12.03.2014 - 16.03.2014
Unawatuna was devestated by the Tsunami in 2004, and when the locals started to rebuild they went against government advice and built the hotels, guesthouses and restaurants right on the beach, close to the sea in an effort to secure the best view for the tourists. The result is a shallow beach taken up by deckchairs and tables rather than stretches of sand down to the water. Despite this, the beach is beautiful, and unlike many of the other beaches in Sri Lanka it is possible to swim in the calm turquoise water. We sat and had a few beers discussing how we would re-organise it if we lived here!
Over the next few days we enjoyed the beach, spending our time drinking Ceylon tea in the many beachside restaurants, swimming in the sea and window shopping along the beach road.
We woke up on friday morning, had a coconut roti piled high with fruit and walked up to Karina's cooking class for 11am. We heard Karina first, her peel of infectious laughter greeting us and together with the rest of the group went to Galle market. In between weighing up the vegetables for the cooking later, we were introduced to some of the local vegetables including banana flowers, lotus flower roots and mooli. We squeezed into the spice stall where our eyes watered from inhaling the various local spices and then onto the fish market where our chosen tuna steaks were macheted to size and packed in plastic bags. Back in Karina's kitchen we were in food heaven, and over the next two hours we cooked up an aubergine pickle, pumpkin curry, coconut samba, fish curry and green bean curry. Too much food for the eight of us to eat but we sat down and tried.
More window shopping, and we somehow found the beautiful sparkling gems behind the glass pulled us into the shops and fueled by a few beers spent well over our travelling budget! Later in the afternoon we made it over to Galle fort walking up along the ramparts, being saturday it was busy, the tiny beach areas cramped with families bathing fully dressed and several different sports being played including hockey, cricket and football all with good audience participation. We dropped down through the colonial style streets trying to avoid the expensive looking jewelry shops and past the old dutch hospital, watching the warm glow of the sunset over the buildings.