While I was in the south of India I started thinking that since I was so close to Sri Lanka (and who knows when this would happen again, I should go…) Fast forward to when I arrived in Sri Lanka (A former British Colony next to India) without a plan, with the hopes of just getting lots of surfing done and exploring the country.
I got extremely lucky that my friends Ellen and Vic, who I had met in Varkala (India) found out I was in Sri Lanka and told me to come down to a place called Midigama. They said there was a nice group of people and good surf, so I might as well start there. After giving it some thought, I said why not and only explored Colombo for a day, before taking the train down to Midigama to meet them.
As I said, I was really lucky, because when I arrived I found that beside it being paradise as the guesthouse (Rams Surf Beach) is right on the beach and in front of a famous surf spot, with beautiful beaches and nature all around, there were an amazing group of people that became my family in Sri Lanka.
The main reason anyone would go to Midigama is to surf, as it isn’t even a town…it’s more like a village with a few good surf breaks, so the people who go there are there to surf, and that says a lot about the people. The people were down to earth, good hearted people who love the thrill and search to ride waves.
Some details of life at Midigama and our guesthouse were:
Going to bed early (before or around midnight) and waking up early to be in the water to catch waves before sunrise or shortly after.
More reflecting and soul searching….meditation, yoga, juggling, drawing, practicing mini djembe drum.
Looking up at the amazing stars and moon from the beach right in front of our guesthouse, sunsets were also unbelievable.
Good conversation and gatherings and singing around a guitar or music…not really late nights of partying, with some occasional party nights.
Day trips on scooter or bus to villages along the coast like Galle, Unawatuna, Ahangama, Mirissa, Weligama, and Matara.
If you don´t care about Surfing you can skip this part, if not keep reading….
Surfing is the most humbling activity that I have found yet. Although I first learned to surf a long time ago, the last few years I have been trying to surf when the opportunity arises and I’ve tried to get better, as standing on a board is not that tough, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Learning to understand the waves and paddling past where the waves break (exhausting and frustrating as sometimes up to 45 minutes battling the sea just to be able to get to where you need to be ), and then when you finally are past the break of the waves, then they are far from predictable (to a beginner like me) and it’s hard work to be at the right place at the right time, which is key! So LOTS and LOTS of paddling (using your arms to move around and to generate some momentum).
While in Midigama I ended up surfing a few breaks like Lazy Left, Lazy Right, Plantation, Devils Rock, and Kabalana which were all nice, and it felt strange surfing over reef where if you fell you’d sometimes feel it!
Watching the most stunning sunsets with the spectacular colors reflecting off of the water as I sat on my surfboard at one with the ocean and sometimes sea turtles and other surfers.
At times really frustrated from spending up to 2 hours in the water and not being able to get a good ride on any of the waves I managed to stand up on.
2 sessions a day…in the morning and afternoon surf sessions trying to get as much surfing done as possible and better!
Yelling out in delight after catching a good ride and finding a big sea turtle 2 meters away either being startled by my yelling, or coming up to celebrate with me!
Getting pummeled by the ocean at times and feeling the force of the ocean when it decides to show you how small and insignificant you are and you learn to not fight against the ocean, but try to flow with what it throws your way. You learn to be smarter and strategic, or else you are DONE!
It was hard to pull myself away from Midigama and the amazing group we had at Rams, but one morning I took off to explore and hopped on a train around 7 hours (parts with beautiful views through the mountains) to get to Kandy, that is beautiful as it is surrounded by mountains and beautiful landscapes and vegetation and even has a nice lake in the middle and temples around.
Then my lack of planning and a bit of bad timing found me traveling in the mountains where almost everyone in Sri Lanka who can, goes…to the mountains where things got really crowded and accommodation started becoming scarce and expensive and people gave me incorrect information and I wasn’t able to get to a mountain I wanted to climb (Adams Peak) or to Nuwara Eliya and Ella that are supposed to be beautiful , so then I did something I loved. I exercised something I was fortunate to have. A choice! I decided to change my plans and just go back to Midigama to get more surfing done in a place I knew I already loved, and spent one more week there surfing and enjoying it.
Sad and pathetic skin whitening products sold all over 😦 I even noticed after using a soap I bought that it was whitening! Anyone who knows me knows that the last thing I want to do is get lighter!!
After so much exploring the last almost 14 months, My Sri Lanka trip ended up becoming a surf holiday. I explored a bit, but not as much as usual as I gave myself the opportunity to get better at something that I’ve always wanted. I spent almost all of my time in Midigama where I surfed by far the most I had ever surfed, and on top of it, I was in an island beach paradise surrounded by good people giving me hugs and love and we all shared laughs and good times.
More info about Sri Lanka and it’s 30 year Civil War that ended in 2009.