’ just a 2 minute walk to the beach. The Internet here was very fast though, far better than any of the other places we had been.
There was no charge for using the sun beds on the beach as long as you ate or drank in the bar that owned them, which we duly did. There are lots of tourists here as you can imagine, many English and French.
On the evening we enjoyed the local dish Rotti, not what I envisaged but nice nonetheless. An early night to bed, as we were to be up at 6.15 to go whale watching which is what Mirissa is most renowned for.
6000 Rupees ($45) each to go on the boat is rather expensive, however Kumar was allowed on free of charge. He actually also received free food in all the restaurants we went to (although we were set to pay for him), the fact he only got chicken fried rice and we were seen to be at their restaurant because of him helped. Anyway, back to whale watching. There were only 6 paying customers on our boat and about 6 staff so there was plenty of scope to move around.
I’ve only been sea sick once before in Saudi Arabia but I can now add this to the feeling rough section. You spend about 4 hours out at sea, 90 mins going out, an hour ‘following’ whales and then 90 mins back. We spotted a school of dolphins within 15 mins of being out of port, they really are remarkable creatures and swimming with dolphins in the wild is still on my bucket list. Once you reach the area renowned for whales you are met by another 6 or 7 boats (less than I had imagined). Once a whale is spotted the boats all follow (to within 100m) and you can observe and take photos. The photos certainly don’t look like they do on the posters!!
We saw 4 blue whales in total but with the price, the sea sickness and the distance the whales are away from you, I’d say its not totally worth the money, for me its not the once in a lifetime experience quoted on our boat.
Once back on dry land, a couple of cups of tea where required to fix me up. We then hit the beach again, like creatures of habit, we went to the same bar. Aida proceeded to burn her face as she put no cream on and I burnt the side of my left knee as I must have missed a spot! On the evening we yet again went to the same bar (there are plenty more to choose from on the beach) and had some red snapper fish. Well worth the money as it was really big and more importantly very tasty. Mirissa is more like El Nido than Phuket, once you have eaten there is no real party place apart from Friday and Saturday evenings, so another early night and got ourselves prepared for the final leg of our latest adventure; Galle.