Tangalle’s Windswept Beaches
After bidding farewell to Henriko and Emilia for the next couple days, I headed to the bus station in Ella. There were no direct buses to Tangalle, but the journey was fairly easy. It only involved one bus switch at Welawaya, and I found myself in Tangalle only about 3.5 hours after leaving Ella.
Tangalle is a small town located on the eastern part of Sri Lanka’s Southern coastline. It has yet to catch on with tourism, as most tourists elect to visit the beach towns closer to Colombo such as Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, and Negombo. All the better for myself though, as I was hoping for a few quiet days of relaxation without the crowds.
Tangalle has no shortage of guesthouses. As in most cases when supply far exceeds demand, guesthouse owners are more willing to entertain bargains. As such, I found myself with a private room and attached bathroom for only 1,000 LKR (~$7 USD)! The guesthouse was located just across the street from the beach as well, a great location.
After checking into my room and getting situated, I set off for the beach in search of a place to relax. I came across a small beachside cafe called “Zanzibar”. Zanzibar had several hammocks under cabanas as well as a few daybeds. I spent the day here, alternating between the hammocks and getting some sun in a daybed, all the whilst sipping on some cheap and refreshing cocktails. I was also kept company by a couple friendly beach dogs. These dogs appeared to be pretty well looked after, and were content to curl up at the foot of my hammock in the shade. Even though it was pretty hot and I would have liked to take a dip in the ocean, the surf was too strong at this time of the year to safely swim. I did not relish the idea of getting pounded by the relentless surf.
The next two days were spent in a similar fashion. I also would rise early and do a morning walk on the beach before the sun’s heat became too much. Some stretches of the beach were absolutely desolate, with only sand and palm trees slightly swaying in the breeze. This was a nice contrast to the crowds of tourists present up in the Cultural Triangle, or that I would soon come across again at the beach towns of Mirissa and Hikkaduwa.
I was also able to indulge in some freshly caught fish for a couple of dinners. The restaurants would display the day’s catch on a bed of ice, and you were able to choose the fish that you wanted to eat. So delicious!
After these couple days were up, I began to crave company again, and was glad to be headed to meet up with Henriko and Emilia in Mirissa, where whale watching was at the top of my list of activities to do there.