“On Your Bike” – Arugam

Arugam Bay to Mirissa Beach:

Elephant encounters and a couple of beaches
Friday September 28, 2012, 289 km (180 miles) – Total so far: 14,427 km (8,965 miles) 28-29th Sept 2012

Dawn. Arugam Bay Beach

Majic Flowers at the SVH

Friendly cat at Dinner time
Watch out. Mum & Kids
Road through the Jungle 20 km out of Aurgam… We just walked up and down the beach watching all the Surfies, and enjoying a swim for the first time since we started this trip. The white sands and crystal clear waters of the bay making it a great place to recharge the legsa??. Among things to do we also got to watch the Black Caps lose just about any chance of making the T20 semia??s, first with a nail bitter against Sri Lanka, and then a dismal performance against a mediocre English teama??a??a??..Thank god for the homemade micro beer and stunning food provided at the Thai restaurant near the center of the beach. The owner, a elderly Swiss guy who has married a local Tamil girl, he was really interesting to talk to about the tsunami and subsequent distribution of aid moneya??s etc, most interesting was the private investments made after 2004, involving quite a few foreigners that had brought into guest housea??s local businesses etc, only to have the locals reneged on all the agreed deals, payback of loans, interest etc. Involvement of the Sri Lanka a??Legala?? practice has left foreigners with not a leg to stand ona??..and the locals patting each other on the backa??a?? By 0700 we were well up the road towards Monagarala, passing through an area of National park were an elephant corridor linked two separate areas of jungle. We didna??t see any elephants but large brown reminders of their passage were clearly evident.. If there had been a Tsunami only 8 years ago then it would be hard to tell from the developed state of Aurgam Bay. Haven for Surfies, its break off the point had them lining to catch a series of waves, which rolled in at regular intervals. Positions on each wave were subject to the pecking order of all things surfing and your level of skill. But apparently this rule did not apply to the Israelis, who as usual were wearing out their welcomea??s as fast as they arrived.

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30th Sept 2012
Aurgam Bay to Monagarala TTL: 77 km Aver: 18.4 kmph
We made as much noise as we wanted this morning. There was a full moon party, down at the main break last night and so we had deployed the ear plugs and happy slept through it alla??a??.till 0430 and the alarm rose us from our dreams.

Fried bat anyone?

El President, the most popular guy in Sri Lanka

Buddha worn smooth by the passage of many hands

Totally random statue in a buddist temple?,
The road was the usual smooth surface we have become accustom to here in Sri Lanka, and slowly wound up into the hill country. Adrienn must have put on her a??climbing Legsa?? as she was right behind me the whole way into Monagarala. Approaching the town we came across a Restaurant with a couple of rooms. Rooms were average and without Mossie nets, the owner assuring us there was no mossies herea??..Yeah right! Then he started to ask silly numbers saying we would have to pay for an extra half day as we were checking in before 1pm (hazard of starting early) thought it was 1030am. We just walked off at this point, and after talking to his current tenant, an Dutch Lady living in the subcontinent having to do the out of India for two months due to visa expired thinga??., got directions to a total gem of a place just on the other side of Monagarala. Kandaland Villa. This is a former YMCA, now brought by a local couple. For 1550 Rps we got a super clean, double room, with shower /toilet and a 5 course dinner!!!!!!…….OMG what a meala??.. This place is the best so far since Anjuna, Goaa??a??a?? and they have an eco-retreat up in the hillsa??.360a?? viewsa??.. Check it out onA?www.raxawa.com . and if your ever riding through Monagaralaa??a??a??dona??t miss the dinnera?? Szeptember 30. Arugam Bay a?? Monagarala 77 km 01st Oct 2012 Monagarala to Ambalantota TTL: 125 km Aver: 19.2 kmph Leaving Monagarala earlier didna??t made the 16kms of rolling hills that followed much easier, it was just not as hot and the crests and descents through the dawn made it all the more worthwhile. We turned off at Buttala and rode down the B035 into the Lumugawehere / Yala National park, following the road along a 30km a??elephant corridora?? joining the twoa?? Almost as soon as we had entered the corridor we started to get toots and flashes from the odd vehicle coming towards us. Cresting a rise we saw whya??.. an Elephant had set up a mobile road block and all traffic was having to pay a toll of either fruit, vega??s or sweets in order to passa??a??. And quite frankly one of the most amazing things we have seen on this trip. The young bull elephant had obviously done this before and the spot he had chosen could not be driven around meaning every passerby would have to a??paya??a??.As for us on bikes well we were just to vulnerable to risk having our payment refused and so waited for a couple of locals on a motorbike, and while they paid the bribe of two long beans, which the Elephant promptly put down next to his stash of two woodapples and a papayaa??a??we dashed passeda??..Adrienn swore the Elephants trunk almost touched hera??.

Oh, Big bombs…

Yeap, I chicken out first

Ok just how close will he let me get….?

As we rode on talking about this we passed another wild elephant standing about 15mtrs off to the side of the road, and although they may be the biggest thing in the jungle, it was only when it moved did we actually spot ita??.
Finally we exited the corridor and where quickly back into the masses. The route lead us passed a couple of huge stumpas on the side of a large lake. Stopping for a nav check we were set upon by about 3 touts all trying to sell us a a??safari toura?? in Yala park. One was even so bold as to say we could have the tour for free if we did not see a leopard (wonder how his boss would feel about that sort of offer)a??
We gave Tisssa a miss as it was only 1030 we pulled over at one of the many roadside stand selling cooked corn on the coba??.. it was ok, just a bit dry due to the drought but nice enougha??. Then we stopped at a curry house and had a feed as well as a break. The wind had gotten up and was blowing straight into our faces making every km harder than the lasta??. Heads down we ground on, crossing onto the site works for the express way extension from Colombo and passed Hambantota on the coasta??.

Elephant with his “toll” on the road beside him….

Peacocks stand guard on an abandoned outpost
Finally about 3pm we had both had enough, though to be honest we were stuffed after the last 60kms of head winds in 35deg temps. Just outside of Ambalantota we found a nice hotel, Breeze Inn , nice clean room for 1750rps and down the road is a Chinese restaurant a??a??and things took a turn for the worsta??
Went down to the restaurant and watched the Black Caps book their flight home, bunch of loosersa??..Gutteda??.Then got back to the hotel to find a wedding next door in full swing, so loud even the ear plugs didna??t help much. Had just fallen to sleep 10:30pm, when the room door was almost broken off its hingesa??. The night watchman had decided to present us with the bill ( why I dona??t know as we paid up 5:30pm that evening, and as we were sleeping with ear plugs), could not rouse us so just kept hammering and kicking the door until I finally wokea??a??..When I had worked out what it was he wanted me to so urgently attend, I took the receipt and told him very nicely to see what he could do about having the music turned off and us getting some sleepa??a??a?? and went promptly back to sleep….
Oktober 01.
Monagarala – Ambalantota
125 km

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1 Response to ““On Your Bike” – Arugam”

  • Summary – Arugam Bay is a tiny little town in the East of Sri Lanka fast growing in popularity. The main reason is none other than its fantastic waves and water conditions perfect for surfing and other water sports.
    North, South East and West; Sri Lanka is a paradise in all aspects. It is everything and anything entertainment should be. From the ultimate places for relaxation to the ultimate places for adventure, this small island has it all, neatly wrapped with plenty of resorts for your ultimate satisfaction. But the best part above all Sri Lanka’s attractions are its long stretches of beaches and that too comes in all types, some are calm, long and lazy and some roar with mighty power and if you are looking for that wild beach, Arugam Bay most certainly tops them all.
    Arugam Bay is a beach known to be wild and adventurous. It is a surfer’s paradise and has waves that soar to the sky. The Sun is spectacular over here making beach life never better. Despite being so adventurous, Arugam Bay happens to be a quiet little town 320 km’s east of Colombo. It was affected quite badly during the 2006 Tsunami, the remnants of which are still rather evident, but it has beautifully risen off the ashes and still continues to draw in a plethora of tourists year after year. Arugam Bay’s increased popularity made it the venue for an international surf contest in 2010 and this was followed by a women’s long board championship in 2011. All this and more increasingly put this little town on the map like never before. People are warm and hospitable here and visiting Arugam Bay gives you the added advantage of enjoying the authentic Lankan life style that is highlighted by the locals fishing that is the primary income generator in this town.
    So Surfers and Beach lovers pack up your favourite gear, because Arugam Bay is going to give you a taste of Sri Lanka like never before.
    When holidaying in Sri Lanka travel around the island to explore the many treasures it beholds. You get it all in this island, tall misty mountains and stretches of golden sun kissed beaches, historical and religious places of attraction and so much more. Choose Jetwing travels to explore this country in the best possible way. Stay at their very own resorts and go to places never ventured before. Jetwing gives you the finest Sri Lanka tours experience.
    About the Author
    Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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