Monday, July 8, 2013

Unawatuna Beach, Sri Lanka: Where We Should Have Been Since The Beginning

It was a foot race at an ungodly hour, and those who were leading the pack won precious seats in rusty crimson carriages. Even with our clumsy locomotor skills comandeered by half-asleep brains, we succeeded in seizing two 'second class' hard seats under my — ahem — competitive lead. They were to cradle our arses for the next eight hours.

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Unawatuna's golden shore.

The rush quickly began to ebb, and exhaustion kicked in. Hubby and I sat in silence for a long while, swallowed in our own thoughts. And grumpiness. We responded to the curious, sleepy stares that surrounded us in the cabin with blank looks. A gesture born out of short-term caffeine deprivation. At least for me. As for the hubby who I dragged in such complex web of itinerary, he seemed like he simply didn't want to be there.

Like he wanted to go home just to have a vacation.

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Scenic part of the Anuradhapura-Galle rail route.
 
Up until that point everything was going as planned. However, I was deluded to believe that our bodies could take the beating. We were weary to the bone. Remorse was written all over my face, but to be honest, I didn't want it any other way. Sri Lanka is one of those countries that the hubby wouldn't step foot on again and I wanted us to see as much we could, even if it meant turning our holiday into something that resembled Amazing Race.

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Wouldn't describe it paradisiacal, but quite laid back.

Train chugged at five in the morn, amazingly punctual. Outside was still pitch dark. I must have shifted into 101 positions, none of which lulled me to sleep. At the next train station, we learned that slumber's indeed impossible to attain when a huge batch of passengers poured in and filled the cabin to the brim. Standing passengers placed their suitcases and even their babies on sitting passengers' laps. It's the norm.

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Tame waves at peak season.
 
Noon approached and I was feeling woozy. It became more difficult to move around cause our good-for-two hard bench got tighter when I let a child squeeze in beside me. It was also harder to breathe due to the packed crowd under my nose.

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No sign of rubbish.

Amidst lethargy, I caught sight of a weary smile at the other end of the cabin. It belonged to a local, standing on the aisle, her eyes resting on me. Even with the occasional rocking of the cabin when the road rail bends, she was firmly rooted on the floor. One hand holding onto a seat, and the opposite arm was carrying her toddler. She made it seem effortless. You know what's more impressive? She was like that for almost a couple of hours.

And there I was whining about my lack of sleep. I was then a new mom to seven-month-old Luna and this memory changed my view on parenting. But that's not to say I could/would stand for two hours aboard a train while carrying a tot. To this very day, I think the woman possesses superhero powers

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A beauty ravaged by the 2004 tsunami.

Our arrival in Galle was on the dot. The alighting was surprisingly not a push-and-shove business. It didn't take long for us to exit the station and cross the street to catch a bus to our final destination, Unawatuna Beach. The snail-pace drive, with a few stops to pick up and drop off passengers, took almost twenty minutes. We checked in the first cheap hostel we found, dropped our backpacks and dashed to a nearby restaurant faster than you could say ayubowan (a greeting in Sinhala).

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Featuring: The hubby and his creepy mustache.

Despite our droopy eyes, we headed to the shore after licking our plate clean  —  not a trace of huevos rancheros was left on it. We found the beach oddly uncrowded. A few elements reminded me of the Philippines' Puerto Galera. Not entirely palm fringed, and hostels are housed in low-rises. Tables and chairs are set up right on the beach. Only a few peddlers pass by every so often to hassle sunbathers.

The moment our feet sunk in the fine, golden sands the hubby muttered, "We should have been here since the beginning of this trip." Followed by, "Now where do we order beer?".  


Not-So Refreshingly Sri Lanka (and it's all my fault) Series:

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka: Lion's Rock
Photo Essay: Golden Temple of Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka: Ruins Of An Ancient Capital
Temple of The Tooth
The Kandy House
Not-So Refreshingly Sri Lanka
How To Apply For A Sri Lanka Tourist Visa In The Philippines


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14 comments:

Mustachio said...
July 9, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Looks like a beautiful beach. Guess the loonnngggg journey to get to this place was all worth it :-)

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
July 9, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Quite a respite :)

Pandelicious said...
July 10, 2013 at 7:53 AM

Looks awesome! Love the half dazed look from Sherv on the last pic that sums up the entire post! And the laaaaaaaady bet she was looking at you because she thinks you know. Italicized you know..... :D

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
July 10, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Haha! At least Sherv looks only half-dazed here when he actually felt like he was about to pass out any minute!

TheSoulExplorer said...
July 11, 2013 at 8:12 AM

I am pretty sure that the beach is beautiful!

Elal Jane Lasola said...
July 11, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Respect for that lady holding a toddler! :)

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
July 13, 2013 at 12:51 AM

Amen! Saludo kay ate :)

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
July 13, 2013 at 12:52 AM

Twas worth the journey.

Dennis said...
July 14, 2013 at 8:26 PM

oh! No one among men offered a seat to the lady with a toddler??
Am considering visiting Sri Lanka! Reading back your posts.

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
July 16, 2013 at 11:52 PM

They rarely offer. When they do, they give it to a traveler :)

Aileen Siroy said...
July 17, 2013 at 7:15 AM

I totally agree, women (mothers, especially) have superhero powers! That beach looks awesome. : )

Sony Xperia V GPS said...
July 23, 2013 at 10:04 AM

It looks like there's no tragedy that happened there years ago. It's a renewed place with better sightings and more exciting amenities. http://www.backcountrynavigator.com/

AJ Poliquit said...
August 12, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Love your storytelling, PTJ!

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
August 13, 2013 at 12:24 AM

*kilig*

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