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THE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE

The road to Arugam Baya??. A surfera??s paradise. This story ran in Gulf aira??s inflight magazine, Gulf Life. The images have also been used by CNN Traveller and by the Metro newspaper. Ita??s an arduous journey to Arugam Bay. Even after making it to Sri Lankaa??s capital Columbo, ita??s a further twelve hours along dusty roads.But this is a small price to pay for the amazing scenery and wildlife youa??ll see.

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Famous for its glorious west coast resorts and elephant safaris, Sri LankaA?is a firm tourist favourite. But the east coast of Sri Lanka representsA?uncharted waters for most. Home to pristine beaches and a laidbackA?lifestyle, Arugam Bay is carving out a niche for itself as a surfingA?paradise. Natacha Butler visits the countrya??s latest safari hotspot to catchA?a few waves

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Ita??s a little after sunrise on Sri Lankaa??s east coast and at Arugam Bay theA?first surfers are out. Tousled-haired local boys and wave-chasing touristsA?breeze across the golden sand with well-worn surfboards tucked underarm.A?They head to the end of the long beach, to Main Point, where six-foot wavesA?rise and roll to shore.A?a??Ia??ve been surfing for 12 years, twice a day, everyday,a?? says Fawas Lafeer,A?the 26-year-old head of the Arugam Bay Surf Club. a??I love it,
I cana??tA?imagine life not surfing, which is why Ia??ll always live here; the waves areA?really good.a?? The waves are not just good, they are some of the best in theA?world, which is why surf-lovers have been making the journey to thisA?far-flung sleepy community on Sri Lankaa??s east coast for decades. In theA?1960s and 1970s they would set-off from the capital Colombo on an arduousA?nine-hour cross-country car journey on a barely-there road. Most wereA?Australians and Europeans chasing the thrill of an Indian Ocean ride.
Entranced by the breaks and a sweeping curved beach lined with palm trees,A?several ended up staying, helping to transform a poor fishing village intoA?the nationa??s top surf spot.A?a??Back then people came from everywhere,a?? says Anglo-Dutch civil engineerA?Fred Netzband-Miller, who arrived at Arugam Bay to surf in 1977, fell inA?love with the place and decided to call it home. He now runs the localA?hoteliersa?? association. a??It was the combination of quality waves and aA?beautiful beach.A?Although therea??sA?not much rain ita??s a very lush placeA?because of the rivers. Ia??ve travelled the world, but Arugam Bay is unique. a??The bay became such a hot destination in surf-circles that travellers neverA?abandoned it despite the shock of the devastating 2004 tsunami, whichA?battered the Sri Lankan coast on 26 December claiming more than 30,000A?lives, including one in ten people in Arugam Bay. They also defied nearlyA?three decades of deadly civil conflict between Tamil Tiger rebels and theA?Sri Lankan military. a??During the war surfers still came, they did not stop,they were not afraid,a?? explains Lafeer. a??You know surfers only think aboutA?surfing,a?? he laughs. Continue reading ‘THE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE’

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PM makes revelations about a “mansion” in Arugam Bay

…….“Sri lankaa??s best beach is in Arugam Bay” ……
Addressing a public meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe revealed facts about a mansion that was being built in Arugam Bay.

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The meeting was held in the Uluwitige area in Galle.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe speaking at the meeting expressed these views,

a??Recently I located a palace. It is bigger than the Buckingham palace. This was found in Arugam Bay. This palace also has a name. It is called the International Coordinating Headquarters. What we have found here are chalets, in other words holiday bungalows. There were 57 chalets. They were VIP chalets with pools. There are three pools. This is in the sea and it is 100 feet long. Sri lankaa??s best beach is in Arugam Bay. There are pools here. What is the purpose of this. Can international coordination be done from Arugam Bay Canon imageprograf ipf755 prices ? For whom are these built? Now we have put a halt to it. They have already built 15. Only walls have been put up and we have stopped further work. The Parliament has not given approval for this. Money from the Presidential Secretariat has been given for this. All financial regulations have been violated. Who paid for these? When these expenses were stopped, we could lower the fuel prices.a??

Minister of Mass media and Parliamentary affairs Gayantha Karunathilake too expressed views at the meeting.

a??They filled their pockets with commissions from road construction. This government will initiate a new beginning where everything will be done in a transparent way. All this would be done within the one hundred day programme.a??

http://newsfirst.lk/english/2015/02/pm-makes-revelations-mansion-arugam-bay/78216

Lessons Learned?

Arugam Bay. Pushed from pillar to post And largely left on it’s own. 10 years ago.

All beach front dwellings were destroyed. Waves up to 17 meter high

All beach front dwellings were destroyed. Waves up to 17 meter high

Sri Lanka, the tsunami and the evolution of disaster response COLOMBO, 24 December 2014 (IRIN) – On the morning of 26 December 2004, Mohideen Ajeemal, a fish distributor from Sainathimaruthu, a village on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast, hurriedly climbed a coconut tree to escape rapidly rising seawater. As he did so he saw his young daughter and son struggling to save themselves. “I found both bodies later that afternoon. My son’s body was swept away about a mile, my daughter’s had got stuck in a fence,” he

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said. A decade later, the 45-year-old said he finally feels safer next to the sea. “Now I check the weather regularly, I have SMS alerts on my phone that warn me of possible dangers,” he said. On 15 November 2014 when a 7.3 magnitude earthquake was reported 150km northeast of the Indonesian island of Maluku, an SMS alerted Ajeemal that there was no danger to Sri Lanka. Continue reading ‘Lessons Learned?’

Nostalgia at AbaY

Update 04/ July 2015:
AbaY is developing.
Fast:
1.) The CEB now provides pretty reliable Power (Electric)
2.) The SLT now has two fiberglass Internet connections
3.) The a/c buses do not run anymore. :-((
4.) The water supply costs double now.

Otherwise:
Purchase norvasc Arugam Bay is still OK, romantic and beautiful.
Back to the original article:
***********************************************

Nostalgia at AbaY

Coming from the re-vamped modern City of Colombo to Arugam Bay is like a trip into the past.
Escape the progress!

Millions spent on uplifts

Millions spent on uplifts

However. Once you reach the poor East Coast and the Bay of Arugam. You will find:
Daily. And often All Weekend Powercuts.

Daily Power Cuts

Daily Power Cuts

So What?
It’s a perfect setting. For a romantic candle lit dinner by the beach. Under the clear star-studded sky.

A trip back to last century

A trip back to last century

Water supply cut off every day?

USAIDS Water supply

USAIDS Water supply

No problem!
Cool down and have an inviting ‘sea bath’ in the clear, blue ocean in front.

Plenty of clear water available

Plenty of clear water available

No street lights

No street lights

No Street lights? Even on the brand new USAID 14 Mill. $$$ bridge?
Mind your way – avoid the open drains

All drains are open

All drains are open

Internet disruptions?

Unstable Internet at AbaY

Unstable Internet at AbaY

A perfect opportunity to talk to fellow travelers!

Most places have Free Wifi in the Bay. But often the connections are poor

Most places have Free Wifi in the Bay. But often the connections are poor

Luxury Bus Service not coming?

Usually 20:30 departs

Usually 20:30 departs

Ideal! To remain in the dark ages.
At Arugam Bay. After all, this is our island’s most promising, Government declared, tourist Resort!

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A Royal Visit

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A Royal Visit

The Royal Enfield Club of Sri Lanka
Had a brief stop – over at Arugam Bay
This Sunday lunchtime.
On their way back to Colombo from Batticaloa.

Two British Icons

Two British Icons

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HOME AWAY FROM HOME

As with most Asian countries, ita??s not necessary to book accommodation, or anything else, in advance when visiting Sri Lanka. However, I knew that Ia??d be arriving into Arugam Bay in the middle of peak season aka surf season and so I emailed a couple of places to see whether they had any room. Most replied saying that they were full, with the exception of the Siam view hotel, whose reply was, well, intriguing:

No problem, dear Tom-Tom.
Just make your way.
(“But “Don’t mention the War” 😉
Drop in.
And all will fall into ita??s place.

No worries.

Arugam bay, and this hostel both sounded like my kind of places, and they havena??t disappointed. The town itself is a small, relaxed, hippy surf town, pretty much a Sri Lankan Byron bay. Except that ita??s much cheaper a?? a coconut costs less than 50 cents a?? is less busy, has pumping waves and there arena??t the stupidly strict drinking rules that exist in my usual hippy paradise. So far so good, then I got to the hostel.

AbaY Beach in front of the YMCA

AbaY Beach in front of the YMCA

The YMCA is right in the centre of town, and it is the first hostel Ia??ve come across in Sri Lanka, the first time that Ia??ve had air-conditioning, and the cheapest accommodation Ia??ve found. I wandered into the only dorm room, and I wandered into a new family. The floor was covered in sand (sorry Fred), a mouse ate through my iPhone case and 500 rupees, the power is intermittent, and I used a towel as a bedsheet for a week, but the YMCA is everything a hostel should be.

YMCArugam's Road front

YMCArugam’s Road front

Ita??s full of fascinating and fun people, inspiring quotes cover the walls, and the relaxed approach of the owners makes for an incredibly welcoming atmosphere. The guys running it didna??t even know that I was staying for the first 4 days, and Ia??ve now been here 7 days and I still havena??t paid for one yet, a perfect environment for someone that hasna??t had a house key for over a year.

YMCA Philosophy

YMCA Philosophy

Little Derek (great name for a baby!) runs around the hostel naked, therea??s a brightly painted VW camper can parked in the garden, and the locals chat to you while youa??re using the outdoor showers, with butterflies swooping overhead.

The owners, of various hippy and traveller backgrounds, even offer the rooms for free on couchsurfing.com if theya??re not occupied by paying guests. When I asked one of the owners why theya??re so relaxed, the response was a fairly obvious one: when youa??ve lived through a tsunami, nothing else seems worth worrying about.

If I ever do own my own hostel, I want the atmosphere to be based on this one. I wona??t make any money, like the guys here dona??t, but Ia??ll have a great time with great people and thata??s what really matters to me. Unfortunately, however, all good things must come to an end, and most of our family have gone their separate ways, despite staying for far longer than planned, and I will leave tomorrow too. Fortunately, thata??s because I have to catch my flight to the Maldives for some more sun, sea and surf, life is tough right now!

Message Wall

Message Wall

source / original post:
http://travellivedream.com/2014/08/11/home-away-from-home-away-from-home/

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Above is just a small selection of nice feed-back from our passengers and guests.

This is in answer to unprofessional so-called local “Drivers”:

The A?helpful “Taxi” Mafia of Arugam Bay
Has vandalized the innovative , popular
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We should name & shame those guys.

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Remember. That We don’t get one single Rupee out of this Initiative.
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2014 Bridge-to-Bridge walk

Cheap flomax prices Every year. Around the 1st July. Our local reporter takes his simple camera. And takes a walk. From one end of Arugam Bay to the other. This Walk from Bridge-to-Bridge has become a tradition.

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The only 2 bridges to AbaY have changed

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It presents a unique insight into AbaY’s Rise & Fall Take a look. Compare. We just publish a few of our older photo walks here. Others are already online. Older ones are still only on paper.

Here is the 2014 update:

https://plus.google.com/photos/101968069429174151738/ albums/ 6031103895977137009

Here is a link to 2010:

https://plus.google.com/photos/101968069429174151738/ albums/ 6031368911009405969

Here is an older link to 2006:

https://plus.google.com/photos/101968069429174151738/ albums/ 6030971341259036577

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ARUGAM BAY: YOUR SURFING HEAVEN

A travel report by Crazzy Travel

ARUGAM BAY: YOUR SURFING HEAVEN

Wea??ve been to many beaches, swam in many oceans and seas, but wherever we go we will always remember two weeks we spent on the most unbelievable beach in the world. We love literally everything about Arugam Bay and now ita??s high time for us to share our experiences with you.

What is Arugam Bay?

That is a 3 km long beach, situated on the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Waves here are big (the Indian Ocean, you know), and fishermen huts are tiny. It used to be a little forgotten village until it was discovered by surfers in middle-late 20thA?century. Since then, every June and August (high season), ita??s crowded with people in search of their perfect wavea??

Why Arugam Bay?

Because ofA?SURFING! It holds the 5thA?place in the list of worlda??s best surfing spots, and doesna??t seem to slow down. You dona??t need a special swim suit, license, or anything. Just come, and surf. The spot is perfect both for beginners and advanced surfers. You can take classes for just 1000 rupees ($10) and hire a board for just 800 rupees/ day ($8).

Dona??t take surfing classes

We took surfing classes and dona??t recommend it. Better learn on your own a?? just ask a tourist wherea??s the nearest spot and watch what others are doing.

Illia after 2 hours of surfing, happy and tired 🙂

How to get there?

There are two direct buses daily from Colombo to Pottuvil (a town near Arugam Bay). The bus number 98 departs from Pettah Bus Stand in Colombo at 04.45 AM and costs 400 rupees ($4). The journey takes approximately 7 hours. Then take a tuk-tuk to Arugam Bay for 500 rupees ($5).A? Otherwise, you can always hire a minivan for 18000 rupees a?? $180 (share it with other surfers to save money!).

Tuk-tuks are ready to help you out anywhere, any time of the day or night.

Where to stay?

We stayed at a lovely Sooriyas guesthouse (free WiFi, movies and cartoons, quality writing service, clean bed sheets,A? air con + fan, A?monkeys in the garden) and paid for 3000 rupees per night ($30). However, there are cheaper options, starting from 1000 rupees ($10). They are good as well, but without air con and with noise from the restaurants nearby.

Where to eat?

As most places on Sri Lanka, all restaurants in Arugam Bay have very slow service (you can easily spend 1-2 hours waiting for your meals). The only way to avoid this is either to eat at food stalls for locals (not extremely clean), or choose restaurants run by Europeans (like Gecko restaurant, for example a?? more expensive, but faster and cleaner). A meals for two would cost you around 600 rupees ($6).

Isna??t it lovely? Most places in Arugam Bay have their little surprises.

Here is our small selection of the best restaurants at Arugam Bay:

Mamboa??s a?? located right near the point, a bit overpriced, but one of the greatest places to chill out and eat after surfing (they even have ping pong and pool!)

Chili a?? best pizzas

Samanthia??s Order speman tablet Order endeporte a?? very cheap local food, spicy!

Hakeem a?? cheap, close to European food, closed on Fridays

Gecko a?? very expensive, but fast service

Siam View a?? great for drinking

Plus, dona??t forget about Sri Lankan unique bakeries on wheels: they come around 5-6 pm, play silly childish music so that you know they arrived, and sell extremely tasty and cheap bakery stuff (be sure to try their muffins!).

Anything to do except surfing?

Of course! You can enjoy hammocks on every corner, swim in the ocean or play ping pong. There is a nice Buddhist temple, yoga classes and numerous gift shops.

Something else I should know?

Again, yes. There are a lot of Muslim men working as tuk-tuk drivers, shop owners, etc. at Arugam Bay, so, girls, avoid walking wearing only bathing suit along the main road. Otherwise, you will experience irritate looks and hear someone shout at you. Also, the majority of such shops and restaurants are closed on Fridays.

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One of the surf schools in Arugam Bay.

Did we inspire you to add surfing in Arugam Bay in your to-do list? Or maybe you are surfer and can share with us your experiences? In any case, wea??re waiting for your comments!

About us:

Illia and Nastia

Wea??re a couple in love with each other and traveling. Wea??ve been to 32 countries, and it was amazing.

CrazzzyTravel is where we tell our story.

Want to get in touch? Contact us atA?crazzzytravel@gmail.com or via the form below!

source:
http://crazzzytravel.com/arugam-bay-surfing-heaven/

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Leseprobe: Der Krokodilfelsen

This article was first published 4th June, 2006
It’s an extract from a Travel Novel of events set in Arugam Bay. The recently deceased “Ram” of Sooriya’s plays a huge role in this great Book. Sadly only in German.

Autorin:
Claudia Ackermann

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Like in the Novel. Is it all Real?

Ich erreichte den Mitternachts-Express gerade noch rechtzeitig, suchte mir einen Platz und sah aus dem Fenster. Ein Tourist drA?A?ngte sich A?A?ber den Busbahnhof. Er kam nur langsam vorwA?A?rts, denn auA?A?er seiner Reisetasche trug er noch ein groA?A?es Surfbord unter dem Arm. RA?A?cksichtslos schob er damit die Passanten zur Seite, die ihm im Weg waren. In letzter Sekunde erreichte er den Bus, aber da schon fast alle PlA?A?tze besetzt waren und im Mittelgang Taschen und KA?A?rbe standen, weigerte sich der Fahrer, ihn mit seinem riesigen GepA?A?ckstA?A?ck einsteigen zu lassen. Der Surfer stellte einen FuA?A? in die TA?A?r, die Spitze seines Bords ragte bereits ins Innere des Busses. Aggressiv und drohend redete er auf den Fahrer ein, und an seinem Akzent erkannte ich, dass er Australier war. Er war groA?A?, bestimmt einen Kopf grA?A?A?A?er als der Fahrer. Sein KA?A?rper war muskulA?A?s und durchtrainiert, aber der Busfahrer, ein schmA?A?chtiger, hagerer Mann, lieA?A? sich davon nicht beeindrucken. Um so lauter der Australier sprach, desto sturer wurde sein GegenA?A?ber.
A?a??A?Das Brett braucht so viel Platz, wie zwei MA?A?nner”, behauptete der Busfahrer. A?a??A?Du musst drei Tickets kaufen.”
Nach langer Diskussion, die die FahrgA?A?ste interessiert verfolgten, entschloss sich der Australier schlieA?A?lich, den Preis zu bezahlen. Schimpfend wuchtete er sein Surfbrett in den Bus und kam direkt auf mich zu, denn neben mir war noch ein Platz frei. Continue reading ‘Leseprobe: Der Krokodilfelsen’

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