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Kumana Park – Today –

Kumana National Park.
Is also Known as 
Yala East.
It’s just South of AbaY and  totally unspoiled.
Still a true Paradise.

Today dear Mr. HANSA spotted Leopards and took a lot of photos.
Here are just three of them.

Mid November 2022

Through the wilds of Kumana

A visit to the East is not complete without a trip to Kumana. Enter the solitude of the wilderness where the untamed reign, remember that you are only a guest on a brief visit.

Before we left Okanda, we visited the famed Ukanthamalai Murugan Kovil also called Okanda Devalaya, dedicated to God Murugan and Valli Amma, and lying on a massive rock boulder just outside the main entrance of the Kumana National Park, which we featured in the Sunday Observer last week.

Nestled in the South-East coast of the Eastern Province, 12km from Arugam Bay and spanning an area of 18,149 hectares, the Kumana National Park is well known as an important bird nesting and breeding ground in the country.

Our regular trip to Kumana occurs every year not really during the ‘season’. This time, however, the visit was not only to see the animals, but also to venture along untrodden tracks to discover hidden wonders of the ancient civilisation dotted here and there in the jungle. However, last year, we couldn’t visit the park due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Galamuna campsite

In the previous trips, we visited several ancient places, but left out a few sites which were inaccessible due to damaged tracks in the park. This time, we intended to see many of the sites that were left out previously. Every time we went into the jungles, we stayed in the park bungalows. But this time, we decided to put up at a campsite as it was more adventurous and chose the Galamuna campsite to spend the night. During our two-day visit, we planned to see a few archaeological sites and spend a few hours in Kumbukkan Oya.

As usual, we entered the Kumana National Park with our guide. We passed the Yoda Lipa and drove further into the jungle. From the well-trodden road, we turned into a side path. The recent rains had washed away the roads, leaving large dips and dives. The jeep skid and slid as we entered the muddy plain.

We did not spot many animals except a couple of hawk eagles on the dried up trees, may be because it was late morning. We had travelled for nearly one hour when our jeep stopped and our guide got down. We had apparently arrival at Kiripokunahela, the first site on our itinerary.

We kept our food parcels under the seats of the jeep and closed the doors, as we had been warned that food left outside would be a happy feast for the monkeys.

There was a footpath leading to a rocky outcrop across the muddy plain, with a massive rock boulder looming over us.

We climbed over the boulder and stepped into the cave. The floor was smooth, perhaps due to sloth bears or leopards seeking refuge in the caves.

The face of the rock massif had grooves etched round it to prevent rain water from flowing into the cave. Under the rock massif, a line of Brahmi inscription carved out of the rock was visible on the rock surface.

Drip-ledged cave

After an hour’s drive across the plains, lagoons and mangrove swamps, we arrived at Bambaragastalawa, a massive rocky boulder with drip-ledged cave.

There was a footpath leading up to the small hillock. Overgrown with green shrubs and with rocks as footholds, we climbed up and passing a thick brick wall, entered a large open cave where we found a resplendent reclining Buddha statue.

From Bambaragastalawa, we set off to our campsite, Galamuna along the Kumbukkan Oya. As we drove along the banks of the Kumbukkan Oya, we came across massive mud holes on the road and survived due to our 4×4 drive. We camped one night on the banks of the Kumbukkan Oya, sleeping under the stars after a hearty meal cooked by our friends.

At Galamuna, one can see a set of huge stones laid across the Kumbukkan Oya. It is said, in ancient times, the villagers of Kumana diverted the waters of the Kumbukkan Oya to irrigate their paddy fields.

The stone dam across the Oya is still visible in Galamuna where the Wildlife Department has set up a campsite for visitors to the park.

On the way to Galamuna, we observed the Kumana village through the Kumana Villu which was dried up due to drought. Nothing much remained of the village except for coconut trees.

The second day we dedicated to see the animals. We first visited the most revered Kuda Kebilitta Devala, lying on the banks of the Kumbukkan Oya.

A small shrine had been built for God Kataragama. The shrine lay without the Kapurala (custodian). We worshipped for blessings and a safe journey. Most visitors to Kumana spend a little time here to get divine blessings from God Kataragama while they tour Kumana.

Wildlife and migratory birds

Kumana is also well known for its wildlife and migratory birds. As we returned to the road it seemed as if the jungle had finally awoken on our second day.

Herds of wild buffaloes dipped in the lagoons, deer seemed to be everywhere, and lonely elephant sprayed water in the water holes. Suddenly, we spotted a crocodile basking in the sun, which retreated quickly into the water on our approach.

We were fortunate to see a rare Black Necked Stork and Painted Storks, Whistling Ducks, Egrets, Godwits, Pelicans, Ibis and many more in their great numbers, creating a picturesque setting.

The Green Bee Eaters were flying everywhere, while Malabar pie hornbills sang rhythmically as they moved from branch to branch on dead branches of the tree tops.

Our attention was suddenly drawn to a massive tusker, which one of our members had spotted and shouted to us to halt. Although we have visited National Parks several times before, it is the first time that we spotted such a big tasker. Though Kumana bears and leopards evaded us, we were happy that we had been able to see many animals during our journey.

As dusk began to fall, we reached the gates, barely making it before the closing time of six along with some fellow nature lovers to bid adieu for yet another exciting adventure.

Source:
Sunday Observer 2

Buried glory on the East Coast

Having passed the overgrown lush greenery along Siyabalanduwa to Lahugala on the A4 (Colombo-Batticaloa) Road, we suddenly glimpsed a strange landscape when we passed Sengamuwa. About 10 kilometres beyond Pottuvil, on the A4 Road, we saw a stretch of barren paddy field dotted with small houses and ubiquitous herds of goats and cattle lazily grazing. Most villagers plied the road on bicycle, a popular and cost-effective mode of transport, where fishing and farming are the mainstay.

As we entered the crowded Pottuvil town, mostly populated by Muslims, it reminded me of the swarming dens of Colombo’s slum dwellers. However, the haven of windsurfers, world famous Arugam Bay, lies on the Eastern boundary of Pottuvil. The white sand dunes stood out like immaculate rocks scattered along the sandy coast. For thousands of years, these mighty dunes have protected the land from progressive sea encroachment. Beneath these white sands, lies buried, the glorious past of our heritage.

Our destination is Muhudu Maha Vihara in Arugam Bay at Pottuvil. Continue reading ‘Buried glory on the East Coast’

AbaY is on What’s Up !

Times have changed!
Since this web site was established – the first ever Tourist related one on our island.
About 20 years ago.
Static Web Pages.
And also semi outdated Facebook Pages (like our own “Arugam Surf”) were hugely popular earlier. But  are less exciting and less relevant these days

Why?
Because they are not updated regularly.

As a result, Arugam Bay has moved on.
And is now very well presented on
WhatsApp
Below is a mini Directory almost daily updated Groups.
We invite you to Join us!
Just use the links provided, if any (or all) are of interest to you!

AbaY Tourist Self Help Group

AbaY Restaurants / Delivery

AbaY Chat & Humor

AbaY Amazing Offers

AbaY NOW-Live Events only

AbaY Debtor List

AbaY Events, Parties etc.

AbaY Surf & Sports News

Note:
Other Groups and pages will be added.
Some of the above are moderated.
Others are FREE for everyone to post & Publish – anything

 



 

SCOTT & LILA – S. L. Music Video

Everyone in the remote Bay of Arugam
Remembers fondly this amazing Duo!
They performend nearly every night in various AbaY Establishments.
And delighted audiences specially in the 
Old Siam View Music Pub. 

Here is their new music release.
Thank you so much for your help!

Hi everyone, we would like to share a new song and music video of our duo SCOTT & LILA
 
“Told You Once” Music Video in Sri Lanka
https://youtu.be/5wX8U8I3_7Q
Simple Link:
https://ampl.ink/x6y8z
Follow those two awesome, talented Musicians Here:
https://linktr.ee/SCOTTandLILA?utm_source=qr_codeh
Hope you enjoy, and thank you all for the support
?
__________________________________________________

Sponsor a Beach Clean Up!

Sponsor a beach Clean Up

Waste Less AbaY

May Day!

Relocate to sunny Arugam Bay NOW!

The main Surf and holiday season has just begun.
And as there are indications of travel restrictions:
We strongly advise anyone to travel across NOW.
Otherwise you might remain stuck in the South, West or North.

Arugam Bay has been VERY lucky and most fortunate that not even One single C-19 case was ever confirmed.
And also our shops and restaurants remained open throughout.

Let’s keep AbaY safe & Secure – but also enjoy the unparalleled freedom this remote Enclave offers.

Seriously Now: S.L. is open for Visitors !

We are Happy to report and confirm that the progressive Government has relaxed rules for Tourists and Visitors with immediate effect.
The graph below essentially says it all.

This is for Real and an ideal summer time to visit and surf in glorious Arugam Bay!

“ASQ” in AbaY ! – From 1st. April

2021 High Season, Arugam Bay!

Hello Yellow Again!
“Safe & Secure”


In order to revive the badly damaged tourist industry wise authorities have announced sweeping plans to assist all Tourist Board approved  enterprises.


Just in time for the East Coast Main Season, as from the 1st. April the entire Arugam Bay area has been declared to be a designated Tourist Quarantine Bubble. Also known as ASQ.


Below is a summary of the main innovations and concessions:

  1. Tourists must land at designated Mattala Rajapaksa Airport
    It’s just just 2 hours from AbaY
  2. No stops allowed on route to AbaY
    It’s just just 2 hours from AbaY
  3. The Military will re-establish the Old Bridge Control Point
    a. Between the Muslim town of PottuVille and AbaY
    b. The only way in or out of our remote resort = Safe & Secure!
  4. All passengers will be tested and checked in at this point
    a. PHI – Public Health inspectors from PottuVille will attend
    b. PHI – PS| They done an outstanding, excellent job in this area. Not one single C-19 case here!
    c. If negative: FREE entry to the AbaY region will be granted
  5. Tourists are then welcome to stay in ANY establishment in the Bay
  6. Tourists and surfers can freely move around and socialize at any time
  7. No Masks or Muzzles requirement will be enforced
    = As this realistically can not be monitored in a Surf, Fishing and Farming  Community anyhow
  8. To boost Tourism even further
    a. Liquor Licenses will be issued automatically. Free of charge
    b. Duty free shops will be opened in the Bay itself. Unlimited purchases for foreigners!
    c. Parties and events will be allowed at all times. No permits required
    d. Visas are offered to all suitable and interested  surfers and Visitors until end 2021
    e. Special Seasonal East Coast Beer will be supplied. At discount prices.
    f. To create worldwide attention and act as FREE a global promotion:
    g. The Old CORONA is Out – Caruna Extra  is Inn !
    see link below

    Traditional East Coast Beer

    New Non Lion Beer launched just for Arugam Bay (2010)

PS|
A small technical irritation needs to be resolved.
That is what to do when visitors eventually – if or when after a year or so – they decide to leave glorious Arugam Bay?
Departing back to their homeland, once tested negative (for C-19..;-) presents no issues.
But what to do if they wish to remain in Sri Lanka, or are Nationals of this amazing Nation:
A quarantine period of 14 days in …Colombia might be unavoidable 😉

Paul. Topps it. In AbaY

Russian karaoke singer, a book launch, wine tasting and the tattooed man: The Whinging Pome at the Arugam Bay

Jezzabel and I set off at 8 AM from Colombo and expect a six-hour journey to get to Arugam Bay on the east coast of Sri Lanka but with non-stop driving. I know it won’t be six hours even though Jezzabel has packed enough egg sandwiches for a full day family bus trip.
Our Muslim driver Neaz is not a “speedy Gonzales” but we must thank god it’s not a Friday with prayer stops. We get on the expressway, heading south till it finishes, then take a short dual carriageway, then a fast empty road to our destination, The scenery is changing from arid areas to a green lush landscape with lakes, lagoons, and stunning views. With these changes come the herds of goats, then buffaloes walking in the water, back to herds of thin white cattle that remind me of cows I’ve seen in parts of India. In the middle of nowhere, the road is so straight and the trees are planted at uniform spaces, creating a guard of honour for the passing traveller. It reminds me of France with plantain trees which were said to give assistance to Napoleon’s troops moving in difficult weather conditions. These trees today are thought to be responsible in some way for one in eight road accidents in France.

We are finally in the village of Pottuvil, taking sharp rights and lefts through shanty houses in a strong Muslim area, then to Jetwing Surf, which is ten minutes from the more famous Aragum Bay. You can’t surf in front of this hotel as it’s too rocky and rough, and I ask the manager “so where do I surf?” Looking me up and down with some doubt about my surfing profile he says “a few minutes away.”

Whenever anyone uses the phrase “a few minutes away”, I’m always sceptical. In India, this can mean an hour.

“Is this running, walking or driving?“ I retort.

We don’t get to the recommended beach but in fact, some people rank this area as one of the best surfing locations in Asia during May to September, along with other locations of some fame such as Whiskey Point, Crocodile Rock and Elephant rock.

This is a very modern beach hotel with a funky reception area, a collection of circular chalets, and an open dining area overlooking a curved pool and the sea. The chalets are large and extremely well designed with lots of space, a big bed and a chilled outdoor bathroom.


The criticism we had heard of the hotel prior was that there is no air conditioning. As I pass the back office of the reception I see a mobile aircon unit and it’s not long before it’s in our chalet, with three fixed fans on full blast. My princess, Jezzabel likes a room ice cold when she gets to bed. I generally have to extensively cover myself as its too cold for a white boy from Africa. It’s good that we are all different but our different requirements for bedroom temperature generally results in me having less sleep and constant phlegm. Too much detail you may say, but bedroom temperature disputes amongst couples are more common than you think.

It’s a long weekend in Arugam Bay and likely the last of the season. Those who are here are from Colombo to enjoy the beach and party, or others who have just forgotten to go home. Some belong in the “unwashed” category. The last time I was here was two weeks before the Tsunami in December 2004. I recall staying at the Stardust hotel and canoeing along the river. Sadly the hotel and the town were hit quite hard by the Tsunami, both losing lives. The town is now a thriving tourist location, though given it’s post-COVID, it’s hard to spot many foreign tourists. Those that are here have likely exceeded their visa period and have no desire to go back to their home countries, which are still being hit hard by the COVID phase two.

Jezzabel is off to the “Hideaway”, one of the few larger hotels in the town. She is meeting girlfriends and to listen to their local heart-throb. Actually, Jerome is a Sri Lankan Aussie as is my wife. I’m off to Siam View, an institution here in the town and well known across the island to all who have visited A-Bay, as some call it. Fred, the owner has been in Sri Lanka for over 35 years, gives me a warm greeting. I’ve known him for twenty years. Fred has had a colourful life with a Maltese/ German background but always comes over as a carefree Englishman, with ten or more kids, I’m not sure he knows the exact number. His Thai wife is a really lovely lady who always has a beaming smile and a friendly greeting. His property was hit by the tsunami but Fred bounced back into business very quickly. It is the go-to place, everyone meets there and there is never a dull moment with music, musicians, karaoke etc.


At Fred’s place, I encounter a rather opinionated and overweight Ex British navy chap who says he is a secret squirrel working for the British Government, tracking undesirable Sri Lankan’s who are trying to get into the UK illegally. Exiting from the conversation as quickly as I could without being extremely rude I meet up with some friends.

Amazingly I find a wine I’ve never seen before, a Malbec blended with Pinotage, a great wine for the price. When I get the bill for the wine there is some mix-up, and the barman/waiter seems to have over-charged me. He is so laid back, he is nearly horizontal, and a few sharp words follow. We will meet again tomorrow.

Night two and its the launch of my book on the east side of Sri Lanka, “The Whinging Pome – To The Point.” The venue is Fred’s place, Siam house.
I check if all my wines are here where I left them the night before, in the fridge. They are all there and I explain to the barman how the night will flow and what his role will be. It is 7.30 PM and my guests are meant to all be here. I ask Fred for the list of attendees, and he gives me some 36 names. I ask how many have confirmed, and he tells me none, which he says is typical of the folk in A-Bay. At eight my first attendee arrives. She is a Russian karaoke singer in a short white dress who tells me she sings every night at the place. My second attendee, or so I thought, is a partially clothed white man who tells me his body is tatted from head to toe. Turns out he works part-time at Fred’s place.
Its 8.30 PM and as Fred had promised a crowd has arrived. A bigger issue for me then became the fact that the barman had gone AWOL, turns out he didn’t like my comments from the night before had walked off the job. At 8.30 PM I’m sharing the podium with the Russian whose dress only just covers her boobs, the tatted man whom I think believes he is a rockstar, my book display and a set of drums.

It’s my first book launch/wine tasting where I’m pouring the wine, serving it, and talk at the same time.

The Whinging Pome’s Random Rule No 185: Learn how to multitask. Prove the ladies wrong, men can do it!

Despite the chaos, I sell about 15 books, 5 to the local MP’s son. Not sure if he was sober. If he was then no doubt he would want them for free. A bunch of airline pilots who have just had their employment contract cancelled are hitting the wine. We have now over fifteen nationalities at the event. In between all of this I need to get the next wine out.

The Russian lady in white is bashing out a Russian song. By ten-thirty the numbers have swelled to beyond sixty people. I’ve got a deaf, out of tempo chap on the drums and the Russian lady giving it her all whilst trying to keep everything in her dress. The night continues with more book signings and characters now believing they are at a full Karaoke event grabbing the mike, whilst random people think they are Ginger Baker, the drummer of the bands Cream, Blind Faith, Hawkwind and more.

This I think is a new book launch concept; Books, Ballards, Booze, Boobs.

The next day we have the opportunity to visit the Kumana National Park but I’m keener to enjoy the beach and visit a few temples than visiting a bird sanctuary. It’s also about thirty kilometres from the hotel and my beach is in front of me and my first temple which is dated at 2nd BC is 4 kilometres away. The location is on a very wide beach, and its histhttps://thewhingingpome.online/russian-karaoke-singer-a-book-launch-wine-tasting-and-the-tattooed-man-the-whinging-pome-at-the-arugam-bay/?fbclid=IwAR186xAXgXlyiqA9LwCJa7sixdAk6TsAGNkWxnPX8yP7PgBU6V68oqiG6Egory is linked to Princess Devi being washed up at the location and some monastery being built. This is the third location in Sri Lanka where this same story is set.

Wifey finds some friends who are staying close by in another hotel and they take a Jeep and head to the park. Jokingly on their return, I make a jibe about “how were the birds?”. I’m bombarded with how great their safari was. This included sightings of two different leopards, an elephant charging their Jeep, and lots of other non-bird species.

So it’s another day, another road, and we are heading to Batticaloa. I don’t think this town is ready for The Whinging Pome but actually, after the Arugam Bay experience, anything and everything is possible.

Source:
https://thewhingingpome.online/russian-karaoke-singer-a-book-launch-wine-tasting-and-the-tattooed-man-the-whinging-pome-at-the-arugam-bay/?fbclid=IwAR186xAXgXlyiqA9LwCJa7sixdAk6TsAGNkWxnPX8yP7PgBU6V68oqiG6Eg

Air Force bombs Lahugala. With MAS seed

 

Sri Lanka Air Force said it had seed-bombed a 60 acre area in Lahugala in a reforestation bid in the fourth such operation conducted so far with material supplied by MAS Holdings, an apparel group.

The mission was organized by the Command Agro Unit at SLAF Base Katunayake under Air Commodore Suharshi Fernando with the Forest Conservation Department and the University of Peradeniya.

The mission is part of efforts to boost Sri Lanka’s forest cover from 27 percent to 32 percent by 2030.

The seed bombs were dropped today from a Mil Mi-17 piloted by Wing Commander Venu Silva Flying Officer Lahiru Chandrasekara.

Over 70,000 ‘seed bombs’ from dry zone species of Ehela (Cassia fistula), Mee (Madhuca longifolia), Karanda (Pongamia pinnata), Mailla (Vitex altissima), Tamarind (Tamarindus indica), Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna), Koan (Schleichera oleosa) and Madatiya (Adenanthera pavonina) were dropped.

“MAS Holdings contributed to this project by providing seeds which were used to fabricate seed bombs,” SLAF said.

The first bombing mission over Ranorawa Government Forest had been conducted in 2018 as a pilot project over a five acres with 5,000 seed bombs.

In 2019, another 67,000 seed bombs were dropped over a 60 acre area in the Lahugala forest in Ampara

In December 2020 30,000 seed bombs were dropped over a 5 acres land area also in Lahugala National Park.

The SLAF said its Command Agro Unit is gathering data to monitor how seed bombs have germinated and are growing in changing environmental conditions. (Colombo/Jan15/2021)
Source:
https://economynext.com/sri-lanka-air-force-bombs-lahugala-with-mas-seed-77867/

Winter: The Best Season in AbaY !

Arugam Bay is known for the Best Surf on this island.
True.
But little is known that as from November our Wild Life is even more awesome to admire.
KUMANA of course is famous for migrant birds.
But did you know that even from the Arugam Bay Bridge – walking distance from any hotel -:
You can admire Wild Elephants?

Truly Wild Elephants all around AbaY

Un

View from the AbaY Bridge

like Pinnawala or Udawalawe and other Parks it comes 100% FREE.
Free in Nature, Free animals, Free as NO entrance Charges!”
Name one other destination being as blessed as remote Arugam Bay!

Where to Surf and Where to Hang Out

What has been Recommended in Arugam Bay

Arugam Bay was a modest fishing village, known for its scenic coastline. What many didn’t know though, was that its ocean had some of the best waves in the world for surfing. This began to change in the 70s, when the first surfers started arriving in the area.

The locals, warm-hearted and friendly, taught these tourists about the lay of the land and made them feel part of the community. In turn, the locals got the chance to learn about its surf culture. And a vibe of learning and sharing grew organically, which gave life to the Arugam Bay we know and love today.

The East coast surf season begins as the North Eastern monsoon ends nearing May, and continues until October. If what you are looking for is a mellow experience with fewer crowds, early on in the season, between late May and July, is better suited for you. If you are a more weather-beaten surfer looking for crankin’ waves, as someone familiar with the lingo might say, then the best months for you are from July to September. This is when most of the breaks are working.

Here are four surf spots, apart from the main surf beach in Arugam Bay, that you absolutely must explore!

Surf spots

Elephant Rock
https://lakpura.com/elephant-rock-point

Nestled about 4 km away from the main point in Arugam Bay, Elephant Rock used to be a lesser-known surf spot in the East Coast.

Its waves break to the right from the vantage of the surfer. These waves are known as a right. They are also pointbreaks, meaning that they wrap around the protruding rock before rolling along the coastline. The height of these waves ranges from 2 to 6 feet.

Its gaining popularity now – not only because of the waves but also because of the views. You can climb the rock to immerse yourself in a stunning sunset, and maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of the elephants freely roaming around.

A word of caution: avoid the lagoon nearby, because it has crocodiles.

Peanut Farm
Image from https://whiskeypoint.info/

Urani village is the home of the Whiskey Point, the second most sought after surf point in Arugam Bay. It is about 15 km North from the Arugam Bay beach and takes about 30 minutes in a tuk-tuk.

Its right-hand, pointbreak waves can reach between 2 to 6 feet in height and are perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers. During the months of May and October, the village becomes animated with surfers bustling about. In the evenings, music permeates the shoreline as many of the surfers mingle.

Lighthouse

Found along the Komari beach stretch, about an hour’s drive away from Arugam Bay, Lighthouse is a less crowded spot reserved for veteran surfers. Its waves break to the right and come to life in the months of July, August and September. Even if you aren’t a pro-surfer, it is a must-visit, simply because of the spectacular coastal vistas.

A 15-minute walk further to the north from Lighthouse will get you to Green House, another surf point you might want to explore.

Surf schools and hangout spots

The experience of anyone absorbing the surf culture of the East Coast is incomplete without knowing where to learn to surf and where to unwind after a long day or surfing. It’s part and parcel of the “surf culture”! So here are a few spots you don’t want to miss out!

Surf n Sun

This family-run joint is just a few minutes’ walk away from the main surf point in Arugam Bay. It has very humble beginnings and a history that spans three generations.

In the beginning, surfing for them was a way of escaping the war. As time went by, they started surf guiding and showing their visitors some of the secret points they knew.

Today they have ISA qualified surf instructors, all of whom are locals from the village who have been surfing in the local spots since their childhood.

Hideaway

This is another spot that is nearby the main beach in Arugam Bay. This was built in 1979 as a holiday home by the Tissera family and is still run by members of the family. They have gathered unique local knowledge over the years and have many contacts that will enable you to have one of the best experiences of the East Coast.

The fusion and traditional Sri Lankan cuisine they offer is often prepared using organically-grown and locally-sourced produce. Hideaway Blue, their café, has amazing coffee. Oh! And Hide & Chill Bar is one of the most renowned watering holes in the region.

Sababa Surf Cafe

This is an underground, minimalist restaurant, bar and chill-out spot facing the beach at Whiskey Point. You will not find it on social media, but on a Friday, which is the party night at Whiskey Point, Sababa Surf Café is the place to be! And you are sure to have a memorable experience, with DJs playing full-on electronic music till hours way past the dawn.

Lighthouse Beach Hut

Lighthouse Beach Hut, as the name suggests, is located at Lighthouse Point. It is an eco-friendly, simple joint run by Ranga. On one side, it faces the beach, and calming greenery envelops all other sides.

Their restaurant is an excellent hangout spot where you can meet surfers from all around the world, and their rice and curry is prepared using freshly delivered fish, seafood and produce sourced from their very own organic farm.

There are also many other small joints that add to the momentum of the peak of the East Coast season. So go off the beaten path, do a bit of exploring on your own, and uncover colourful secrets of the Arugam Bay culture that only a few may know.

Source:
http://www.pulse.lk/travel/east-coast-surf-culture-where-to-surf-and-where-to-hang/

Wind blows where the surfer goes

Preparations for the forthcoming surfing competition at Arugam bay are perfect according to Hiran Ukwatte the president of the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka that will play a major role in conducting the event.

Already there are 15 foreigners who have entered to participate in the Open event and some local surfers will be included so that they will be exposed to compete with foreigners.

The main event for local surfers is the National event that has attracted 50-plus competitors. The numbers will be restricted so that the events can be worked off in two days.

“Enthusiasm to surfing among the Sri Lankan community has gathered momentum and already a large number of enthusiastic surfers and crowds are heading to Arugam bay to prepare for the event,” said Ukwatte.

“The beach at Arugam bay is quite wide and can accommodate a large number of spectators. Besides, surfing has become a natural habitat to the people there. Even the people in the South tend to take to surfing naturally. It is like going to bathe in the sea for them,” added Ukwatte.

There are about 50,000 surfers in the whole of Sri Lanka and the Surfing Federation conducts the Nationals in three stocks per year. The first was held in Madhia early this year and the second was held in March in Hikkaduwa and this one in Arugam bay will be the third stock.

These events are held to bestow rankings and those who are really good will receive automatic admission to foreign competitions. The first national surfing event was held in 2018 and the Federation will conduct three stocks for the year to complete the nationals.

“There will not be any trials for selections and the top two rankings will be sent for the Asian Championship while four will be selected for other international events,” said Ukwatte.

“Surfing has become a lifestyle for the people living close to the beaches. Almost all of them go free surfing to enjoy themselves. There are many movements too to manoeuvre in surfing on surf boards of different sizes. Those used in competitions are the short board and many surfers are skilled to tackle the waves accordingly,” said Ukwatte.

source: http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2020/09/20/sports/wind-blows-where-surfer-goes

 

Sports revenue to reach US$ 1 bn within five years: Namal

Sports will be made a US$ 1 billion revenue-generating subject within the next five years, said Minister of Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa.

He was speaking at the launch of the Lanka Sportreizen organised Open/National Surfing Championships which will be held on September 26 and 27, at Arugam Bay.

The Minister said that his plan to convert Sri Lanka Sports to a US$ 1 billion includes the local manufacture and export of sports equipment, sports apparels, and services to the world.

He is also said that hosting water and adventure sports events can also woo high spending tourists to Sri Lanka and hope to work with the Ministry of Tourism in this regard. “It will also be a good destination marketing tool for Sri Lanka.” He also said that professionalism should be introduced to sportsmen and women.

“Today parents specially in rural areas consider a child taking to sports as a burden to the family. This should and will be reversed. The sportsman in a family should not only bring honour to a family but also revenue. The fabric in sports will be changed in this manner,” he assured.

He also said that professionalism would be introduced to sports bodies as well and they will also look at the financing aspect of sports associations.
Lanka Sportsrizen is a leading Destination Management Company in Sri Lanka which has been in the forefront of promoting Tourism through Sports and Adventure has organised the event.

“In fact, we were planning with the World Surf League to conduct a similar event in September in the East which did not happen due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic which brought Worldwide activities including tourism and sports to a standstill, said Chairman LSR Tilak Weerasinghe.

He said this event is organised in order to revive both sports and tourism on the advice of Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Youth and Sports, who himself is a keen surfer.

This event will be conducted with the blessings of the Ministry of Youth & Sports and the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka to coincide with the World Tourism Day which falls on September 27.

This Event is expected to reawaken the interest that the sporting fraternity has on surfing since the period from January 2020 has not seen any event taking place in the Eastern Coast of Sri Lanka due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Furthermore, stakeholders in the Eastern Province who have been starved of business with the break of the virus will be able to sigh a relief about the future of their livelihoods with the conduct of this event.

Weekly Int. DJ Competitions @ AbaY

AGAIN!
Regular Event/weekly:
Friday, 14th August 2020 –
At the Old Siam View Hotel, Arugam Bay

Awesome DJ Event at the Old Siam View

Demonstrate Your Music Styles and Skills.
On the Best Sound Systems and most modern Decks
Best DJ will be Judged by a panel and Rewarded.

FREE to attend – as always.
Plus:
Awesome Bar Deals – and Food Stalls, too
Hopper Stand
Hang Loose Pizza
Authentic Thai Food
Authentic Pakistani Biryani
Perera’s Local Delicacies!