Once you step on a train platform in Colombo for trains leaving to south coast, it is filled with tourists and backpackers along with the local people. Squeezing my way in the carriage, I spent couple good hours standing once I got the seat. The views are truly beautiful! The rail tracks goes along the cost of Indian ocean, with some parts almost being washed by the crushing waves and some going through lush greens and villages. After a rather long ride and I arrived just before sun started to set through the tropical palm trees.
The magic of south coast is in those dreamy paradise beaches. The crystal clear perfectly warm ocean water washing in the shores of soft sand and colourful seashells. All the shades of blue contrast to lush greens with flowering sweet aromas from hibiscus and frangipani, palm trees.
Weligama. Literally meaning a sandy village, has a soft sand bay beach. And the long shallow entrance into the water gives a safe and good waves to learn surfing. Jungle beach, little further away from wide open Weligama bay, however is for those salty water dips and bathing in the sunshine. But the Weligama beach is where I took my first attempt on surfing and quite fell in love with it. But to define, that on the first try on my birthday, I felt defeated by the water. Literally feeling I have been put into a washing machine. After an hour, I was powerless and exhausted. Yet there was something about it that still fascinated me and dragged me to learn. So with a wise choice, I was back in the water but this time with an professional instructor.
Starting the day in the water, learning to read the waves, feeling the rhythms of the moving waters and mother ocean. And that joy and burst of happiness once you get up on the board and ride the wave, thirsting for more, wanting to improve and just being in that moment.
Weligama was my little base on the south coast with the best stay at Layback. Where I also found my trusted surf instructor. The town is easily linked with convenient, cheap and rather fun bus rides away from picturesque Mirissa beach and historical Galle town also accessible by train.
There were enough shops and fruit markets to get the daily sweet mangoes, juicy papayas, mangosteens, pineapple and delicious coconut water, just to name the few of the mouthwatering tropical fruits bursting with natural flavours from being picked locally and just at the ripest.
And for a plant-based foodie, Weligama has the bohemian inspired Nomad cafe with the rainbow coloured poke bowls and beyond delicious iced matcha mylk, but almost on the other side of the town is Ceylon’s Sliders. And another heaven of yummy veggie bowls and the famous vegan burger. But in between, Cruising Smoothly track has the prettiest niece cream bowls served in environment conscious coconut shells.
But just a short bus or tuk tuk ride away in the little fisherman’s village of Gurubebila, you will find a beautiful coconut beach with surfers chasing waves under sunset coloured sky and cows grazing between the palm trees. And for some foodie break, Jamu Surf Lodge has nourishing house bowls. But to get the body moving and mind calming, their yoga shala has daily drop in yoga classes.
Yoga and wellness has some good spots on the south coast. Green Peace Inn, Sri Yoga Shala, Basecamp just to name a few. And The Kip and SunShineStories for authentic stays and experiences.
To keep it sweet and short, I will leave the first part of southern province blog post here, with some more places to explore in the next one.