Apparently the best way to deal with leeches is to wear flip-flops, so that you can see them and flick them off as soon as they find your feet. Sometimes though, you don’t notice them as they wriggle their weird little bodies onto your skin and start to load up on your blood. There are times when it’s too late to simply sweep them off and it becomes more of a gouging mission. A mission that had Tom freaking out like a little baby. Needless to say, pretty early into our stay we decided that hot and sweaty leech resistance in the form of shoes and socks was a small price to pay in order to avoid excavating any more of these creepy little things.
To get to our farmstay in Sinharaja, we had to remove our shoes and cross a small river. We then had to lug our bags up-hill for about a kilometre. Had we been mentally prepared for this activity, it might not have seemed to arduous, but after 3 hours kicking back in a tuktuk, mentally prepared we were not. It was however, worth the walk.
At the top of the hill, we were met by Karina and Sam, who run a brand new eco farmstay/B’n’B which is truly in the middle of nowhere, with beautiful views of the rainforest as far as the eye can see. Karina from Germany and Sam from the UK had been living and working on their huge plot of land since they bought it about 3 years before. What they are doing is truly amazing and incredibly inspiring. Their plan to reforest the land and break away from monoculture farming is one that involves a tremendous amount of work, but one that is certainly coming to fruition. Karina took us on a walk around the land where she showed us the hundreds of trees and plants all providing food in the form of fruits, veg, herbs and spices. We also had a look around the enchanting mud hut that the pair of them live in. Like something out of a fairytale, their outdoor kitchen, complete with a dining area for their 4 cats leads out to a gorgeous waterfall which they use as a shower.
Had we taken note of the Lonely Planet guide’s wishy washy review of Weligama and not instead trusted our friend Luis’ advice, we may have simply passed through this utter gem of a place. The Lonely planet pretty much writes off the whole place as having a bit of a crap beach and loads of fishing. In fact, as we approached, I felt the need to warn Tom about the impending fish slaughter that we would be faced with 24/7.
What we actually experienced was 5 days of utter joy. We had only planned to stay a couple of nights, but extending it to 5 was a no-brainer. Weligama is very popular with surfers, as is its sister towns of Mirissa, Unawatuna and Midigama. Strewn across the coastline are hostels, guesthouses and restaurants all offering lessons and boards to sun kissed foreigners in surprisingly skimpy summer-wear. Many places offer cheap and basic accommodation right on the beach, which is pure bliss for surfer dudes and dudettes (Tom and I are neither of those, yet). If however, you drive away from the main strip, towards Jungle Beach you end up at the glorious Dinsara Pearl Villa, a family run guesthouse named after owner Noyel’s 3 year old son.
Because the guesthouse is positioned up the hill, it has the most wonderful view over Weligama Bay. A sprinkling of coral reefs means that although the water flows across to the beach over to the left, the waves break quite far out, in front of the guesthouse. Sea views really don’t get much more tranquil. So inspiring was the view that we both felt compelled to get creative. I wrote a tune and Tom made a video of the place for Noyel to put on his website, for which we were rewarded with a free night’s stay and some free grub.
As we sit sipping our 5th cup of ginger tea, it’s hard not to feel a little smug. In front of me is a view of the sea, so moreish and peaceful that it’s hard to look at it without cocking your head to the side and going “haaaahm”. The little fisherman’s village of Weligama has stolen our hearts. Not even the multiple constellations of mosquito bites covering my legs could bring me down.
It’s been nine days (I wrote this post a little while ago but we only just found wifi!) since we handed over the keys to our home of two and a half years and nine days since we gave our beloved cat Mau the hugest kiss and cuddle of her life.Three days later we hopped aboard our first one-way flight.
HIYA, we're Tom and Amy. We left the UK in Feb 2016 to explore what the rest of the world has to offer. Amy left her job teaching music and Tom left his making videos. We hope to fill this blog with a combination of musings, creative offerings and useful advice. Let's be inspired! x