Firstly – happy new year’s everyone. I hope it’s a great year. I know I use the word often but my 2010 really was *PHENOMENAL* so here’s hoping for more of the same in 2011.
The beaches down south in Sri Lanka certainly were good fun. I’m actually still on a beach but I’ve moved from southern Sri Lanka to southern India; Palolem to be exact in southern Goa. Thankfully it’s far more chilled here than in northern Goa and I’ve met some wicked people. I actually just bumped into Hannah and Desi (story below!) and it’s great to see them again.
The past few days I’ve been scootering around the beaches of southern Goa with various people I’ve met during the week. Palolem, where I’m staying, is really pretty and I’d also recommend Agonda and Patnem, which are just as scenic and even more chilled. I’ve been watching heaps of the cricket at the Silver Star beach bar, which has been fantastic, and there’s lots going on at night so it’s been a fun few days.
I’m pleased I saw northern Goa (and Paul van Dyk at Sunburn was phenomenal) but I wouldn’t head back over New Year’s. It’s just too busy, the small towns can’t handle all the people, ridiculously expensive and I found the people to be quite rude and unwilling to chat simply because there are so many tourists (most of whom are rich locals actually). Anyhow, there too I scootered around a few beaches (Anjuna, Vagator and Candolim) all of which were pretty.
Moving back to Sri Lanka, the beaches down south are stunning. Again I was lucky to meet some great people and I spent the week with two awesome Swedish girls, Hannah and Desi. It was a wicked few days of doing very little – body surfing, eating, reading, chatting about all sorts, a few drinks here and there and a cool wreck dive off a beach called Unawatuna). I became good friends with Arak, the local Sri Lanka (coconut) run and it’s not bad actually!
Here too we rented scooters to see a few other beaches and my favourite is definitely the second one I was staying at – Mirissa (I initially spent 2 nights at Unawatuna, which is also very cool but just very touristy). Mirissa’s a stunning beach and it’s also super chilled – just a handful of bars on the beach and no one trying to sell you stuff every few seconds.
Sri Lanka overall was fantastic and I’d recommend it to everyone. There’s heaps of stuff to do and I felt like I got a good feel for the country in the three weeks I was there (it’s small so in a few weeks you are able to explore a fair bit of the country). Now that the civil war is over the government is pumping tourism so go sooner rather than later -you’ll love it.
I’ve just booked my onward train ticket and I head off Sunday to Hampi (city of ancient ruins), which I’ve heard is amazing. It’s been a super two weeks on the beaches of Goa and I’m really excited about my three months here.