Rocco’s Blog “Musings”

Arugam Bay 2007/2008 Musings

I’m sitting in the restaurant at Rocco’s admiring the gracefulness of the sea eagles flight, as they cruise looking for a fish to swoop down on. Contemplation on the year past and the year ahead, 2 months before the ’season’ kicks off. Arugam Bay or ABay is operating in its normal lethargic hive of activity. Fishermen out to sea, hotelier’s repairs & maintenance after the monsoon.Last season was a very quiet affair; some say the ‘worst’ yet, certainly the quietest since 2004.

Those that did visit enjoyed appreciative welcomes, shared in the relaxed atmosphere without hassle or danger. We had visitors from Europe, Dubai, UAE, Maldives and Australia.

Special mention to the Irish contingent; Magz & co for drinking us dry on a few occasions (bad planning, my fault) along with a future famous artist, Zayo. The painting outside room 4 adds to the style of Rocco’s a complete contrast to the graffiti wall on the beach rooms (Banksy it ain’t, although if he wants to pay us a visit…….. Plenty of political material here for him!). I have resisted putting the room rate up on the soon to become an artists pilgrimage but will charge for photos once Zayo is a name all art buffs are talking about, funds will go to stocking the bar in case Magz & co descend on us again!

Once again the road ‘curfew’ is back, 6pm – 7am, the political situation has worsened, security is high, many more check points around the Island, Colombo especially.

I have spent time in Tangalle helping to open a scuba diving centre; www.tangalledivingcentre.com with my friend Rohana, Tangalle suffers in a similar way from lack of tourists as we do here Arugam Bay. Both effected by the political situation, closure of Yala and not being on the west coast.

Driving around I found it to be no different even with the extra checkpoints, foreigners treated with courtesy, papers checked a few “which country?” & “what’s your name” “you like Sri Lanka?” A smile then on your way.

Living here is way different to visiting here; living here you are drawn into conversations about the politics, the conflict, peace coming, most are quite negative for the immediate future, optimistically we hope for a long peaceful future if only the powers that be on all sides would put the country and its people first.

This season? Who knows? Negumbo is packed; first time ever I had to look around for a bed as my normal haunts full?! Few venture outside of Negumbo to see the real Sri Lanka or Negumbo ‘traps’ visitors with how dangerous the rest of the Island is, good propaganda & business sense in lean times but not so good for the country as a whole, me thinks.

For those that do venture Arugam Bay is still open, still considered safe, still the most relaxed natural place in Sri Lanka, little hard to get to, we like it that way, little basic compared to ‘developed’ areas, we like it that way too, most of all it has, surf, wild elephants, nature all around, quiet, relaxed, laid back, friendly, beach, sand, ocean, good food & plenty of places to stay, Rocco’s first choice of course!

Steve “The Muse” Jones
Arugam Bay
East Coast
Sri Lanka
21/02/08

0 Responses to “Rocco’s Blog “Musings””


  • No Comments

Leave a Reply