I slept through the entire bus journey. I wanted to reach Mirissa as late as possible to reduce my waiting time in case I couldn’t locate a hotel. I had address to a hostel where another couchsurfer from Belgium was staying. I had assumed Mirissa to be bustling with people even in the night as it was a popular beach area (had thought of it as Goa). The bus was running late (I was glad). I reached Mirissa at 2:30 a.m. The driver and conductor tried helping me by asking me the address of the place I wanted to go to but they had no clue where it was so they dropped me at a relatively better lit place. Now my idea of the worst case scenario was staying back in the bus station but ummm there was no bus station. It did not even have a shed that I could call a bus stop.
I walked to the guest house that was lit but it was locked from outside. I tried walking further to other guest houses but they were all locked and I couldn’t see any light there so did not even bother trying there. I came back to this guest house (‘lucky guest house’) and started thinking what to do. I could sit there and wait for 2-3 hours for places to open up and go for Whale watching directly. I tried looking up the address of the hostel I wanted to go to. It was 700 m from there but I was terrified of what I saw ahead of me. – Plain darkness. A couple of dogs passed by barking. I did not want to attract any attention. While I was figuring out what to do next I heard some female voices from the guest house above this office. I called out not very loudly ‘hello’, ‘excuse me’. But there was no response and I didn’t want to be very loud. I started google maps and decided to reach the hostel that I had the address to. I was figuring out which way to head when someone called out from above. There were two females. They asked if I needed help and I of course was in need of help. They called me in. It was the nicest gesture of my entire trip. They not only took me in but also made me a bed, gave me everything I needed and told me to just keep my luggage here in case I wanted to go for whale watching in the morning.
I slept for 2 hours and then made some calls to fix a pick up for whale watching. There was a tuk tuk there to pick me up in 20 minutes. I left the wonderful ladies a note to ping me when they’re up so I could collect my stuff as per their convenience.
I got my first view of the ocean while reaching the boat and it was wonderful. I was glad to have cancelled my plans to go north and chose to relax here for two days rather than rushing into everything.
I chose a seat on the upper deck of the boat and then we were all waiting for it to move when I got a call from the person I had called this morning that the trip is cancelled because of bad weather. I still waited for representatives from the police department to make a formal announcement. We got our refund. And then I walked to the beach. Thinking what to do next. I had no plan B actually wait I had no plan A either.
I saw some surf school advertisements. Enquired at one and decided to go for it. They were promising water standing in 1.5 hours. I have no idea what was I thinking when I decided to go for it. Every muscle in my body was aching after the Adam’s peak trek and I decided to torture my body with water surfing.
We got into a tuk tuk where two more guys from Belgium hopped in. We were given brief training and then taken into the sea. What surprised me was we were not given any safety jackets. No one had even asked me if I could swim. Either they were very confident of their skills or were really not bothered about our safety. I struggled in the water to stand most of the times falling hard on my knees, once or twice was hit in the head by my own surf board, so much sea water had entered my system I felt irritated once. I don’t know what came on my instructor’s mind he decided to take me to deep waters and sail on high waves. Forget about getting on the board, I couldn’t stand straight. Every time I would find my ground a wave would come and topple me upside down. I felt close to death and took it out on my instructor. I decided to take a break. I got some pictures clicked and went back with new vigor. Determined to sail through the waves. Of course determination does not help 😀 I kept falling off the board again and again but also stood a couple of times and every time I did it all seemed worth the pain. Every fall felt precious and gave me the assurance of being closer to my magical sail.
We came out after about 2- 2.5 hours. My Belgian friends were doing amazingly well. In my defense it was their second day at surfing. I was super exhausted. We made small talk in the auto. I reached the guest house took a quick shower and packed my stuff to leave. Both the ladies were sleeping and they had previously asked me to just go in and out without knocking. I left with the intention of coming back later to see them. I went in search of the hostel my couchsurfer friend had suggested. I walked in the opposite direction (really bad with maps) then took a bus, walked around quite a lot and finally found the place. A bed there was costlier than any of the rooms I had taken but I loved it so much I immediately took it. It was a typical backpacker’s hostel which was very well maintained and there were a lot of travelers to make conversation with.
When I came back to the lobby to just sit and breathe for some time. Someone sitting across me took my name. I went blank for a second and then realized he was the guy from couchsurfers who had suggested that place. We talked a bit and he left for the beach, I wanted to head for Galle. I took some time off and then left for Galle. Got down at a pretty building that read ‘Fortress’. I assumed it to be a museum but it was an amazingly beautiful hotel. I again took a bus and this time to Hikkaduwa. Walked there a bit. The place is very beautiful. I chose a place with ocean view to have my late lunch.
I walked around after this. Took a look at the souvenirs shop but didn’t really find anything that I could buy for all my friends. I then sat at the beach for some time. Soaking in the beauty and already feeling bad about having to leave the next day. I took a bus by 7 p.m. as it gets difficult to travel late in the evening.
I sat in the hostel lobby spoke to one of the females staying in female dorm. She was taking yoga classes there and was very appreciative of it. She gave me some tips on things to do next day. I wanted to take a massage and she told me it’s costlier in Mirissa. I also met another guy from Spain who has a lovely hostel there and that’s how he funds his travel. The rooms looked a lot like the one we were staying in.
I was waiting for my couchsurfer friend so we could chat but he didn’t turn up and I wanted to get some sleep as I had to get up early again for whale watching and I knew there would be no time to sleep the next night when I had to take a midnight flight from Colombo.