a place to showcase

A beach in Trincomalee

Seven months have gone by since our holiday in Sri Lanka, and here I am, still blogging about it. All of it is still fresh in my mind though, perhaps because of all the pictures.

From Colombo to Nuwara Eliya to Kandy to Dambulla to Habarana to Anuradhapura and back to Habarana and then off to our very last destination on the itinerary….Trincomalee, situated in the northeast.

Though I enjoyed getting to see so much of Sri Lanka from a car window, I do confess I was by now a tad weary of the long drives and sightseeing expeditions, and sitting in a van for hours made me simultaneously fidgety and sleepy. Unable to nap comfortably, my eyes simply grew unfocused and hence I cannot remember much about the landscape we traversed on our way from Habarana to Trincomalee, except that it felt hotter and drier and way less green. Moreover, spoilt by the hotels we had stayed in so far, the relief I felt at reaching the resort at Nilaveli beach was dampened by the very basic look of the place. I felt like I had been transported into the 80’s.

The young man who led us to our room mentioned that the entire resort had to be restored and renovated after the tsunami of 2004.Β That melted my heart and I looked around with a less critical eye. By the end of our stay, the old-fashioned-ness of the decor was part of its charm, and though we had been sad to leave every place we had been on this trip, Amu and I were saddest at leaving here. It had been a peaceful stay, lots of relaxation and delicious buffet breakfasts and dinners.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I befriended a lot of squirrels.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And dogs.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And a ginger kitty.

Rescued and resuscitated a kamikaze dragonfly.

A strange drumming sound on the roof was discovered to be packs of monkeys bounding around, picking edible buds from the trees. There were a couple of bright-eyed frogs, quite a few geckos and at least one big brown toad outside our beach hut. No pictures, alas.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At dawn on the last morning.

We checked out after breakfast and got back into our van. The drive back to Colombo was supposed to take seven hours, but we made it in six.

21 responses

  1. Excellent stuff. A real sense of being there and love the animals. πŸ™‚

    March 2, 2014 at 6:11 am

    • Thanks Graham πŸ™‚ I’m always grateful for animal love (*)>
      And creature comforts on beaches πŸ™‚

      March 2, 2014 at 7:43 pm

  2. This looks so chilled out. What a place to kick back. You were brave with the squirrels – don’t they have teeth that will cut through wire ?!
    How I dream of being a beach bum. πŸ™‚

    March 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

    • These were the cutest, sweetest, most non-scary squirrels. Did you see the one where it grabbed my fingers?! I nearly jumped out of my skin with joy! πŸ˜€
      It was indeed a lovely place to chill the hell out πŸ™‚

      March 2, 2014 at 7:51 pm

  3. 7 months and yet you write as if it were yesterday M!!! I know it probably feels that way to you and it certainly feels that way to me πŸ™‚ What a soothing, chilled out place to end a journey na? There’s just something about water I tell you….accha…now tell where you’re planning to go next πŸ˜‰

    Squirrels…legend has it they helped Rama build the bridge to Lanka and he ran his fingers down their back in blessing which is why they gave those two black stripes!

    March 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    • I wish I had blogged this trip in real time H, when the feelings and emotions were freshly moved! I feel I have not conveyed enough! This will suffice though πŸ™‚
      Yes indeed, I’m glad we ended with the beach. Well, actually we ended with shopping in Colombo, and that was pretty cool too πŸ˜‰
      I don’t know where we’ll go next…all we know is that vacations are the best things to spend good money on, so hopefully we’ll think of an interesting destination soon………….
      And omg! I was going to mention the legend behind the stripes! I knew ALL about it πŸ™‚ Except I thought it was the white stripes that were bestowed by Rama πŸ™‚ I actually thought about that as I observed them up close. I have a historical thing for squirrels….can’t resist the lil’ critters! Got a vivid memory of seven yr old me being scolded by my mother for wasting our cashew stash on the squirrels of Ahmedabad! πŸ˜€

      March 2, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      • LOL…M I can see you know running out with stolen cashews, surrounded by squirrels…a pretty picture that πŸ˜€

        Completely agree about Holidays being the best way to spend money! What is life without travel? I don’t know where we’ll be going this year…possibly within India…so many places to see! A friend of mine went to Jordan recently…and her pictures were smashing!!

        March 3, 2014 at 1:33 am

  4. When I saw your post, I suspected this was one of tsunami ravaged areas. Sara did a lot of work there post 2004. Loved the photos, especially the dogs and cats. How sweet. Hope you are doing well, Mun!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    March 3, 2014 at 2:25 am

    • I know it has been almost 10 years since that dreadful tsunami, but it was easy to forget the images of that devastation while we were there. They’ve really come a long way since then, thankfully, but I confess the thought fleetingly DID cross my mind….imagining myself as one of those unfortunate tourists caught in a natural disaster of epic proportions.

      March 3, 2014 at 11:43 am

  5. Well it’s no wonder you didn’t want to leave. It looks relaxing, and surely began to feel like home with all the fuzzies to keep you company. How did you not take that puppy home? No need to answer, I get it. I love so many dogs, and we’ve just adopted our first.
    Really love your animal pictures here. Can’t believe how skinny those squirrels are. Ours are all so fat – when we see them! I suppose they have to be to survive the winter πŸ˜‰

    March 5, 2014 at 1:11 am

    • There was such a beautiful feeling of timelessness on that beach…I felt like I could just stay there forever, with all my new friends πŸ™‚
      I love dogs, but I can never imagine keeping one as a pet. Dogs and I, we meet, we bond, we part ways 😐 Much like my relationship with zebras, giraffes and elephants….can’t keep them at home!
      I’m so glad you loved the animal pictures! πŸ™‚ So tricky capturing non-blurry shots of those squirrels…holding a nut in one hand, the camera with the other and it wasn’t as if they stayed still much! Skinny Srilankan squirrels, hehe. Are Michigonian squirrels red?

      March 11, 2014 at 6:43 am

  6. No wonder you are still writing about it. Looks fabulous!

    March 5, 2014 at 6:29 am

    • Yes, it is with a tinge of sadness that my Srilankan series comes to an end. Just one more post perhaps….then I’m done πŸ™‚

      March 11, 2014 at 6:46 am

  7. crazyguyinthailand

    Amazing πŸ˜€

    March 5, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    • Glad you think so crazy guy!

      March 11, 2014 at 6:51 am

  8. These pictures are truly amazing, Munira. You take such intriguing photos. I actually FELT the energy of the dogs and squirrels and cats and beach through this. Thank you for sharing. P.S. You posted this in March? Am so far behind the times.

    June 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    • Been missing you Kathy. And the intriguing feeling is entirely mutual ❀

      March 5, 2015 at 5:53 pm

  9. Dear Munira,

    It has been a while since we have written on each others blogs, but yours remains one of my favorites, perhaps because you offer in your writing and pictures, peace and beauty in the ordinary iin slices of life in a country I dare not visit because I am American and Jewish. I am thinking of you and your countrymen today on this horrible and senseless attack on your students who were just doing what all humans have a right to – a decent education – and I am deeply saddened. On this first night of Chanukkah, I say this to you: May we all know a day when there is no more terror and darkness and only light. Shalom, Stacy

    December 16, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    • Wa alaikum assalaam Stacy. Replying to you more than a month later, not because of indifference I assure you…. I was so moved by your message…it came at a time when I really had no words. Even my blogs have been rendered silent, perhaps because of the increasing negativity, pessimism, and yes, despair, we find ourselves sinking into when problems pile up and solutions seem fraught with complications. The world is seriously messed up…every tragic incident feels like a body blow, not just what is happening in Pakistan, but the injustice and inequality that gives rise to everything that is wrong in the world today.
      Trying to read and educate myself to gain context and a historical perspective on why things are the way they are, staying focussed on the nitty gritties of every day as it comes, spending more time with family and pets and less time on social media.
      I’m keeping an eye on civil society movements in the aftermath of every horrendous attack on humanity in my country….they happen with alarming regularity. Waiting to see if my dormant fingers will be motivated to type again soon. Thank you for remembering me. Grateful to WordPress for allowing me to be counted amongst your favorites.

      January 19, 2015 at 7:08 am

  10. Your photos make me feel as if I was there, just great, congratulations.

    March 5, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    • Thanks to your comment, I got to revisit this post and feel like I was there again too πŸ™‚ Glad you enoyed them Cecilia!

      March 5, 2015 at 5:54 pm

penny for your thoughts? :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s