This was our first forage into the Tamil area of Sri Lanka and we certainly weren’t expecting any trouble but were intrigued as to what we would find. Unfortunately we probably weren’t here for long enough to experience any real differences, from the outset everyone was just as friendly and welcoming and the food was pretty much the same.
The only time we had any sense of tension was when chatting to a tuk tuk driver who wouldn’t support the Sri Lankan cricket team as there were no Tamil players nor would he support India as he hated India due to their support of the Sinhalese during the war. It was difficult to know where to go from there but after he had blown off some steam we got back to the usual tuk tuk journey conversation of naming great cricket players.
We had decided to increase our budget a little and for $30 a night we managed to find a place with a pool and so to be honest have spent a glorious couple of days lounging beside the pool reading books! The weather has been stupendous and cooling off in the pool and enjoying a decent bed and hot showers has also been a real treat.
The Main Street next to the hotel had about a dozen restaurants on it which were reasonably cheap while the restaurants on the beach nearby were double the price and didn’t seem to serve Sri Lankan food which is a bit strange but we have enjoyed walks on the beach and dinner from the fantastic cheap restaurants. In fact we have found that the more we have paid for food on this trip the worse it has been…good news for us!!
It hasn’t been all lounging about though as we felt we had to take a trip into town to see an important Hindu temple and the fort lining the harbour.
Kandasamy Kovil is one of five Hindu temples built around Sri Lanka to protect the country from natural disasters. It sits on top of a hill on a peninsula jutting out into the ocean and although we didn’t see any it’s meant to be a great spot to see Blue Whales from. So far we have been mostly seeing Buddhist temples with a bit of Hindu influence but this was the biggest Hindu temple we have seen yet and it was really quite colourful and intrinsically impressive.
The many many figures decorating both the inside and out were painted in all sorts of bright colours so the whole place seemed really light and open. We are going to have to do some learning as to what everything means and which gods are which because at the moment it’s just an overload of things to take in.
The rest of the peninsula is taken up by an army base and some old colonial style buildings. We wandered back through the shady streets and were surprised to see a few dozen deer wandering around the grounds.
The main attraction at Trincomalee are the beautiful beaches surrounding the town and we had a couple of lovely walks with hardly anyone else around. During one walk we came across fifteen fishermen pulling in a huge net so sat down and enjoyed the spectacle. It all happened at a steady but sedate pace and it took them the best part of 45 mins to pull in the huge net. I don’t think that they would have made much money once the catch was divided by all the fisherman.
It has been great relaxing here and even though we haven’t done a lot we have really enjoyed meeting all the locals and once agin enjoying the food and this time the swimming pool!! T
We haven’t had many beers in Sri Lanka but this spot was just perfect for one! Shame they didn’t serve any Sri Lankan food otherwise it would have been a great spot for dinner too!
Outside the Hindu temple, shame we couldn’t take any photos inside but the theme and the colours certainly continued.
The figurines were all over the outside including this spot where you can see Blue Whales, if you are lucky.
A refreshing lime juice looking back over Trincomalee bay.
The start of the long process of pulling in the net.
After about 45 mins they were nearing the end and the birds had begun circling.
Everyone working together to make sure that no fish were lost.