Unawatuna, Galle, Sri Lanka

The long and wide beach laden with white sands. The turquoise waters solemnly affixed to the far ocean. Rumbling waves charging in with all their might, and soaking up the shore.

A couple of little kids are busy building the sand castle of their lives, bringing in all the ideas they possess to make it a spectacle. A bikini clad tourist reads her favorite novel, all while lying on a beach bed. Few others are out in the sea, splashing water at each other’s faces. Away from the coast, a jet-ski engine is revved to its maximum, as a man whisks from one end to the other with a beaming glee on his face.

Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna Beach

Unawatuna has always had a high rank in the list of Sri Lanka’s many beaches. The picturesque shore and the partly shut off sea combine to make this beach a favorite travel spot. One half of the beach has been occupied by high-end hotels and resorts, while the other is frequented by tourists and locals who are on a day visit.

Unawatuna

Unawatuna

Unawatuna is situated just pass the town of Galle. Anyone travelling along Galle Road should continue till they reach the town of Unawatuna. If the Southern Expressway is your pathway, turn right when you exit it and reach Galle Road. The road to Unawatuna beach is abundant of street-side retails shops selling souvenirs and clothes, as well as restaurants and pubs.

This popular tourist attraction is never short of activities. The range of water sports and beach games are common throughout the year and many visitors could be seen enjoying themselves under the golden sunlight. Jet ski rides are on offer for those who wish to get more adrenaline in their blood stream. Boat rides offer great views of the beach and nearby shores. If sailing and surfing are your things, there are a few places that offer those rides at any time of the day. Unawatuna is also known for its coral reefs, and guests could have a great view of them with scuba diving. In a nutshell, Unawatuna is a haven for water sports.

Jet Ski Ride at Unawatuna

Jet Ski Ride at Unawatuna

The popularity of this area is amplified by the number of resorts and guest houses present in the region. Rooms and beach houses could be found easily for reasonable rates, and they are certain to make the traveler’s life convenient. More restaurants and pubs could be found along the streets, and these places offer a great variety of local and seafood cuisines, in addition to the usual delicacies of Sri Lanka.

If time is of the essence for you or if you have one extra day in your travel itinerary, Unawatuna would be the ideal choice. The ease of access and picturesque areas in the surrounding vicinity would make for a memorable day-outing for a lone couple or even the combined family. The popularity of the place is ever on the rise, and not visiting it at least once would be a shame.

Advertisement

Glengarry Glen Ross in Sri Lanka

Identities Inc., a visual arts and performance movement established recently, brought to the stage drama enthusiasts of Sri Lanka the Tony Award Winning play Glengarry Glen Ross, featuring some of the well-known actors in the country. The show was held for four days to fully packed audiences at the Namel Malini Punchi Theater, Borella.

Glengarry Glen Ross

Was wondering it it’s okay to copy an image, so I’m just posting a photo of the ticket.

The setting and props on the stage looked inviting. The office environment, with desks and cupboards laid around, gave the feel of a workplace of the mid-nineteenth century, with olden-day phones and files placed on tables rather than computers and organizers.

The story was just and straight-forward. A group of employees – some of them thriving, most of them struggling – working as salesman for a real estate company, trying to bring in some valuable sales to the company, whilst also cashing up on the commission for each sale. The company is incidentally blessed with a set of good ‘leads’, who are some well to do investors, looking to buy land property.

The story revolves around some of the struggling employees looking to get a portion of the good leads, as the ones they’ve been getting have been obsolete and useless. The urge to get some of the good leads, and the management’s resistance in sharing them with all the salesmen, sets up an intense story. The background is set; and the plot is ready to unleash.

The acting was top-notch. Everyone played their parts well, and there was nothing to complain about. Shanaka Amarasinghe pulling out the Indian accent at one point, Andre Perera’s antiques of an aging gentleman, Dino Corea’s persevered attitude towards his colleagues, Hans Bilimoria’s ‘I mean business’ stance, Miranga Ariyaratne’s intolerant investigative stunts and Niren Neydorf’s hilarious reactions to things he has no control over.

But the stars of the show were Dominic Kellar and Rajiv Ponweera. Kellar, playing a middle-aged father trying to stay relevant to the company’s ambitions, and Ponweera, a charismatic individual leading the monthly sales charts each month. The substance and flavor of these two actors played a huge part for the show’s success, and it is no surprise that they’re very well known in the stage drama industry.

Before rounding off, a word about the Punchi Theater. Like its name suggests, the theater is small. However, the setting is sort of the type that lets the audience engage with what’s going on, like being a part of the lively performance on show. For the location and how they have used up the space, this theater offers quite an experience for drama enthusiasts; something that needs to be checked out.

First Post: First Ever Camping

Campsite View

View of the campsite

This blog was set up several months ago but I couldn’t make up my mind on what this blog should be about or what I should write about. Time passed by and then I was invited to join a camping, with a group of people including @rothbourne. This was my first camping and during the camp it is that I finally got the idea for my first blog post.

The camping was planned for Hortain Plains in Nuwara Eliya, which apparently has 3 campsites. We set off on a Friday night at around 11pm, and traveled along the Kandy Road. There are three major routes to Nuwara Eliya and the Kandy Road route was the longest, but this known route was chosen for the want of not losing our way amidst the dark mountains in the middle of Sri Lanka, when everyone else was sleeping.

We arrived at Nuwara Eliya early Saturday morning and entered the Hortain Plains site subsequently. The campsite is a short 1km walk from the lodging and parking area, but carrying all the camping goods along the variable slopes made it quite a mission getting there. Setting up the camps was fun. You need to know what does what and what goes where, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to do more and more. Seeing your shelter for the next two days come alive was quite pleasing.  

Campsite Walk

Short but challenging walk to the campsite

As this was a camp, all the plans for meals and snacks was planned in Colombo itself. It involved bringing along the food, vegetables, other additionals as well as the equipment; cooker, gas, tools and cutlery. Every meal had to be planned out beforehand, since the closest food store from the campsite was miles away. A temporary kitchen was set up to keep the items in place. Water was collected from the river that flows just near the site.

Each campsite at Hortain Plains has just a solitary toilet. Aaand it does not have a tap. You would have to collect a bucket of water from the river before going in and doing whatever you have to do. 

Camp at Night

Night time at the camp

As you would expect, there’s no light in the area at night. It is highly important to carry a torch with you. Electrical lamps, made for camping, would be ideal to have in the middle of your campsite.

The next day, we set off on a hike to Kirigalpotta, the second highest mountain in Sri Lanka. The hike can be completed even if you’re moderately fit, but it is advisable to fill up your bag with some proteins, snacks and ample water. There are some lovely water streams along the way where you can top up your water bottles, so there’s that. The full hike – to go up and come down, including time for snacks, water breaks, and enjoying the view at the top – would take about seven hours. 

Kirigalpotta View

View from the top of Kirigalpotta

Our final day involved collecting our belongings, taking down the tents (again, as enjoyable as setting them up) and cleaning up the campsite. It is a requirement that campsite tenants leave no material that could pollute the environment. We could say that we left the campsite just the way we found it.

Camping is fun. However, you need to do your homework. From meals, to shelter, to scheduling, everything needs to be planned well. It is also important to have backup plans for emergency situations and first-aid for health issues. Mobile phone signals are not that strong when you’re among the hills. The winds can be irritatingly cold at times, and quite gusty to test how strong your tents really are. Nevertheless, if adventure is your middle name and if you don’t mind giving up your Colombo luxuries for a couple of days, camping is fun.