Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Adios Arguam Bay

I'm continually getting distracted as I'm tap taping away on the keyboard.

There's a little girl running around the Departures Lounge at Colombo airport. She's wearing what looks like her 'Sunday best' dress, although it's only Wednesday. Her brother is chasing behind laughing his head off. Each time he catches up with her she trips over and skids along the polished lino floor. It's a struggle for her to get up as she is wearing his sandals that are at least three sizes too big for her. There isn't any tears just constant laughter.

A Mother dragging her daughter by the arm in the direction of the public toilet steps into this invisible playground. She hasn't noticed the two children running around in hysterics but her daughter has and is desperately tugging her arm to be released so she can go play with them.

They look like they're having so much fun; running, sliding and skidding that I'm tempted to be the bigger kid and ask if I can play too. I better not, as I don't think it's fair for her to try and wear size 10 sandals. 

We arrived back in Colombo from Arguam Bay this morning again in record time. Sira Deen, aka the Michael Schumacher of Sri Lanka did manage to bring me back in one piece.

My journey was accompanied by his brother-in-law, a very serious man who played with his iPhone for the entire 6 hours and his friend who was silent in the beginning but quickly found his tongue wanting to know everything about my life including what type of breakfast cereal you can eat in New Zealand. They're both been given a great deal with the free ride to Colombo as I'm footing the 20,000 LKR bill to get back here.

Once the sun rose at 05:30 this morning the streets have began to pack out. Cows dodging Tuk Tuks. People on bikes avoiding bumping into Goats. The scenery ever changing from little towns with ATMs everywhere, street markets, tea plantations, rice paddies, a huge Catholic church and meditation centres.

I feel like I've broken a barrier this morning between gender differences. We stopped for tea and I was invited to sit with the men to drink and eat our vege rotti together. It was a small but noticeable change that I was involved in conversation that didn't revolve around my martial status instead we joked about how expensive Arguam Bay is compared to the rest of Sri Lanka and I reenacted how loud his brother-in-law snores making trumpet noises.

My arms are feeling like sloppy spaghetti after 9 solid days of surfing. August is usually the busiest month in Arguam Bay so I'm glad to be leaving at this time but sad to say goodbye. For an intermediate surfer you've found wave heaven here. Aside from the crowds and the weekend when the swell rose to 6ft plus the waves are usually a consistent 2-4ft and thanks to the swell breaking evenly across the reef, the main point of Arguam Bay provides a long ride to practise turns and tricks (if you can). After a day in the water nothing beats an intense shoulder massage at Stardust Hotel to release any remaining tension.

I've met so many crazy characters here that saying goodbye was hard. From the ADD Austrians who've lived here for 6 weeks now and know everything about the area to the mad Frenchman who leaves money everywhere and won't understand your pronunciation of any French words.  The guys at Sandy Beach Hotel who comment on everything I'm doing at any given time. Our Tuk Tuk driver who when you say, 'maybe I'll head to Crocodile Rock for a surf tomorrow' will take the 'maybe' as a definite 'yes' and be waiting for you at 6 am. 

But it's my new Mama and Papa that I'll miss the most. Always smiling, laughing and joking. People who had lived through extreme hardship at times but still have so much happiness in their souls They've both lost family and friends during the war and when the Tsunami hit. They no longer own the land where the no Siam View Hotel exists. Instead they rent the tired looking Lagoon Restaurant and Guesthouse where the most delicious food is served from a building that looks like a post Tsunami relic. 

Each day, I've been welcome with open arms. Stepping inside I can hear Mama's laughter. They great me as their friend, and I always call them Mama and Papa.

You never leave hungry here and they always have enough to feed an army.

If your ever in town go and spent some time with them at the Lagoon Restaurant and Guesthouse Have a curry and a chat. Taste the most delicious juice. Play a round of Carrom (Sri Lanka/Indian 'finger snooker') and listen to Mama's belly full laughter.

Toodle pip x

Our famous Tuk Tuk drivers chilling out at Elephant Rock.

Waiting at 6am.

Arguam Bay and the rat pack of dogs.

Main Street, Arguam Bay.

Mama and Papa.