Archive for the 'the bay' Category

AbaY remembered

Nate Berkus And His Husband Have A Beautiful Way Of Honoring Nate’s Late Partner

In 2004, Nate’s partner was killed in the devastating tsunami during their visit to (Arugam Bay) – Sri Lanka. But he is “definitely a part of” Nate’s marriage to Jeremiah Brent.

In 2004, it may have seemed hard for Nate Berkus to imagine happiness making its way back into his life. That year, the interior designer had lost his beloved partner, photographer Fernando Bengoechea, when the two found themselves literally swept away by the devastating tsunami that struck Sri Lanka, where they were vacationing. More than 30,000 people in Sri Lanka died in the natural disaster; though Nate survived, the pain of losing Fernando was all-consuming.

“I have the grief to contend with,” Nate told Oprah shortly after the tragedy. “But I do believe that I survived so that I would have a greater understanding both of what I’ve had, what I’ve lost and what I still have to gain.”

Slowly, Nate did begin to heal, and even found ways to honor Fernando’s memory through the years. And perhaps no one is a bigger supporter of honoring Fernando’s memory than Nate’s own husband, Jeremiah Brent.

At their 2014 wedding, Jeremiah Brent told husband Nate Berkus that he honored every part of his past and everything he’d been through, bringing many guests to tears.

Nate married Jeremiah, a fellow interior designer and the host of “Home Made Simple,” in 2014. Oprah was a guest at the wedding, where Jeremiah’s vows to Nate included a nod to Nate’s past relationship.

“That’s a part of our love story. There’s no two ways about it,” Jeremiah tells “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”. “Yes, we’re married this time, but [Fernando is] definitely a part of it.”

He continues, “I oddly feel connected to him. I honor that story.”

Nate Berkus and Fernando Bengoechea were both swept up by the 2004 tsunami during a trip to Sri Lanka. Fernando died in the disaster.

Jeremiah is also determined to keep Fernando’s memory alive for young Poppy, who Nate and Jeremiah welcomed via surrogacy in 2015.

“Our daughter will know who he was,” Jeremiah says. “We have pictures of him in the home.”

While Jeremiah’s approach seems to be one that comes with relative ease, Nate says that his own reconciliation of the past was more of a struggle.

“I didn’t know how to articulate what I needed from a new relationship,” he says. “I didn’t know how to articulate how to keep that and honor that, but still move forward without any guilt or any fear.”

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 24: (L-R) Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent attend the 2014 Good Shepherd Services Spring Party at Stage 37 on April 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)

“I worry about anything happening to [Jeremiah],” Nate admits. “I worry, obviously, because I’ve had such great loss. I don’t want to go through that again ? no one does, whether you’ve had it or you haven’t.”

Turning to his husband, Nate continues.

“You were the first person to come into my life and not be threatened or afraid, not afraid to poke the damage and say, ‘That happened. Let’s talk about it. Let’s figure it out, and how can it be part of our world in a way that’s healthy?’” Nate says. “And so it is.”

Nate and Jeremiah’s full interview airs on this weekend’s “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

A previous version of this article stated that 400 people died in the tsunami. In fact, that number referred to the people in the Arugam Bay and Pottuvil region, where Berkus and Bengoechea were staying. The total death toll from the natural disaster was more than 30,000.

source:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nate-berkus-jeremiah-brent-honoring-fernando_us_56a15f52e4b076aadcc5f6b1

Full Moon

The original article has been published 1/2/2007.
This week, with the great ATMAN TRIBE Festival rocking the Bay
People ask: What happened to the old FULL MOON PARTIES ( FMP) ?

Answer:
Due to strict Government rules Arugam Bay does no longer host a proper, traditional Full Moon Party.
Sorry!
But here is the background:
collage.jpg

The Full Moon Day or ‘Poya Day’ (like today) is not only a very special day on Koh Pang Ngan, but also has a certain relevance to Arugam Bay.
(btw: the 26th December 2004 also was a Poya Day….)

Whilst famous places like Goa and Thailand are (still?!) much more popular, attracting 10,000 or so followers, the monthly events held in Eastern Sri Lanka are almost certainly much older. If you consider the few 1960’s drop outs who came to worship the Full Moon long ago on our nearby most Easterly point of the island.
Going back in history, an official religion was registered in the Netherlands in 1966.
Critics claim that the ‘Full Moonie’ Sect may have been formed to avoid a clamp down by the local authorities at the time. And thereby followers could continue to enjoy the expression of their prescribed rituals which religious freedom guarantees under most Nations constitutions.

In brief, the founder members believed that the Full Moon possesses a certain power over mind and body. This is often been put into popular movies and there may be some element of truth in it if you observe animal behavior during such nights. The Full Moonies believe this energy should be used to meditate and to try and free ones mind – at least once a month to stay in good health.
In order to achieve this ‘cleaning of all evils’ from ones soul followers are not permitted to sleep until the sun rises. Other religions stipulate similar body control such as not eating during the day light hours etc.
As staying awake alone might prove difficult for some, stimulants and loud music as well as moderate drink (to free the mind) should be provided by the hosts:
So the first FMP was born in Europe.

In the late 1970’s two founding members decided that the open, fresh, ozone air, the open sea and most important an uncluttered view of the sun rising in the East would add to the spiritual experience.
All this proved rather difficult in marijuana polluted Holland due to cold weather. Also there is little in the way of an Eastern Sea front and the Mini European Nation has not too many palm fringed Bays either…
So a piece of land was purchased on the most Easterly point of Sri Lanka – guaranteeing warm weather, no authority interference and a clear infinite view of the open sea (all the way to Antarctica in fact).

In the beginning, just a handful of followers, first only with guitars and song, then with a car battery and mini sound system staged the ritual 12km North or sometime South of the Bay – in total privacy in one of the the open Bays dotted around Arugam Bay.
Like in Okanda Bay, Peanut Farm and Green Room or The Point at the time.
A camp fire is also a must.
Later, mainly keen surfers from Israel joined the sect as ‘free; members and small generators and better sound systems were added.
Often the music style reflected Trance or Techno as well as Ambiance and Psychedelic sounds – to assist in the holy ritual. Soft Chill-out music always followed towards the end of the session, around sun rise (see below) and Reggae was shunned.
This Century has seen a few changes. For the first time the area received mains electricity and a mini, casual police farce. The believers staged bigger and more professional events – all of which are of course to this day open and totally FREE for anyone to attend. Maybe the organizers hope to convert some dull or troubled, or too serious people to experience the benefit of strict physical exercise, like wild dance, which the medical profession agrees is actually very good for you?
(Like in any religion there are always the lazy ones, the hangers on, who abuse required rituals: At a many recent FMP a fair number of guys only tend to exercise their right arms and their bladders….:-) But it is the will to attend which counts.
Maybe one day Arugam Bay will be as popular as Goa?
Or the Thai islands?
Some say the Bay are too far from the airport. But so is Goa and Koh Samui – and it takes even longer to get there from Bangkok.
Rigth now the political situation as well as our law makers are more of an obstacle to gain wider popularity.

Some dwellers are worried of certain “Sound Pollution”.
The organizers answer: It’s only once a month and not 4 times every day, it is good to attract tourists. Full and even half Moonies are actually very high spenders!
And more so it is after all a very serious RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL.
Everyone in the Bay and the Country will see the benefit, also financially, eventually.
What else do we have to attract loads of visitors? There is a lot of stiff competition from much more stable Nations all around us. In every way.
As some see it, there is no difference between terribly loud Church bells, all night Temple Chants or frequent Mosque calls for payers:
Under the Sri Lanka Constitution religious freedom is said to be fully guaranteed. To anyone.
And who is to say what one should be allowed to believe in?
As long as the main principles are to love each other, be a good person and remain strictly non- violent?
Make LOVE – Not War! was one of the old slogans of the Early 60’s…..Has it totally lost its relevance in Ceylon?
In respect to the Buddhist Nation and local law, AbaY parties are never on the actual Full Moon Day itself. The Ceremony or ‘Party‘ finishes officially at sunrise on the morning of the actual Poya day. This is because in Asia this is the moment (about 06:00 am) when a new DAY begins.
In the mind of a converted Full Moonie the DAY does not begin in the middle of the NIGHT. They call it Midnight. In their refreshed mind the rising sun signals the beginning of a NEW Day. Do they have a point??
Flood light Beach SVHUllai Girl Dance Groupcimg0857.JPG

To avoid any possible confusion:
The liberal, happy and relaxed Full Moonies have as much to do with the controversial Korean “Moonies” as Half a Rupee with a Full Schilling:
There is NO connection what so ever with a Unification-, Fornication-, Fortification- or any other Church.
Just to demonstrate, again, scenes from the ancient rituals, taken around MIDNIGHT:
collage1.jpg

Final Comment:
Some regard it as a miracle. None of the hundreds of FMP guests, organizers or DJ people suffered any kind of casualty or serious injury on Tsunami Poya Day – although the site was of course right on the very sea front, in the worst affected area of Sri Lanka, at Arugam Bay washed out by 15 Meter waves. True Full Moonies regard this as a protection from high above and inspiration to continue the holy rituals.

Surf Competition in July

Red Bull Ride my Wave Competition

Arugam Bay gets ready for Red Bull Ride My Wave
Details and online Entry Form

On 23rd July, Red Bull Ride My Wave returns to the Sri Lanka’s surf capital, Arugam Bay.

Red Bull Surf Competition at Arugam Bay

Red Bull Surf Competition at Arugam Bay

Competing surfers will take on the waves in a head to head competition to be crowned champion of Red Bull Ride My Wave 2015.

Driven by the popularity of the 2014 event, this year’s edition of Red Bull Ride My Wave will see domestic and international surfers compete over three days on the island’s eastern coastline.

Red Bull Ride My Wave will be hosted by officials from the Association of Surfing Professionals, who will run the event as per international surfing rules and regulations, including three days of heats before culminating in the Finals on July 25th

The islanders will play with home advantage, but will no doubt face stiff competition from the international surfers. The combination of home grown and international talent promises to promote Sri Lanka as one of the best surfing destinations.

Red Bull has been actively involved in surfing events for several years, hosting competitions on every continent around the world. Surfing in Sri Lanka has seen a considerable movement from being a healthy pastime and tourism tool to one of professional sport. This has been driven by both passionate surfers within the country and Red Bull’s very own series of surfing projects. In 2013, Red Bull Sri Lanka held the Local Hero Tour with Peruvian Pro Surfer, Gabriel Villarán, who ran workshops and judged an intense competition where 30 young Sri Lankans showcased their talent on the beaches of Arugam Bay. The success of this event set the foundation for an international surfing stage in Sri Lanka, activating the inaugural Red Bull Ride My Wave last year. The competition pitted the sport’s greatest local surfers from the Eastern and Southern waters against each other in a quest to determine which region was home to the island’s best surfers. Hosted by Costa Rican Pro Surfer, Diego Naranjo, the East Coast team emerged victorious and went on to represent Sri Lanka at Red Bull Both Ways in the Maldives, where they placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

To register for Red Bull Ride My Wave 2015, sign up before July 19th 2015 at

www.redbull.com/ridemywave.

Red Bull  Background Info.

Red Bull
Background Info.

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Adopt an AbaY dog

Originally published 10/01/2010 (5 years ago)
But this issue is now even more urgent.

At remote Arugam Bay, a few hundred homeless dogs are waiting to be adopted by caring animal lovers. Please help to save them.

Adopt an Arugam Bay dog !

A sponsor has already been found to provided a suitable, safe  vehicle.
To take them to Colombo or elsewhere on the island.
All animals will be collected, fed, treated and transported with the outmost care & respect
All the Community needs is an address to deliver them to.
Please, animal Lovers:
Please do come forward and let us know where to send them to.
Before even more are run over by speeding and careless drivers on our new fast roads!
The Social Networks are buzzing.
With appeals and online petitions to stop a rumored animal cull.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-the-sri-lankan-government-from-killing-millions-of-stray-dogs/
We support this initiative!
But. What to do?
At Arugam Bay four costly  sterilization programs have been carried out, since the 2004 Tsunami.
In our  remote Bay residents and visitors are unsure if any success can be reported.
Many people are simply too scared to walk on the beach or indeed the road, specially at night. Due to large packs of hungry dogs around.
Below is a copy of one of the stories we covered 5 years ago.
The writer of this article has personally observed that one  particular, disabled bitch alone has had a litter every year since and produced 60 or so pups, most of which appear to be unwell or/and  mentally unstable …..
Something has to be done – This situation is out of control.

The article below was first published 6th Marc, 2007:
The Tsunami Animal People Alliance (TAPA) has, in the true sense of the word: emBarked on a dog sterilization program at Arugam Bay.
Operation Theater
Vets at work @ SVH
In total 300 – 400 dogs are being treated locally.
Arugam.info is informed that about 10,000 have been spayed island wide already.
It is said to be the best and most humane method of controlling stray and infected animals.
The visiting, all Sri Lankan team consists of 4 qualified vets and 7 assistants, a van, and a mobile clinic.
Arugam.info is informed that a budget of 18$/dog has been secured by foreign donors, most of which (10$) will be used for quality drugs and medicines.
Take a look at the work in the attached photo album. Continue reading ‘Adopt an AbaY dog’

Healing waters

BeitragVerfasst am: 06.08.2005 08:23    Titel:

Surfen in Arugam
Antworten mit Zitat

‘Healing watersCarolyn Fry finds that surfing is helping one Sri Lankan resort to get back on its feet after the tsunami

Tuesday August 2, 2005

Alan Stokes takes on the surf at Arugam Bay. Photograph: Carolyn Fry

On a sweeping stretch of cinnamon sand, a crowd turned its eyes to the rolling ocean surf. Local families, holiday-makers and a throng of photographers, film-makers and journalists were gathering to see the 2005 Champion of Champions surf contest in Arugam Bay, south-east Sri Lanka.
As a new day’s sun burned the sand through the fronds of coconut palms, surfers launched themselves into the water to ride the swell in a ballet of curving turns, speeding glides and twists of spray. The Boxing Day tsunami ripped through this sleepy beachside village, but the Indian Ocean’s barrelling waves are helping the community get back on its feet.

The legendary ‘right-handers’ of Arugam Bay have long attracted travelling wave-riders. During the country’s 20-year civil war, a dedicated group of Australian surfers regularly risked being bombed, or shot in cross-fire during violent battles between Tamil Tigers and the army. With the end of the conflict in 2002, more adventurers started to make the 10-hour journey along narrow, pitted roads to the famed beach.

Last year, when the British Professional Surfing Association (BPSA) held the first ever Champions surfing competition in the area it seemed things were finally looking up for this dusty, laid-back cluster of low-rise hotels, palm-roofed cabanas and fishermen’s shacks.

A message posted on the Siam View Hotel’s website at Christmas said: “The 2004 season has been the best the bay has ever seen. Nothing – not even another civil war – can stop the bay’s progress now.”

Hours later, the first of eight waves struck, sucking a metre of sand from the base of palms on Arugam Point, plucking cabanas and their inhabitants from the sand and smashing a thickening cargo of debris through the windows of the buses on the main street.

Simon, owner of the unfortunately named Tsunami Hotel, was managing the Siam View that night. He awoke to find himself underwater with his leg trapped. After breaking his ankle to free himself he was swept through several dwellings by the murky, diesel-tainted current before managing to grasp hold of some building blocks. This stopped Simon being swept out to sea as the water receded back to the horizon. Today, his faded superman tattoo has been supplemented by a fresh turquoise inking of a tsunami, along with the date he survived against all odds.

Following the tsunami, the organisers of the surfing contest were in two minds as to whether it should go ahead this year. A third of Arugam Bay’s 3,000 inhabitants had been killed in the disaster, money pledged by charities was slow in reaching the village and the bridge carrying the main road into Arugam Bay had been breached by the waves, cutting the community off for a short period.

However, when the bridge reopened in April the organisers decided the competition should take place. They felt that bringing 100 people into the village would serve as an impetus to get hotels rebuilt as soon as possible as well as injecting much-needed cash into the local economy.

“Everyone worked very, very hard to put it in place,” said Ralph Pereira, managing director of Travel and Tours Anywhere, which developed the contest in conjunction with Sri Lankan Airlines and the BPSA. “We didn’t know for sure that it would go ahead or whether there would be sufficient hotel rooms until six weeks beforehand.”

Guesthouse owners had certainly been hurrying to rebuild and reopen rooms damaged by the tsunami. At Hideaway Guesthouse, where I was staying, the front part of the garden was still a building site. But the main building, with its colonial tea plantation feel was homely and clean, with plump pink and orange cushions brightening rattan chairs.

Before the tsunami, surfing had been a mainstay of the tourism economy right around Sri Lanka’s southern coastline. The island’s south-west has the best waves from November to April, the south-east from May to September.

When Arugam Bay’s right-handers tailed off with the onset of the monsoon, surfers simply headed west to Hikkaduwa, where plentiful hotels and beach villas stood among lush gardens of banana and bourganvillia.

Recreating this surfers’ paradise in the wake of the tsunami has not been easy; with compensation payments from the government yet to materialise, most tourism enterprises have had to rely on their own funds to rebuild their businesses.

“We lost all our watersports equipment,” explained Thilak Weerasinghe, managing director of Lanka Sportreizen. “I didn’t get a cent, but luckily we had built up the business and can afford to rebuild.”

The Travel Foundation and Association of Independent Tour Operators (Aito) are working with the Sri Lankan government, local communities and environmental groups to help people affected by the tsunami regain their livelihoods by developing responsible tourism initiatives.

A number of projects have been earmarked for assistance, including a plan to create a sustainable fishing village. Visitors will see fish being brought to shore and sold, enabling fishermen to benefit from tourism while maintaining their traditional role in society.

Another scheme aims to revegetate land affected by the tsunami, using native plant species. This will include research into using mangroves for coastal protection. Funding for the projects will come from money already pledged by Aito members and donations from customers.

Back in Arugam Bay, there are plans to use money raised by the UK surfing fraternity to build a community surf foundation. Tsunami Surf Relief UK (TSRUK) has so far raised £30,000 through charity auctions and events and has allocated a third of this to building a new surf centre. As well as being a focal point where local surfers can meet, the foundation will help generate cash by offering board hire and surfing lessons to visiting tourists.

“We felt the community would benefit from having a centre offering surf-board hire and perhaps swimming lessons and life-guarding,” explained Phil Williams, national director of Christian Surfers UK and a trustee of TSRUK. “The break at Arugam Point is world famous for its waves and surfers from around the world go specifically to that area. In the three or four years after the ceasefire and before the tsunami, more and more surfers were coming to A-Bay; it was a much more prosperous place than before they came.”

As the surfing contest hotted up there was something of a party atmosphere on the beach. Dozens of coloured flags rippled in the tropical wind along the path to Arugam Point where glassy turquoise waves curled invitingly around the reef.

Judges assessed surfers on their turns, style and risk-taking, while waiting competitors nervously flexed their muscles, waxed their boards and contemplated their chances of winning the £2,000 prize money.

For the Sri Lankan surfers, many of whom lost friends and family in the tsunami, preparing for the contest helped them overcome their fear of the ocean. As each entered the water, the 100 or so villagers seated beneath the palm trees lining the shore cheered and whistled their support.

“The contest has been hugely important for morale after the tsunami,” said Phil Williams. “It’s sent out the message that, while Arugam Bay isn’t quite yet open for business as usual, it’s back on the tourist trail.”

Way to go

Getting there: Sri Lankan Airlines (020-8538 2001

), offers 11 flights a week from Heathrow to Colombo. Fares start at £450 return plus taxesWhere to stay: Travel and Tours Anywhere Ltd (0208 8136622) offers surfing holidays to Arugam Bay and Hikkaduwa. A 15-day holiday to Arugam Bay including flights, transfers and B&B accommodation in a guest house costs from £699pp. 14 days in Hikkaduwa costs from £599pp. Hire of boards and surfing lessons can be arranged

When to go: The waves at Arugam Bay are best between May and September during the dry season. During the off-season, Sri Lanka’s main surf spot on the south-west coast, Hikkaduwa, has good waves

Further information: Sri Lanka Tourist Board (020-7930 2627), arugambay.com’

http://travel.guardian.co.uk/c…..60,00.html

Continue reading ‘Healing waters’

The Island

Arugam Bay. And the progress.

"The Island" article

Environmentalists, nature lovers and some holidaymakers are up in arms against the rapid haphazard development taking place in Arugam Bay which is one of the most sought after and un-spoilt tourist resorts in Sri Lanka.

Michelle Mitchel of Sydney, Australia, born to Sri Lankan parents, expressed her displeasure at the adhoc and rapid development taking place in the area and added if the government allowed the trend to continue, very soon the country would see that the steady flow of tourists to the resort would reduce drastically.

Michelle Mitchel of Sydney

Mitchelle in an interview with “The Traveller” after holidaying in Arugam Bay said that the tourism authorities and other stakeholders should make every effort to protect the area and ensure that there was no overdevelopment in the resort.

Arugam Bay with its pristine and un-spoilt beaches, the laid back and rustic atmosphere had attracted thousands of holidaymakers to the country. Another reason why it has become popular all over the world as a destination among tourists is because Pottuvil Point is one of the best surfing areas in the world. Pottuvil Point has attracted large number of surfers from different parts of the world and it is a gold mine for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry which should be protected at any cost,” she said.

Building of high-rises and similar construction , overdevelopment and overcrowding would definitely ruin  the  character of the area  and it would become just another tourist resort  with a concrete jungle  which would eventually result in holidaymakers who loved the ‘paradise’ turning to other exotic destinations in the region or elsewhere and this could be a dangerous precedent, Mitchelle said. Continue reading ‘The Island’

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

As with most Asian countries, it’s not necessary to book accommodation, or anything else, in advance when visiting Sri Lanka. However, I knew that I’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 it’s place.

No worries.

Arugam bay, and this hostel both sounded like my kind of places, and they haven’t disappointed. The town itself is a small, relaxed, hippy surf town, pretty much a Sri Lankan Byron bay. Except that it’s much cheaper – a coconut costs less than 50 cents – is less busy, has pumping waves and there aren’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 I’ve come across in Sri Lanka, the first time that I’ve had air-conditioning, and the cheapest accommodation I’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

It’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 didn’t even know that I was staying for the first 4 days, and I’ve now been here 7 days and I still haven’t paid for one yet, a perfect environment for someone that hasn’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, there’s a brightly painted VW camper can parked in the garden, and the locals chat to you while you’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 they’re not occupied by paying guests. When I asked one of the owners why they’re so relaxed, the response was a fairly obvious one: when you’ve lived through a tsunami, nothing else seems worth worrying about.

Sadly. They left

Sadly. They left

If I ever do own my own hostel, I want the atmosphere to be based on this one. I won’t make any money, like the guys here don’t, but I’ll have a great time with great people and that’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, that’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/

Arugam Bay Taxi Initiative News

Satisfied Passengers
Have made their decision!
The Arugam Bay Taxi Initiative’s
Trusted Taxi Sub-Contractors have set new,
HIGH standards:

Satisfied Passenger Comments


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

Someone is spoiling it. For everyone.

Visitors: The Choice is Yours !
How you will travel and
Whom you give your business to.
In future.
Remember. That We don’t get one single Rupee out of this Initiative.
It is in your own interest – and everyone else’s. In the Bay.
In the long run it will be good for everyone.
Sadly, some guys don’t yet realise that. As Yet.

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2014 Bridge-to-Bridge walk

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.

The only 2 bridges to AbaY have changed

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

We’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 it’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 20th century. Since then, every June and August (high season), it’s crowded with people in search of their perfect wave…

Why Arugam Bay?

Because of SURFING! It holds the 5th place in the list of world’s best surfing spots, and doesn’t seem to slow down. You don’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).

Don’t take surfing classes

We took surfing classes and don’t recommend it. Better learn on your own – just ask a tourist where’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).  Otherwise, you can always hire a minivan for 18000 rupees – $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,  air con + fan,  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 – more expensive, but faster and cleaner). A meals for two would cost you around 600 rupees ($6).

Isn’t it lovely? Most places in Arugam Bay have their little surprises.

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

Mambo’s – 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 – best pizzas

Samanthi’s – very cheap local food, spicy!

Hakeem – cheap, close to European food, closed on Fridays

Gecko – very expensive, but fast service

Siam View – great for drinking

Plus, don’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.

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, we’re waiting for your comments!

About us:

Illia and Nastia

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

CrazzzyTravel is where we tell our story.

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

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

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Germany -to- Australia by “Boat”

What a remarkable Australian Lady!
She retracts a historical journey
Done in the 1930’s by a Germany adventurer
(Oskar Speck)
All the way from Germany -to- Australia

Great! That she stopped by at Arugam Bay !

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Crocodile Rock Legend “Ram” Cremated

https://www.facebook.com/OldArugam?ref=stream&hc_location=stream

Arugam’s History and more photos on the above link

1951 – 2014

Sooriya's Main Entrance

The Unique Sooriya's Hotel

(This article was first published with a different headline 9th Febr. 2007)
**********************

The entire Bay is in shock
We have been informed of the loss of our Greatest legend:
Guru RAM of Sooriya’s.

We  have just been notified that the cremation will take place today
In or near PottuVille Town.
Monday, 17th February, 2014 at around 15:00 hrs.
Our local correspondent will attend and report.

Everyone is VERY, VERY sad.
What a great loss – what a great, humble man he was.

Sooriya’s Story
img_9978.JPG

The above photo, taken in Arugam Bay today tells a long story in one single shot.
Shown is Ramana Sooriya with a copy of the Travel novel by Claudia Ackermann.
“Der Krokodilfelsen” is based on true events in the early 1980’s, focused on Ulla village which Arugam Bay was known as then.
Arugam.info will provide more details, one is working on an English translation of this relevant and interesting novel. We also have added a direct link to Amazon for you to be able to order any book directly through our site.

Arugam’s Building ‘Boom’

2014 Mid Feb. update:
The Bay of Arugam
Is developing
New buildings are going up everywhere
Even a shopping mall is said to be under construction

Still, there is a shortage of good quality rooms
New capacity is being added now.
Questions? Want to participate?
Free advice here:
http://www.arugam.info/contact-us/

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Valentine’s Weather report

arugam.info and “Arugam Surf
are being asked, daily, what kind of weather we have  ?
Right now, in the so-called “Rainy” Season.
Instead of long replies, here is our answer:

So why is there nobody in the Bay?
Because the Travel books state:
It’s “Off” – Season in the beautiful East !

If all fails. There always will The AbaY High Tech Met. Station to inform you !

“Tourist” Police shuts down Info pages


“Tourist” Police action shuts down AbaY’s Info pages

This week the so-called “Tourist” Police raided the premises of arugam.info‘s only sponsor.
The resulting fine – for a small technicality, held up by the local in-famous ‘Red Tape’ came to about 1 year’s salary.
That alone took everyone by surprise.
With no funding we can no longer continue to support this as well as all of our other Tourist Promotion initiatives.
Sorry!

Arugam’ “Tourist” Police Station


This Community and Tourist promotion web site
Plus all our other, associated  Info & promo pages, worldwide
are strictly non-commercial.
They are paid for and maintained by a private initiative only
As bad luck has it, all annual hosting fees are due now.
Our sponsors are forced to pay a huge fine (Rs./ 100,000) or $780

That means that any further support for Tourism will come to a halt, due to cash flow problems. This usually pretty minor case was caused by weird police action over the sale of a few bottles of local BEER.

All other “Tourist” Resorts in Sri Lanka do NOT face similar drastic action and totally over the top penalties. Why Arugam Bay?
Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Happy New Year 2014


Our unique weather is fine & mellow.
Most hotels have plenty of vacancies
Why not see the New Year in with us, at Arugam Bay?

The Siam View will host a NYE Party. For sure. Like every Year.

Come and Join us – be the first to welcome the New Year!
We, on Sri Lanka’s most Easterly side are well ahead…. 😉

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