Sunday, February 11, 2018

To Hikkaduwa

The popular beach resort town of Hikkaduwa is only a bit over 20klm from Galle so it was a short drive yesterday morning before we were travelling through the small fishing villages that line the coast - and catching a good look at these ginormous water monitors, scavenging the fishy remains from the day's catch in the boat harbour.

The beaches along this coast are home to marine turtles and exotic fish, but the turtles in particular are under real threat because so few of their eggs survive. We visited a small scale turtle hatchery which is doing a great job in addressing some of the challenges, but probably too little in the grand scheme of things.

These little cuties had only been hatched a day. They will be released in the sea when they're not much bigger! 
We saw a very rare albino turtle.
This area was devastated in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Over 20,000 lives were lost in Sri Lanka and 12,500children were left orphans. We talked to a number of villagers today in the process of visiting little makeshift museums and memorials who'd lost whole families (as well as all their possessions) on that terrible day.

There is a very humble memorial to this earth shattering event, by the beach ......

This much larger one was built by the Japanese government. Both memorials commemorate the over 1,700 fatalities that resulted when a crowded passenger train (families heading for a day at the beach!) was struck by the second wave of the tsunami (estimated at 7.5 - 9 metres high).

After this sobering experience it was a complete change of pace to arrive at our Hikkaduwa accommodation - the beautiful Villa 46. It's a boutique hotel on the beach - only four bedrooms so it feels like home - but with a number of very well trained staff and our own chef. It's owned by the Sri Lankan cricketer Marvan Atapattu. Beautiful!
I've never met a palm tree I didn't like and the sound of crashing waves is bliss to my ears.

We had to catch the sunset over the Laccadive Sea ........

After a sunset walk this is what awaited us back at Villa 46 - the table set for dinner (which was wonderful) and Moon River on the playlist! Does it get any better than this?

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