We loved our travel by tuk-tuk so much that we made the 90 minutes journey from Mirissa to Galle in the same way. We arrived at Deltora Villa which was gorgeous and it felt like it was ours. It was 1pm and extremely hot so we debated whether to go for a swim in the pool but curiosity got the better of us and we headed straight into town to explore.
Galle is a charming little town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in fact. There’s only a couple of main streets so one or two days here is more than enough I’d say. In hindsight, wandering the streets in the mid-afternoon sun wasn’t the smartest idea at all.
We walked the beautiful shell walls of the fortress, the largest remaining fortress in Asia, and scoped out the restaurants for our evening meal. There’s certainly no shortage on money in Galle. There are some incredible fine dining restaurants and five-star hotels.
Despite stopping for a refreshing drink, we started to overheat and our enthusiasm to explore soon dwindled. We also got to the HANGRY stage, as we foolishly do so often. Walking the streets hot, hungry and bothered led us round in circles. We FINALLY decided on somewhere to eat, Coconut Sambol. As you are well aware from my past posts, the heat and lack of sleep make Marco and I extremely indecisive!
Coconut Sambol ended up being a great decision and one that was worth holding out for – it had gone 3pm by the time we sat down. Lunch was a traditional Sri Lankan buffet with an array of hot (spicy and temperature!) homemade dishes in large clay pots. We didn’t want to fill up too much as we had planned a posh dinner that evening but OH MY! It was too delicious not to go for a second helping. The mango curry and soya bean curry were my favourites.
Hot and full, we made our way back to the villa and relaxed around the pool which we had all to ourselves. Our villa was about a 5-10 minutes drive from town and we were keen to explore this non-touristy area. We took a sunset walk to the beach by the villa, full of locals enjoying a game of cricket or a chat with friends.
We scrubbed up well for dinner which we had pushed back to 9:30pm due to our huge curry buffet lunch. Dinner was enjoyed at Crab & Co which is a new restaurant in Galle that we happened to stumble upon on our walk. We loved the feel and decor of the place which was a fusion between traditional and modern. We were the only people in there apart from one couple finishing their meal but we felt relaxed and comfortable. Our food was fantastic and the staff were very attentive. This was certainly up there with the best meals of our trip.
At was about 11pm by the time we had left the restaurant and Galle Fort was deserted. We walked out of the fort area as tuk tuk’s were double the price inside the world heritage site. We had seen some kind of event setting up near the cricket ground earlier that afternoon so we headed towards the bright lights and music to see what was going on. It was a celebration for the local school which had now been open 25 years. We purchased a ticket (50p) to go in. We were the only tourists at this event and we did get some strange looks but it didn’t make us feel uncomfortable at all.
What a bizarre experience the festival was! Thousands of people all enjoying Sri Lankan live music on a huge stage and an array of attractions like 12D cinema and miniature boats in a huge paddling pool. There were fairground rides and copious amounts of local street food.
One attraction caught our eye as we walked past. People were paying money to walk behind a screen with a picture of a cow on. They emerged with a look of surprise on their face. We wanted to see what was behind the screen so we paid 20p each and walked in. Oh my! I really wasn’t expecting to see a stuffed calf with two heads! We couldn’t stop laughing as the weirdness of it all. We collapsed into bed at 1am.
The next morning after delicious homemade pancakes at the villa (sadly no option for a Sri Lankan breakfast) we chilled out by the pool for a bit. There was no need for us to vacate our room before our departure to the airport at 4pm – perfect! Lunchtime arrived and we walked to the local beach to see if we could find some local Sri Lankan food for what was to be our last meal in Sri Lanka. We stopped off at a shop to buy some tea before finding a local eatery just up the road.
We entered a small room with huge clay pots like we had seen at our buffet in Galle. No one spoke English but we were given two plates and hand signals suggested we help ourself. Everyone was watching us eat like we were celebrities and they even brought out a meat curry just for us! All of it was incredibly tasty (and spicy!) Despite not being hungry, to begin with, we both went up for seconds! Although we enjoyed our luxury food in Galle Fort, this was just as tasty and a fraction of the price – just £4 in total! Belly’s full, it was time to make our way to the airport.
Our flight home was pleasant with another stopover at UAE where Marco and I split up. He headed to the Irish Bar for the most expensive pint EVER whilst watching Real Madrid and I headed to Cinnabon. I absolutely LOVE Cinnabon and it’s no longer in the UK, so I HAD to have one even if it was 2am!
Sri Lanka didn’t allow us a lot of sleep and we really squeezed in a lot during the 10 days that we were there, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. We experienced some fantastic local events, trekked through tea plantations, came face to face with elephants and giant sea turtles, ate curry three times a day for the entire trip and enjoyed a large number of cold beers with a spectacular view. Sri Lanka, you didn’t disappoint and you were SO much different to India, much more than I imagined. We would love to return!