#22 Rocco’s Hotel

Prometrium how much cimg0325.JPG

website button Cheap haldol classification Email button

#22 Rocco’s Hotel is a relatively new development formerly known as Tourettes’ Hotel.
Situated in the middle of the Bay, with main road as well as open beach access it has a perfect position. Well away from smelly, but colourful fishing operations.

The actual hotel has a strange, but appealing architecture sporting multiple roofs and terraces. The original seaside bar, ‘Rocco’s was washed away in December 2004 and subsequently replaced by a similar, but not quite as nice structure made entirely of natural materials. The main building was near undamaged and reopened early 2005.

#22 Rocco’s is a partnership of local, successful businessman Naleen, UK’s red Steve and New Zealander Ralph. Fellow Kiwi David, who in 2002 designed and constructed Roccos appears to have lost interest and has not been seen since 2004.

Whenever Steve is in residence and control of Rocco’s it is a well run, popular place with about 10 nice bedrooms.
The development occupies also includes a very fine position. A clear view towards surf point is truly memorable from a few additional rooms situated next to the bar. This little piece of prime land was purchased in 2005 from Mr. Haniff and added to the Rocco’s complex. Popular fast talking cook Haniff used to run his busy little restaurant named Food Garden from this very location before he moved to #23 Food Garden position on the main road, opposite.

Update, December, 2008:
The #22 Rocco Beach Bar has been re-designed. Yes again.
Now we have building No.:A?A? Mk3 in place.
The new building is in the same-same location. But a much lower construction.
The effect is said to be more cool – due to cross wind effects we presume.
The roof is made of clay tiles and not “Cajan” (Coconut leaves) as before.
In addition, the earlier land mark ‘landing strip’ lights have been replaced with better garden light features.

Roadside view of #22 Rocco's Hotel

Roadside view of #22 Rocco's Hotel

7 Responses to “#22 Rocco’s Hotel”

  • “Very cool and relax place”
    Reviewed December 9, 2011 NEW
    All way by taxi for almost 12 hours (with stops) to A-Bay worth it 🙂
    We arrived at 8 p.m, and it was amazing! Smooth lights in the dinning area, ocean`s thunder somewhere in the dark behind the fence.
    We (me and my husband) were so tired, but all this atmosphere just completely restore my life-powers. We were asked by James (i think he is a host) about our trip, after that he offered us beer: “Hey guys, maybe you want some beer?”. We said: “Yeah, sure, it will be great!”, after that James show us our room (we ordered beach one, right on the beach in front of ocean), and left us unpacking. Room were small, clean, with big bed with mosquito net on it. Of course, bathroom and toilet are included. :)) Water was comfort temperature.
    Dinner was just great, though i think it was too much for one person.
    So we stayed here for 6 days. Food was great, beer was great, music was great, staff were great, all guys were very talkative, and friendly. We played volleyball on a handmade beach field.
    Distance to main surfing spot is good, about 7 minutes i think.
    Only one minus i found out: because of not many staff, food sometimes were cooking too long. 🙂
    Definitely will come back again.
    p.s. it was pretty hard to book anything for that time. also we booked from rocco`s a taxi. cost was around 150 dollars one way. cost for one night was 35 dollars, what i think little bit to much for sri lanka:)

    Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    Value 4
    Location 4
    Sleep Quality 4
    Rooms 5
    Cleanliness 4
    Service 5

  • Loved the previous comment.

  • Some of the sky pictures look like they could have been taken from the movie The Golden Compass.I’d love to see one of those in my lifetime.

  • I was wondering.. Can you reccomend me a good start level mouintainbike?

  • Would not recommend Roccos to anyone specially of the service levels and quality. Heading away from Roccos came across an awesome place “Beach Hut”. Best place to be at.

  • ` very interesting stuff to read ` thanks Rocco ` as its been so long since I`v been there “ by the way anybody who just lands in mt lavinia and needs a driver ` with wheels ` 7 seater mini 4wd van “ txt me on 0777521129 ` may peace dawn soon to the ABay region and the rest of the northern regions of sri lanka “

  • Archive for the ‘Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-East-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Ramblin’ Category
    Unawatuna – Arugam Bay- Sri Lanka – Shooting stars, AK47s, 3 men on a bike!
    Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

    Unawatuna – Arugam Bay- Sri Lanka
    Shooting stars, AK47s, 3 men on a bike!

    10th-12th June 2007

    I do this trip many times and on most occasions it is a straightforward 340km drive or 200 of your imperial miles. Of course, I would not be writing this if the last trip had been straightforward; “Nothing happened” is not entertaining reading and even I can not abuse the spelling and grammar of such a short statement.

    I was in Unawatuna to look at and test an air compressor I had purchased off eBay – just love it; £50 delivery, Falkirk to Wood Green, £41, Wood Green to Sri Lanka. I am starting a dive centre further along the south coast in Tangalle later this year when the season starts, November.

    I was also in Unawatuna to collect wood samples for another project, that of exporting coconut wood to Dubai, USA & Europe. Four great samples of 2′x4′x 4ft, each one brilliantly coloured from 50 year old trees and heavy, 20kg apiece. Four months I have been trying to get the right quality; watch out for “Coconut Wood Flooring” – awesome! They play a part in the story to come (if you read on that is).

    Anyway, set off at 9.30am, 6hr drive, home by 3.30pm – yeah, right. All goes well, making good progress until I pass the “gateway to the east” Monaragala; 80kms, 50 miles to go, 2.30pm.

    There are three checkpoints on this section of road, all good security, the last of which closes its doors at 6pm until 8am; therefore if you do not make it by 6pm you will be sleeping in or on your vehicle; bus, van, lorry or bike, whatever.

    Because of the current “Conflict/Political” situation we have become “Prisoners of Pottuvil”. I’m all for vigilance and security in these uncertain times but given the recent history of calmness in the Pottuvil area, Arugam Bay especially, we never see or hear of the LTTE; this is unnecessary propaganda but, hey, “it is what it is” (shortly to become the “strapline” for Rocco’s Hotel).

    With this in mind I am very happy with my progress – until the rear tyres screech to a halt on the downward section of narrow, potted road, jokingly called the “A4″ halfway between the towns of Monaragala and Siyambalanduwa.

    Years as a mortgage broker are fun & lucrative but it is the years of being a Kwik-Fit fitter (”they’re the ones to trust”, jump & shout “Hey”) that prove to be of most benefit in these circumstances (if only they knew). An inspection of the rear end indicates that the main leaf spring has snapped, if any other of the 5 leaf springs had snapped I would have been able to limp home the remaining 40kms, however the main spring is the one that holds the rear axle in place, 1991 Nissan Caravans were not designed with a “floating” rear axle, therefore it was imbedded in the rear wing!

    Sri Lanka is a wonderful place to break down (vehicle not mentally!) especially in the countryside/jungle, no one is going to pass by the opportunity to help an obviously in need visiting foreigner. Before long I have a crowd of sympathetic looker-on’s all humming and haa-ing at the predicament, some even diagnosing the “spring, problem, having”.

    I am a member of the AAC “Automobile Association of Ceylon” (free parking & cheapest members’ bar in Colombo, worth every rupee). £9 a year and valid with the RAC in the UK? Card in hand I contemplate a rescue service 300 miles from their only office on a Sunday afternoon… contemplation over, no signal on phone to call, dawn!

    It’s 3.30pm before I realise the only solution is to strip to the waist (commando so not going any further) and set about removing the offending spring and get a replacement. This is fairly easy to do for someone of my mechanical background – if I had the tools!

    As I jack up the van & remove the rear wheel a gentleman announces: “I am director of education for the Monaragala district, what seems to be the problem?” I am lying on the dirt-covered A4 trying to smash the axle back in place with a large rock so I can at least unblock the road, sticking my head up from under the van I now have at least 20 “lookers-on” all with their vehicles waiting to pass!

    No-one is cursing or abusing me, well not that I can understand anyway, then another voice says “Rocco’s”. Two guys recognise me from Arugam Bay, insurance salesmen we insure the hotel with, young guys who now explain to the crowd what a wonderful individual I am, what I do and where I live – or at least I hoped that is what they were saying.

    After explaining the situation, the three of them depart on their bikes to search out the required tools for me. In the meantime, I carry on trying to get the axle in a position so that I can roll it off the road. With the help of the crowd we eventually succeed.

    Traffic flowing again, my new-found saviours return not only with the required tools but also the owner of the tools, a local mechanic. He gets to work immediately after the 20-minute introduction and assessment of the problem, removes the spring, hails a tuk-tuk out of nowhere -”Welding doing,” I am told.

    My three saviours introduce themselves; they get me water, biscuits plus a chair to sit on, converse best we can about their jobs, why I am in Sri Lanka and why I am not married – “How do I survive?”

    Mechanic is back, spring welded, he will fit, needs large rocks or wood to prop the axle…. Ah, those 4×2 samples, looks of astonishment as I produce the required “props”, casually bringing them out of the van as though I knew this would happen. They mutter amongst themselves making gestures, looking around. “Rope” the director of education informs me, he needs rope to tie axle; strange but true I have 5 lengths of half inch blue rope in the van. More looks of astonishment, “torch” the director of education announces, again I go into the van and produce a large diving torch! Can never be too prepared!

    6.30pm I am back on the road, 30 miles to go at 10mph so as not to stress the welded temporary repair, 9.30pm home if I can blag my way through the check points………To be contd………

    Part 2.

    2 hours, 20 miles on I make Siymbalanduwa, last town before Pottuvil taking me through elephant-infested jungle, 8.30pm, checkpoint closed at 6pm. Mmmm… I know, go to bus stand find nice policeman who is heading to checkpoint, give him a lift, he will get me through, great plan. Also phone Naleem, brother & business partner let him know of problem so he can pull a few strings. I find said policeman, all covered, home by 10pm.

    Wishful thinking; spring gets me 10 of the remaining 20 miles before giving up again. Now I am really in the middle of the jungle, again in the middle of the road, admittedly not a lot of traffic around but still. Dark as dark can be, no moon, no lights anywhere other than the van’s.

    Luck would have it that there is an exposed rock of the right size that if I reverse hard against should push the axle back in line so I can get off the road. It works! I get out of van to be greeted by sounds of chatter and giggles.

    If I was in the same situation in France, the only French I can remember of my schooling is “Je m’appelle Steve” or “Ferme la porte” others I can remember were learnt behind the bike sheds and would be classed as insulting, so I am greeted in the jungle by unseen people trying desperately to remember their English schooling, “your name?”, “my name”, “what country?”, “Gold Leaf”, “Married?”, “Children?”, “Problem!?” – think the last was about my predicament not my lack of spouse or could have been a statement about his spouse??

    Eerie to be talked at and reply to a black space, you can sense the presence of people but believe me it was so dark I could see no-one! I turned the van lights on, another crowd of people looking on with concern and a touch of excitement at having a foreigner in trouble on their doorstep.

    This time it was not how to fix the van, no point dealing with the impossible, now I just wanted to get home, a night unprepared for jungle sleeping, mosquitoes, elephants – way to extreme for me, even with wood, rope, baked beans, sausages etc in the van (did some basic needs shopping in Galle before leaving Unawatuna).

    One of the on-lookers has a tuk-tuk but cannot take me to Arugam Bay, just the checkpoint. We unload van into 3 wheeler tuk-tuk. Policeman has left as late for duty because of my slow progress, hope Naleem has made those strings jangle!

    No evidence of the checkpoint being pre-warned of my and my belongings’ arrival, however mention Naleem’s name and “OIC” – Officer in Charge – gets me a chance of a phone call… No signal! Sergeant even tries. Now how does this work? My Sri Lankan, Dialog SIM card shows no signal; calls are 3p a minute, my UK 02 roaming SIM shows Dialog, full signal, £2 a minute!!! Works; Naleem is coming to get me, local tuk-tuk driver is not allowed or happy to go through checkpoint, so Naleem will collect me from the other side as I am allowed to walk through. Job done, thank God for that.

    Sergeant takes pity on me when he hears the full story from Naleem, sends his crack troops to get me water, chocolate & fruit juice, supplies a seat and storage for my belongings. Tell me where else such generosity would happen? Not just here at the checkpoint but all the people who have turned what should have been a 14hr horrendous experience to one of fun, adventure, learning and simple humbling at how I have been helped.

    Sitting at the checkpoint drinking my juice, looking up at a brilliantly clear night sky, shooting stars scratch a line across the blackness, clinking of AK47s, sound of a transistor radio broadcasting Sri Lankan music cuts in with the National Anthem, every soldier stands to attention salutes an imaginary flag, I sit not knowing if I should join them. Then I hear “Steve Jones”.

    Naleem has arrived…. On his motor bike 150cc Honda Hero, I hate riding pillion, something about the position starts off an old injury created by a horse called Wurzill (not going to explain); but wait, Naleem is not alone, he is riding pillion, Mushraff a good friend has come as well!

    Three men on a bike! I’d guess at 270kg, 40-odd stone to travel 10 miles on the worst the A4 has to offer, not to mention sitting that close with my legs straddled around another guy. Saving grace was I was not the one in the middle!

    11.30pm, home! Beers with Naleem, Mushraff, a couple of guests and discuss events of the day and arrange to get to Monaragala next day, buy new spring, shocks and fit them.

    Following day we did exactly as planned, guess what? As I got stripped for fitting action a mechanic rode by and offered his help to remove & fit spring. See, get your kit off and everyone rallies round to prevent you from having to. What complex? I don’t have a complex, yet.

    9am we commenced journey, 5.30pm we arrived back, van spring & shocks replaced, new friends made, belief in people’s generosity renewed, not a bad couple of days. Power steering went on the way back but that’s possibly a tale for tomorrow

    Posted in Arugam-Bay-East-Coast-Sri Lanka-Blog, Arugam Bay-East Coast-Sri Lanka – Safety, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-East-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Ramblin, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-Esat-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Guest B, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay – Esat Coast – Sri Lanka – G | No Comments »
    Update Arugam Bay 21/05/07
    Monday, May 28th, 2007

    If you go down to the Peanut Farm today, you’re in for a big surprise!

    ABay remains quiet, with a trickle of interesting, adventurous, curious visitors. Good news is that looks like picking up in June with a good number of enquiries plus a Dubai surf tour company looking to book with us, http://www.surfingdubai.com

    The idea being to bring Dubai’s overheating ex-pats (It is 40 degrees C there and can reach 50 over the coming summer months!) to cooler climes (35ish) and teach them to surf on one of Asia’s top 10 surf points; “The Point” Arugam Bay!

    However “The Point” can be a little daunting for beginners & newbies, that’s where the other “Breaks” around ABay offer milder waves once the sand has built up. Potty point, Crocodile Rock & Peanut Farm all are great spots to surf once they are “working”

    With this in mind, myself, Naleem, Ralph & guests; Rosie & Andy, took the potholed road down to Peanut Farm to check out it’s current state.

    As we drew in 2 surfers were leaving, boards tethered to the roof of a “Tuk-Tuk” after a day surfing on their own; so break is working.

    Peanut Farm is beautiful rocky bay, no guesthouses or hotels just a few tree houses for those that want the full “Robinson Caruso” experience.

    The surfers leaving must have had some good advice because on walking back to the van, Rosie was marching ahead of us disappearing around a bend in the path , then she reappeared, marching faster towards us back around the bend, flushed, urgent whisper of “Elephants!”

    This is the first time I have met up with Elephants on foot at close range; other “scary” incidences have been behind a protecting windshield?

    Between us and the van was a family of two juveniles maybe 3 & 7ish plus two guardians/mothers, one of which was a large stature of a mother. We moved forward with caution, Naleem at the head with a piece of plastic pipe (makeshift stick or blowpipe!?) Ralph with a rock & me with a camera (heavy but not for throwing!)

    We could see the larger mother give a typical warning, throwing grass and dust over her back; I’d witnessed this behaviour elsewhere, before being charged by protective mothers! So we were more than a little twitchy! Slightest signs or sounds in our direction had us scampering up a 3foot rock escarpment! Not sure it would protect but sure made us feel safer at the time!
    Eventually Naleem, communicated “please go away, we mean no harm” i.e. hollered at them and waved his arms up & down, not recommended, an impression of a screaming pelican holding a piece of plumbing but it did the trick!.

    Conclusion- They is big, they is scary at close range, they is prowling around dusk & dawn and Peanut Farm is working also a beautiful place to chill!

    Steve “Elephant” Jones

    Photo’s posted on http://www.roccoshotel.com & http://www.lookinglost.com

    Posted in Arugam-Bay-East-Coast-Sri Lanka-Blog, Arugam Bay-East Coast-Sri Lanka – Safety, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-East-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Ramblin, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-Esat-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Guest B, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay – Esat Coast – Sri Lanka – G | No Comments »
    Safe arrival & drive to Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka.
    Monday, May 7th, 2007

    Well I have just driven over to ABay from Airport via Colombo, Unawatuna and along the coast road. Nothing to report really, nice scenic drive, apart from the 48hr of torrential monsoon rains on the West Coast! Never seen anything like it, just standing still visibility was zero, like looking through an opaque bathroom window, (smells to match in some places!)
    Met up with friends en-route and all is calm on the ground.
    Night flights have been suspended and the road to Pottuvil (Closest Town to ABay that you drive through, is closed from 5pm each night to 7.30am)
    Security is tight in Colombo but as a foreigner I was not stopped or hindered in any way.
    There are many police check points en-route; the majority are “drive through” to slow you down so the police can have a look.
    One check point on the way to ABay you have to pull over and be checked out.
    The bay is quiet, waves are long rolling 3-6 at the point, other breaks are working as the swell dictates. Sun is out & I am a very happy man, in a bizarre and confusing country!

    Latest photo’s of hotel & recent trips into Yala West earlier in the year, are in the photo gallery.

    Posted in Arugam-Bay-East-Coast-Sri Lanka-Blog, Arugam Bay-East Coast-Sri Lanka – Safety, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-East-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Ramblin, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-Esat-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Guest B, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay – Esat Coast – Sri Lanka – G | No Comments »
    Buckley -”Everyones Best Friend” RIP 2004 – 2006
    Monday, October 9th, 2006

    Those of you who have visited Arugam Bay, Rocco’s Hotel or Tsunami Hotel will have been jumped on, entertained and generally amused by the lopping Rhodesian Ridgeback; Buckley.

    Unfortunately, he died 3 days ago, still a puppy at 2 years old.
    A hero in his day, helping our local cook Amir, regain his feet after a wall had collapsed knocking him down during the Tsunami December 2004, possibly saving his life.

    His animal “Sixth sense” giving us the “All clear” on the day of the second earthquake 28th March 2005 as we waited in the dark watching a very agitated Buckley, once he fell asleep we knew danger had passed.

    He will be missed “Man’s best friend”

    “Asleep in the sand with the ocean washing over”

    Dream Brother, Jeff Buckley

    Posted in Arugam-Bay-East-Coast-Sri Lanka-Blog, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-East-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Ramblin, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-Esat-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Guest B, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay – Esat Coast – Sri Lanka – G | No Comments »
    The old Tech and the new Tech meet head-on in Arugam Bay East Coast Sri Lanka.
    Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

    The old Tech and the new Tech meet head-on in Arugam Bay East Coast Sri Lanka.

    I have seen the future! One all of us who suffer or have suffered the daily commute to and “grind” of the office. One we might have all hoped for and dreamt about but have not got around to trying or taking the final plunge to follow; changing our daily commute to the office along with how we utilise modern technologies and communications.

    Not all will agree with it. I would embrace the way of modern technology that can add to the quality of life of our working existence.

    A new paradigm in the life of travel and earning a living.

    “Yesterday morning, I was travelling 20kms north of ABay to see a fairly large expanse of beachside land, 200 acres or there abouts, which I hope to put together a proposal of development for investors in UK & Dubai, (Here is one dilemma, development of the undeveloped beauty) in order to get excess the owner needed to contact the watchman to let him know we are coming.

    Mobile phones exist but this is an area as yet without one of those towers with the array of listening and sending devices on it so no signal.

    No Landlines for Mr Alexander Graham Bell’s invention so no telephone, fax or internet of the modern world!

    200 years ago or so the great modern invention was the “Telegraph” where a man (typically) would tap away with Mr Morse’s code sending a message to another man some distance away who could understand the “dot, dot, dot, dash, dash, dash; put it onto paper and have the local postman deliver.

    This method was the way the colonies around the world communicated, the romance of a “Telegram” arriving! Good, bad or bland messages, delivered by hand, opened in excitement of: Happy Birthday- Stop. Sorry auntie Bessie cannot make the journey – Stop. She died yesterday- Stop. Funeral Thursday – Stop.

    The first words by telegram from Mr Morse in 1844, poignant even today – “WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT- Stop”

    And this was how the watchman was informed of us ascending on him. “Man coming to see land – stop. Please show him around – Stop”

    Later in the day a friend, (Lee, owns Tsunami Hotel here in ABay) informed me by email and text and mobile call (all advances of and because of the telegram) that a friend and college (A mentor as Lee put it of his new and recent change in career) was visiting ABay and needs internet excess.

    Not a problem. Modern technology has supplied me with laptop and mobile phone that when married together in the correct way, will give you access to the “World Wide Web”

    No Lee explains he needs a faster connection as he trades on the NYSE! A Trader! Suited and booted, Rolex on wrist, special lining of bright blue to otherwise plain pinstripe suit coming to ABay???!! To Trade on the New York Stock Exchange! Have I miss heard? No. Have I missed the reality that modern technology can allow such things? No.
    Have I forgotten that this was thought to be a possibility for working from Sri Lanka? No.
    Had I never had the gumption to try? Yes.
    Had I never thought that someone would fully mobilise modern technology to really enhance their life style and make money while sitting in paradise, watching the rolling surf, palm trees & white sand beach? Yes

    So last night I had a pleasant conversation with Darren, his Father, George and Mother Susan. A travelling family unit, family comforts and values with technology, trading on the NYSE with Messer’s Goldman & Sachs all in a laptop (well 3 laptops), ready to take on the stereotype of traders and live their life anywhere in the world, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Nepal, India.

    3 Months they have been travelling in this style with another 3 months to go!

    I went to see them “Work” at a local bar with the fastest connection in the Bay 128kps, sufficient speed only for one to operate successfully. Not deterred by this, Darren shows me his screen, one that anyone who has been to or seen ob TV the readouts from any exchange, a mass of company names with numbers next to them, showing either in green (value of stock, therefore company going up) or red (value of stock, therefore company going down) a dynamic montage of colour and numbers.

    In the bottom right hand corner was the telling piece of information though; A horizontal bar that progressed left to right, also in green if he was making money and moved right to left as prices moved against him, ultimately I suppose following the “exchange” indicators of turning red if he was losing money.

    Thankfully it stayed in the green for the period I saw and next morning after his “Day” had finished; given the time difference between Sri Lanka and New York his “day” is 8.30pm to 4am early hours, quite fitting dealing or trading with the City that never sleeps!

    I left at midnight “lunchtime” but lunch is for wimps in this world. However I had consumed a few beverages so a pleasant “lunchtime nap” was needed.

    Next day I was informed that although the night had been a “neutral” one at $750 up on the night, given the drawback of restricted speed allowing only one connection, they needed to move on to somewhere else. No problem the West Coast picturesque City (World Heritage Site, no less!) of Galle would prove a stunning new “office” and will have the necessary connection speed for an operative “office”

    With all the cables, chargers, batteries and gadgets I now carry, as part of my “backpack” there is a profitable use I could put them to? If only I had the knowledge, disapline, money and motivation, not yet for me but who knows? Old dogs’ new tricks?

    One bit of information that illustrated Darren’s expertise and commitment to his career is that he has an industry formula named after him the “Darren Formula” and people who come into professional contact with him on realisation say “Ah, so you are Darren”.

    On the other end of the scale, I operate the “Steve screw up formula!” I do get the same greeting “Ah, So, you are Steve!” the intonation of their voice is likely to be a little less impressed!”

    Steve Jones
    ABay, Ticker, Ticker exchange

    9th March 2006

    Other famous Telegrams:-

    April 15, 1912, the Titanic sent its last wireless message.
    In 1933, Western Union introduced the singing telegram and became the source of a famously macabre joke: A woman, finding a Western Union messenger at the door, exclaims: “Great, I’ve always wanted a singing telegram.” No, she’s told, it’s just a regular telegram. The woman pleads. The messenger finally sings.
    Robert Benchley, arriving in Venice for the first time sent to his editor of The New Yorker.
    In 1897 to illustrate Spanish atrocities in Cuba
    Mark Twain heard that his obituary had been published, he telegrammed from London in 1897.

    Posted in Arugam-Bay-East-Coast-Sri Lanka-Blog, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-East-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Ramblin | 1 Comment »
    Arugam Bay Road Build by the Community
    Friday, August 25th, 2006

    6 December 2005
    Arugam Bay Rebuild Road
    One Road – Self Help

    What a day! Blisters, redder face than normal but a day of achievement and personal satisfaction! A unique day!

    Today the community of Arugam Bay did something to support it’s self and paid for it! Cash! It helped itself to help itself (you know what I mean) and improve the community.

    Began a couple of weeks ago when a meeting was advertised by Fred at Siam View; It did not happen the first time but we managed to get a second meeting organised. At this meeting, it transpired that we did not have an overview on what was and had been happening as a community in ABay. Therefore another meeting was required to get facts about what the NGO’s had been doing and what plans for the future.

    The invitation went out, a week later than had hoped (See my bad back etc) and not to everyone we had hoped. (Invitation & Minutes on http://www.lookinglost.com ) Now, I am a great believer in things happening for a reason, and to cut a long storey short, the highest priority that the members of the meeting came up with was “The Road”.

    The only road through ABay is a joke! No work or maintenance has been done on it since Tsunami; the only work was done in the sight of international press to repair the section that leads to the bridge we depend on. Even since this was completed March 2005; No! Work of maintenance has been done on the new 200m section and the 1km through ABay has disintegrated to worse than a “Dirt Track” Craters, gullies, potholes, collapsed embankments not a “Road” at all.

    So with no help from Government or the Tsunami agencies (they offered but government refused permission!) the old saying “Sometimes it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission” came into play.

    The meeting came up with an estimated cost of $500 to level and repair, not tarmac but hard pack surfacing “Backfill?”

    With the remaining funds I have available from the/your donations, I undertook to underwrite the cost to a budget of $500; meeting happened Friday 2nd December the enthusiasm and empowerment was such that date was set for today Tuesday 6th December.

    One thing taking on a “Community Project” Another getting community to assist?

    The local supplier of the “Mud, Backfill” or whatever it is called did his bit and gave a good price, the instigators managed to get a “Chain Gang” including themselves together and willing supporters joined in to play their part in a unique way.
    Have to say a little disappointed in the turn out of the community in helping us to help them and get stuck in on the “Chain Gang” BUT what was new, unique and a great effort by supporters was “Tin Rattling”!

    Every one who came up or down the road,(as we shifted many tons of dirt), by foot, bicycle, tuk tuk, van or truck were near enough attacked by initially, 2 great Dutch girls and 1 very pregnant lady, Liz, then as the idea caught on the local supporters joined in to obtain contributions from all who use the road. To the extent, they collected nearly half of the end of day cost!

    Everyone who saw what was going on or who contributed said, “What a good idea it was” to repair the road and in most cases they understood why they should contribute! A Revelation and success by my standards!

    Started at 8am waited till 10 for the first tractors to arrive full of dirt, mud backfill or whatever it is called, 6 hours later we had completed the objective, the worst sections including those at the bridge, repaired to a standard equal or greater than the “Road Authorities” had achieved!

    Budget $500, actual cost $377 – 25% under budget!! Contributions mean an actual cost of our funds $212! What a result!

    52 loads of the stuff, 6 hours of back breaking; blistering work, a chain gang, 20 odd people helping, organising, working together (of course sometimes more supervisors than workers).

    Result a road you can pass without feeling you are on the Paris-Dakar rally and a sense of achievement as well as hopefully an inspiration to others to take on the task of “One Road- Self Help” approach.

    Question remains of why we had to do it and not the Government or it’s agencies but for now I rest, deep heat on aching back, drink a few beers with satisfaction that it HAS BEEN A VERY GOOD DAY!

    Thanks to you for the funds, thanks to all those who cared enough to give their time and energy to the cause!

    Citizen Jones reporting

    Photos are on the site.

    Post Script: – The road has now been graded and levelled. On the 7th of this month, USAID laid the foundation stone for the building of the new bridge to replace the current one damaged in the tsunami.

    Around 150-250 people showed up for the ceremony, including high-ranking officials from the American Embassy along with local dignitaries and officials.

    Posted in Arugam Bay-East Coast-Sri Lanka – Safety, Rocco’s Hotel – Arugam Bay-East-Coast-Sri-Lanka-Ramblin | No Comments »
    The answer is YES! Is Arugam Bay Safe? East Coast Sri Lanka
    Thursday, August 17th, 2006

    “Is Arugam Bay Safe?” – Many people have e-mailed and phoned me to ask this before they got here – The answer is YES!

    Arugam Bay is on the South East Coast of Sri Lanka, a beautiful natural area famous for its surfing and wildlife, the most unspoilt beach destination in Sri Lanka.

    Current safety reports about the “Conflict” often state “The North & East Coast, as no go areas for visitors”

    Arugam Bay is unique in that it is not part of the disputed area and historical conflict here in Sri Lanka; it is many years since any problems occurred here 15

    Do not get me wrong, there IS a real “Low intensity war” as it has been officially labelled, in the North, North West & North East but this is not a forum about the wrongs of war or the continued hardship people are suffering in those areas. Nor is it a political forum.

    The British FOC warning, states it applies to areas “North of Pottuvil” (over the bridge from Arugam Bay). Now the FOC has to err to caution, in reality the area for many kilometres north of Pottuvil is quiet but is not an area tourist would normally visit accept “Potty Point” or Komari, which to date are safe and show no signs of unrest.

    People on the West/South Coast rarely travel to Arugam Bay therefore have little or no real knowledge of the situation here; Drivers and other tourist connected individuals would prefer not to venture here, mostly because they are ill-informed of the situation and perhaps with a little bias to keeping tourist £, $, Euros with them, in these hard times.

    People from Arugam Bay and East coast on the other hand frequently travel to & fro around the country, therefore are happy to risk coming home!

    The bay is quiet now at what should be “Height of Season” partly because of this, although 100 or so came out of the woodwork for last night’s huge all-nighter at “Mambo’s Cafe”.

    Families are here (family of 7 in the restaurant at the moment!) Many other surfers, travellers and tourist’s alike.

    So if a driver or tour company advises against coming to Arugam Bay, treat wisely, and check for yourself by contacting people who live here or one of the Arugam Bay Tourist/Hotel associations. If you need a driver & transport then we can arrange for you to be collected anywhere on the Island.

    Public transport details remain the same as on the site but the bus journey is longer than stated due to the checkpoint searches on route.

    I can be contacted at steve@roccoshotel.com or steve@lookinglost.com or 94 7766 42 991.
    I will endeavour to update this frequently.

    Steve Jones
    Rocco’s Hotel
    Arugam Bay

Leave a Reply