Sarah & Stu’s Arugam Bay adventures Chapter 2

Salaam and Monkey

Wea??ve been called mad before. The last time that springs immediately to mind was just before buying a tuktuk to drive on Sri Lankaa??s roads. Thumbing my nose to the doubters, Ia??m now convinced that wasna??t such a stupid decision. We have the flexibility to come and go as we please and far from creating jealousy locally, wea??ve been warmly welcomed into the tuktuk fraternity. Ita??s a brotherhood that has saved us at least three times after breaking down on deserted roads at all hours of the day and night.A? Faster response than the AA and totally free of charge.

This time it refers to our decision to move on from helping out at the Tsunami Hotel. Ita??s been a lot of fun and wea??ve made some firm friends who have been very kind to us over the past six weeks. We hope wea??ve made a worthwhile contribution and will be certainly stopping by to swap stories, play carrom and sample more of Salaama??s brilliant cooking. Wea??d firmly recommend it to anyone. But all good things come to an end and ita??s time to head off and free up a little more time to concentrate on the surfing. Which is coming along brilliantly. Wea??re still getting up stupidly early, though thata??s become much easier. Last night us crazy kids were in bed by 21.20. Ita??s rock and roll some nights in Arugam Bay and I sometimes wonder how we sleep through the excitement.

Where to from here? Probably about 200 meters down the road. Arugam Bay is beautiful and wea??re looking for a more permanent base for just the two of us. Being around a hotel for the past six weeks means that the amount of time wea??ve spent with each other has been pretty small vis a vis the amount of time wea??ve committed to helping around the place, meeting new people, chatting to guests etc. Thata??s one of the main drivers for a relocation and wea??ve spent the past 48 hours looking at several options that have cropped up. And ita??s felt a lot like an episode of To Buy or Not To Buy.

Ia??ll talk you through them:

Option 1: Nice Place: The namea??s no lie, this is a nice place. Ita??s effectively a guesthouse that the owner has suggested we rent for the next three months or so. There are two bedrooms, a beautiful terrace, off street parking for Flash, ita??s pretty much brand new and friends coming to stay could be easily accommodated. The downside is there is no fridge. This is a problem as wea??d have to buy our own and after the expense of Flash, we dona??t have that sort of cash laying around. It would feel doubly painful as Ia??ve just had to buy a new fridge at home after the one in my flat died. The layout for the two of us is a little on the odd side, but ita??s in a great location, just a stonea??s throw from the Tsunami Hotel and therefore the beach.

Initially I was a little put off Option 2 as it took us a little while to get to see it. But my London impatience aside, this is a surprisingly good, functional option. The owner seems like a thoroughly reliable guy who runs an immaculate mid range guesthouse nearby called the Dutch Villa. Ita??s in a good location 100m from the beach and therea??s plenty of space inside and out. Ita??s a little dark and again we would have the expense of a fridge, but I could see us living here. The price is good, though the place is not beautiful, the owner has pledged to do some work on it. Electricity and water come supplied.

Next up is the best located of the lot, option 3. Ita??s around 300m from the main surf point, wea??d be close to friends, ita??s pretty cheap has plenty of room for tuktuks, parties and so on. Location is five star. It has a great outdoor shower, though the toilet is a trek from the main rooms, outside through scrub and ita??s a squat toilet which presently has no door. No matter, wea??re assured thata??d change. What might not change is the lack of electricity and it sounds as if we might have a visitor in the shape of the ownera??s Mum from time to time. Again, open minded, but Saraha??s snoring might keep her awake as the walls stop short of the ceiling by about a foot. Similar fridge issue to above, which is compounded by the lack of electricity.

And just when we thought we were going to have to decide from the above, we were offered a look at the wildcard entry, option 4. This one is a short tuktuk ride outside of Arugam Bay, but overlooks a lagoon which wea??re told is home to wild elephants. Ita??s a little commute to the surf points and the beach. But it has the best kitchen of the lot and the all important fridge. Our neighbours would be mostly from the local Muslim village, some of whom we already know and like. Ita??s as secure as youa??re likely to find, walled off as it is in its own detatched grounds and has a G&T terrace overlooking the lagoon.A? It has aircon which, believe it or not has become suddenly important due to overheating electrical equipment, and ita??s easily the most modern wea??ve seen. However what we might spend on aircon we might also spend on a fridge elsewhere.

Decisions, decisions.

PostedA?06 Jun 2010A?by stuartA?inA?Uncategorized


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