Getting off the beaten track near Galle in Sri Lanka
On my second visit to Galle, I was shown an entirely new way to explore the area. We were up early and driven to meet with a local naturalist, Chrishan, who invited us aboard his boat to ride down the Mahamodara River. Without another tourist in sight, this was definitely one of the most scenic and relaxing mornings I spent in Sri Lanka.
We passed sun-dappled paddy fields, verdant mangroves and busy villages, each with children laughing and playing. There was also an abundance of wildlife, including eagles, egrets, rare purple monkeys and probably about 50 water monitors. We continued to spot these large lizards along the way, and they seemed to get bigger and bigger, lying camouflaged on trees jutting out into the river or wallowing in the shallows. Chrishan told us they can grow up to two-and-a-half metres long! He was charming and taught us all about the wonderful flora and fauna that was surrounding us.
After about an hour on the meandering river, we were met by a coconut planter, Nirosh, who was working on a basket made from coconut fibres. He was fascinating and told us how he supplies the villages with oil from his plantation.
We then began our 15km cycling adventure through the countryside near Galle. We cycled through beautiful landscapes, down narrow tracks, under bridges and past charming ancient temples.
Eventually, we arrived at a traditional, wattle-and-daub hut (a typical village mud hut), where we watched and learnt how to make a proper local curry. We just couldn’t wait to get stuck in! When at last we were able to enjoy the dish, as you might be able to imagine, it was absolutely delicious.
I would strongly recommend this experience to any of our clients going to Sri Lanka. It was a fun, authentic and fascinating morning that opened my eyes to another side to the glorious country.
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