The beach chronicles
09.04.2013 30 °C
Just another day at the beach. The weather has been a little less stifling the last 2 days. Could it be that the days are getting cooler as we approach monsoon season here at the southern tip of Sri Lanka? I wonder what we're in for...
Feeling a bit privileged, as there are very few tourists in sight. The long stretches of beach are virtually deserted. Of course this could also be related to the fact that the crashing waves, embedded rocks and strong currents make swimming here on Marakolliya Beach a daring feat.
Our hotel, Little Pumpkin is a delightful cluster of 3 wood cabins facing the ocean, and a raised, thatched-roof dining area on the beach. When the breeze is on it's a heavenly perch from which to contemplate the waves. A family of iguanas parade back and forth to their dining area of crab filled rocks, while Kingfishers and other colorful birds survey from the palm trees.
The chef here, who has to be older than his adolescent looks, whips up tasty variations on the standard menu we've had in every restaurant since Colombo, +/- 250 kms north. They seem to think that tourists only like certain vegetables and that we all want to eat the same food. Or perhaps there's one master chef who decided what we should all eat, and one distributor making deliveries. You really have to convince people that you LIKE spicy food in order to taste real Sri Lankan cooking. When you get it, it's a real treat.
The country seems to be 2/3 into its ascension to becoming one of Southeast Asia's top tourist destinations. Most of the west coast of the country is and has long been a top draw for German and other European visitors, but with civil war slowly receding into the past, the entire East coast is ripe for expansion and the number one economic priority is clearly increasing tourism. Sadly, that the pristine beach with few hotels where I sit will be cramped within 5 to 10 years max. As I write there are groups of men working 7 days a week on either side of me hammering away.