The uttering feeling of an unknown place with strange smells and different atmospheres all clinging together, I soon realized, this is what freedom feels like, to me anyhow. With my sandy feet and salty hair, I was sipping on a fresh yummy coconut bought along the side streets of absolutely breathtaking Sri Lanka.
Having spent a few lazy sunrises in blissful Unawatuna situated in the South of this magic island, the story of a drifting passport sets off to the moon- shaped beach named Arugambay planted on the East Coast. With only one bus departing to my destination at 07.00 am from Galle town, I was amongst the earliest to arrive at the bus station to catch the “Siyambala-Anduwa” bus taking me straight to Pottuvil, the town belonging to Arugambay.
Alongside one wandering Australian gypsy and three local surfers we were all set for the ten hours of crazy but oh so inspiring bus ride to Arugambay we were about to encounter on. Not more than twelve minutes into the journey it was clear that Sri Lankan buses had no maximum limit of passengers allowed, so there I was, surrounded by a hundred something smiling faces. I was quickly to grasp the amusement the old television at the very front of the bus had on my fellow local riders, they all gasped as the Bollywood music videos appeared one after the other, laughing and singing along. There was a certain charm to all of this which I silently enjoyed there I sat. For 3 something American Dollars I was in no place to claim the music be turned down, but the real fact was that I enjoyed all of this, a moment of so many sways made me just as smily at the rest of the bunch. I was happy, I was at peace.
9.5 hours and a million impressions later I saw the road sign Pottuvil written, then the bus stopped and I turned my gaze to the front window only to see a wild elephant cross the road in such a relaxed manner only fitting to the speed of all other Sri Lankan creatures. My eyes sparkled with joy and excitement, as for the rest of the bus they were eagerly waiting for the elephant to cross as if this was the most normal occurrence throughout the day. Later on I learned and bumped into many more of these beautiful animals on my way to catch a surf or on a tuk-tuk ride to the local vegetable market. I was no more at ease with the sight, only so much more in love with all of this, simple yet so ravishing.
There are too many laid-back colorful beach huts, bungalows and guest houses to choose from, with a handful of hotels, meaning there is accommodation for all types of travelers coming to this oasis of a village. I was quick to choose a small thus cozy bungalow a stones throw away from the beach called Beachhut, and so in this way I could go to sleep and wake up to the sound of the waves hitting the beach. Hideaway is also another option, here you will be treated with divine coffee and other tempting fresh and healthy treats made by the half Australian half Sri Lankan surfer yogi Yanik. I could go on and on about the many tasty dishes I fell in love with during my stay, but head over to Munchies Shake for an out of this world Rice and Curry experience, run over to Gecko for organic innovative dishes and yum-my drinks, and then you really have to indulge yourself with an amazing thai curry at Siam View. I am rambling here but for radical fish and other inventive dishes Zephyr is the place to be.
My soul united, my skin a tad bit darker and the freckles on my nose as I lay in my hammock whilst sipping on a delicious coconut brought to me from the palm tree i gaze upon, are all signs of happiness, i reckon it is the small things really. A flashback at the last couple of days a typical day would start with a morning swim in the crystal clear blue dreamy ocean while observing the eager surfers catch the first waves of the day. Yes this is a surfers paradise if you did not know. Main point for the more experienced ones, peanut farm and whiskey point for the flirty beginners, Arugambay is a true playground for surfers and you ambitious humans wanting to learn. And so the day drifts away during which I nourish myself with numerous tropical fruit juices and tasty platters, the entertaining novel Shantaram, intriguing conversations with other adventures and at some point refresh myself with toothsome drinks listening to funky beats and dancing the night away. They say Arugambay is a true paradise, a newly discovered hidden gem with vibrant people. Well they are all right, and so I had to visit four more times.
About the Dame Traveler:
Natasha Sand, a creative individual born in Norway with huge cravings to explore all magic corners of the world.
Spent five blissful years adventuring Sri Lanka, before I moved to New York in 2012.
I was lucky to spend three years in the city that never sleeps getting a university degree, whilst wandering off to nearby pearls on all possible occasions. As the impatient spirit I am, an exchange semester in Australia during these three years was the obvious.
Currently based in Amsterdam engaged in visionary and inspiring projects. I also like to consider finding departures on the net a full time hobby. I hope to inspire other globe-trotters and like minded souls out there through my blog space and Instagram. ps, I love sandy feet, salty hair, coconuts, elephants, and everything vegetarian & spicy.