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Sri Lanka’s Southern Beaches

Mirissa Beach, Sri Lanka

January 14, 2015 – January 16, 2015

Full Mirissa Photo Gallery Here.

We continued our tour of Sri Lanka’s southern beaches by hopping on a bus for a forty minute ride to Mirissa.  Along the way we passed dozens of long stretches of pristine empty beaches and clear blue water.  The abundance of beaches and lack of tourists is clear. It seems a vast stretch of perfect beach can be found just a few minutes by bus from just about anywhere along the southern coast.

Once in Mirissa, a small beach town of nearly a dozen shops and a couple streets, we checked into our guest house a short distance from the water.  Our host was delighted to hear that we were Americans, he had only had one other visitor from the states, and he showed us a picture of the guy.  We dropped off our heavy bags and headed out to check out the beach.

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Mirissa Beach is a popular stretch of beach which you will definitely find crowded with tourists.  You will also find around a dozen hotels and many restaurants and bars along the beach.  While empty beaches are everywhere sometimes its nice to be near a place serving cold drinks.  We spent the day relaxing on the beach, never too far from a refrigerator.  Mirissa’s beach is much wider than the beach in Unawatuna and felt much less crowded.

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As you can see, large waves do not create ideal swimming conditions on the main beach.
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This other stretch of beach at the eastern end has much calmer water.

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Our guesthouse host took many pictures of us, so we took a picture of him and his son as well.
Our guesthouse host took many pictures of us, so we took a picture of him and his son as well.

When we returned to our hotel we found a candle lit feast.  Our host was so excited that we were there he pulled all the stops and prepared an amazing Sri Lankan dinner.  Some of the most delicious Sri Lankan curries we had in our whole time there!  He was so excited he took pictures of us eating, presumably to add to his photo album to show to the next Americans who came along.

Stilt Fishermen of Sri Lanka

The next day we set out on a mission to find the famous stilt fishermen of Sri Lanka.  The stilt fishermen are local fishermen who set up poles in the water with a cross beam to sit on all day while they fish in the surf.  Our quest was fairly easily accomplished as they can be found in many places along the coast.  Be sure to go early in the day though, as they disappear once it gets hot.

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We found a spot about 20 minutes away by bus where there were still enough fishermen out for a good picture.  And they even let us climb up and try our hand at fishing.  It has become quite touristy, we contributed the equivalent of a few dollars for the opportunity to take pictures and join them on one of the stilts.  Given the fishermens’ location close to shore and the apparent lack of line on some of their poles, it was clear it is no longer fishing which sustains these fishermen.

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Krista trying her hand at stilt fishing.
Krista trying her hand at stilt fishing.
Who let that guy up there!
Who let that guy up there!

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After taking pictures with the stilt fisherman we wandered a short ways down the beach to find it completely deserted.
After taking pictures with the stilt fishermen we wandered a short ways down the beach to find it completely deserted.

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A short bus ride led us to this other deserted beach.

 

The beaches are covered in shells if your a beach comber, this little guy and his friends were everywhere!
The beaches are covered in shells if your a beach comber, this little guy and his friends were everywhere!

Once we were done with deserted beaches and pretending to know how to stilt fish we headed back to Mirissa to relax on the beach once more.  Unfortunately this was not as relaxing as we anticipated, as we realized the SPF 60, Thai-brand sunscreen we had purchased the day before was ineffective and we were both quite sunburned from our day’s activities in less than two hours of sun.  After a little time spent in the only shade we could find, we headed home and saw some fresh caught fish on display at a beach side restaurant.  We decided to come back in the evening and pick out a fish and have dinner right there on the beach!

This restaurant just put out their fresh caught fish on display.
This restaurant just put their fresh caught fish on display.
Fresh lobster was among their catch.
Fresh lobster was among their catch.
They had fresh caught shark, apparently.
They had fresh caught shark, apparently.
Despite the exotic choices we picked out a simple tuna.
Despite the exotic choices we picked out a simple tuna.
Beach side restaurant at night.
Beach side restaurant at night.
Our freshly prepared tuna was amazing!
Our freshly prepared tuna was amazing!
Our table was in the surf as the tide came in!
Our table was in the surf as the tide came in, the water literally lapped at our feet throughout the meal!

After exploring the beaches for nearly a week we headed north into the high country to explore the mountains and the tea plantations that Sri Lanka is famous for.   On our way out our host gave us a gift, a printed picture he had taken of us, a postcard and box of Sri Lankan Ceylon tea!

One thought on “Sri Lanka’s Southern Beaches”

  1. There you go some more, scattering joy around the world. Nice goin’ you two :) Your travels and stories are an inspiration; thank you for sharing!

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