Having spent a few months in the mountains of New Zealand we thought that it was time for a holiday. Some of our friends had moved back to England so we tried our best to pick a surf destination which was a meet a middle for us. We picked Sri Lanka.
We booked our flights and that was that! The flights were booked with Air Asia for the cheapest price but boy did we find out that Air Asia would be the worst airline that we have ever flown with.
After the worst flight ever we finally made it to Colombo the capital of Sri Lanka and after all of our delays were far too tired to haggle for a taxi to our hotel for the night. FYI you can more than half the charge the taxi drivers are after. We were so late that we only got 4 hours in the hotel room before we were on a train for 12 hours. Our friend Jonny met us at the train station from his flight from the U.K. All of us jet lagged, tired and hot we didn't know that we were in for the best train ride that any of us had been on.
Our first stop after the train ride from the west coast to east would be Arugam Bay, the train ride takes you through the heart of the country up into the mountains before coming back down the coast which gave us view after view for those 12 long hours.
We were to meet our friends Joe and Anna in Arugam Bay who had already been in Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks. We never booked accommodation and managed to turn up and find a place pretty easy. The tree house's in the bay would be our home for the next couple of weeks. The living area had hammocks to laze around on and the breakfast and coffee was fantastic.
After two days of travelling and a very big nights sleep we woke up to the bay having the perfect size to surf off the jet lag. Going in between the seasons meant we dodged the crowds and had our very fair share of waves.
I'd say the only draw back of our location was the walk to the break itself. The walk back in the middle of day was unbearable with the heat and the run from walking in the wet sand to the shade of hut was the biggest race of the day! Other accommodation closer the break is available but comes at a higher price.
Our days consisted of dawn patrols, napping, ice creams and the amazing food and beers in the awesome restaurant next door.
One place we were told to go see was elephant rock or crocodile rock, it was called different names by the locals but if you ask for a tuktuk with one of those names they'll know what you are on about.
The drive takes you out of the small township and out into the fields where if you are lucky enough as us get to see wild elephants roaming around. Almost every night was spent taking in the sunset and the drivers are more then happy to wait for you at the bottom before going back.
We all spent 2 weeks here until Joe and Anna had to head back and we took a trip to the east coast chasing the swell. Jonny met a friend called Kerri who is a legend who is currently working in Sri Lanka as a vet helping homeless animals. She went to go do a bit of work but we caught up with her Midigama.
After a hectic taxi we stayed in a place where Joe and Anna had recommended on the east coast. This was called Rams homestay which was obviously right on the beach in front of the wave called Rams. We pulled up with Jonny at night and woke up to the wave a 30 second from our door step which was sweet. Again being in between seasons meant we had little crowds and met some legends there. Kerri rocked up a few days later.
The remainder of the trip was spent in Midigama and we scored some sweet waves and ate fantastic food. A restaurant called Mama's which is a short walk from the homestay served up the best curry dishes and awesome breakfast. We ate here every day and not one meal disappointed.
Over all we found Sri Lanka to have a feel of what Bali might have been like 15 years ago. All the locals were super friendly and there wasn't that 'western' feel to the place. Our flights from New Zealand were pretty cheap and over all living was easy on a small budget. The only thing we found to expensive was getting around, there was not much haggling to be had.
Locals said the water gets super busy in high season so if you're willing to take the gamble we highly recommend a trip out here just before it starts to move into high season. We managed to get hours in the water with just us in the line up and we had great weather the whole time. All in all it has the froth seal of approval, go check it out yourself! If you have more questions on Sri Lanka please email us your questions :)