Sri Lanka Part 6 – Galle and Surrounding

June 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm

The post and summary of the trip can be found here.

Day 7 journey
This was what we covered on this post. (Credit : Map taken from google map)

♥28th March 2013♥

After the meager breakfast at Saraii Village, the breakfast at Apa Villa was a feast!

Huge portion of fruits for us to share.

Girls get eggs and toast.

While we adults got served Sri Lankan breakfast of appa (hoppers) and string hoppers. They were served with a light coconut curry and a sambal.

We usually have our apom and putu mayam (Malaysian version of appa and string hoppers) sweet. So, to have the appa with egg, tasted a bit odd for me, but I don’t mind the plain ones.

Initially, the plan for the day was to go whale watching, one of the to-do things in Sri Lanka. As I terrible motion sickness on our journey to Happutale, we thought we should skip it. I probably won’t be able to take the journey out to the sea. Hence we decided to take things easy that day.

We started our tour for the day late morning. Asanka brought us to a Turtle Hatchery at Habaraduwa. We had to pay a fee to enter the small establishment. There were a couple of cement tanks for newly hatched baby turtles and rehabilitating turtles rescued from the beach/ocean.

Newly hatched green turtles

Newly hatched green turtles swimming with an albino turtles

This turtle was caught in a fishing net, and have one of its flippers severed and amputated. It no longer can sink (according to the guide in the hatchery) and will never get release to the ocean.

A small area was allocated for turtle eggs incubation, with markings indicating when the turtle eggs were buried.

We were asked if we wanted to release baby turtles (the ones in the tank) for a steep price (~USD30?), we didn’t as we don’t really know if the hatchery is a non-profit organisation, or doing all these for profit. And of course, there’s a donation box to welcome any contribution.

After a while, the girls were more interested with the beach where the hatchery was located than the turtles. Don’t blame them, it’s a lovely beach.

We broke for lunch at a local cafe. Such cafes are aplenty in the town area throughout Sri Lanka, and it’s good for tea breaks or simple lunches. Usually they are very clean, and the price for a meal is very cheap.

Not far from where we were, 2 cheeky boys were spotted.

Asanka then dropped us of the market at Galle, as I wanted to get some spices. He was to meet us later inside the Galle Fort.

The fish market was getting less busy but the fish still looked fresh non-the-less.

A fish monger offered his shark teeth for sale, but no, I wasn’t going to bring this home.

Curd were sold in terracotta pots, again I refrain myself from getting one just for the pot.

Just behind the fish market, it’s the spice market. There are only a couple of shops selling spices.

We just picked one to enter. Told the shop owner what we wanted, he quoted us a price, and we started bargaining. I forgot the exact amount, but I think I paid around RM50 for 500g of Sri Lankan cinnamon.

After some shopping, we headed to the Galle Fort.

A little about Galle taken from Lonely Planet:
Built by the Dutch beginning in 1663, the 36-hectare Fort occupies most of the promontory that forms the older part of Galle. The Fort is an amazing collection of structures and culture dating back through the centuries. Just wandering the streets at random yields one architectural surprise after another. And be sure to take in the dramatic views of town and ocean from the encircling walls. Unesco has recognised Fort as a World Heritage Site. A key part of the Fort’s allure, however, is that it isn’t just a pretty place. Rather, it remains a working community: there are administrative offices, courts, export companies and lots of regular folks populating the streets.

Road signs leading to the Main Gate.

Nearby there’s a big bus station, so lots of buses were seen outside the Galle Fort.

And again, school children are often eager to have their photos taken.

It as a day where the temperature was close to 40C, it was so hot, the heat we endured walking from the market to the fort made us so sweaty and tired. Good thing Asanka was waiting for us at the old gate, so he brought us to the lovely Pedler’s Inn Cafe to avoid the afternoon heat.

It’s an old colonial house converted to a cafe. There were long wooden benches with cushions. After a nice cool drink each, the two girls and I took a nap, the hubs went walking around, and Asanka watched a cricket game.

Late afternoon, when the heat is more bearable, we started exploring the fort. There were lots of nice old buildings, little jewelry shops, boutiques, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants.

I chose to get my afternoon snacks from a mobile vendor.

Unlike Malaysia where most street food is packed in plastic bags, when you buy street food from Sri Lanka, it’s likely that it’ll be packed in someone’s homework page. Mine was a page of English homework. Talk about recycling!

Sri Lanka is famous for their gems, we went to one recommended by Lonely Planet, PS Weerasekara Fashion Jewellery. Their items set in local and imported gemstones are more contemporary and hip compared to other shops. We each got ourselves something as a souvenir.

Outside another jewelry shop, a gem stone cutter was demonstrating how gems stones are cut the traditional way.

There were many old buildings seen, and some of them are still in used.

And makes a nice backdrop for a wedding photo.

A lot of people were heading to fort wall close to the sea to catch the sunset, so we headed there as well. Many locals were exercising there, or just relaxing.

After the sunset, we headed back inland where the shops are, because the girls wanted to get some souvenirs. Before that, ice cream first.

We headed to the parking lot where Asanka was waiting for us.

This ends our sightseeing tour in Sri Lanka. That night, we brought Asanka out for dinner at the famous Kingfisher Restaurant at Unawatuna. It’s a small little restaurant with tables set at the beach. It was dark when we arrived so we couldn’t take any photos, but gosh, the food was good! Best of all, it’s very reasonably priced. All of us, including Asanka, enjoyed it. (The girls enjoyed it not because of the food, but because they could play sand while they waited for their food).

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