The last stop on our (too short) tour in Sri Lanka was Hikkaduwa and its beach. It hadn’t been part of our initial itinerary, as we had Arugam bay on our list instead yet changed our mind to make for more convenient travels.
Hikkaduwa is just a stonethrow away from Galle and the train ride over was yet again pleasant be it with a lot more people than the slow train to Galle the day before.
We opted to rent a scooter for some mobility and after a refreshing swim in the hotel pool we explored Hikkaduwa.
2004 Tsunami – Sri Lanka hit hard
The 2004 Tsunami originated near Indonesia, but had a devastating impact on Sri Lanka. While in Indonesia close to 230,000 people died, at 40,000 Sri Lanka had the 2nd highest death toll (and at 0.2% of total population more than twice the relative death rate than Indonesia).
While Hikkaduwa got away with it (one death) being protected by elevation and a large coral reef just off the beach, the nearby village Peraliya got wiped out. 2,000 people died especially as the second, ten meter high wave hit. A museum documents the tragedy.
Sea turtle hatchery and sanctuary
Second stop on our tour was the sea turtle hatchery and sanctuary. One the one hand they help injured turtles for example after a loss of limbs due to boat propellers. Usually fishermen bring them in.
Secondly, they hatch turtle eggs in a save environment and release the young turtles into the sea at about two days age. Fascinating little creatures and certainly a memorable event when we got to release a turtle each ourself. Good luck!
Given that we were in an island, beach time has come a little short to be honest. We managed to catch up a little and went snorkeling on Hikkaduwa beach.
We rounded it off with a nice fish meal beachside that night. 😋🐟
Colombo & good-bye Sri Lanka
Our time in Colombo was unspectacular other than the train ride often right along the beach and our visit to a Bavarian restaurant that stocks my favorite mustard (Bautz’ner Senf from Saxony). The city itself isn’t worth spending much time in and easily the worst we have seen on the island.
If you must, laura’s two highlights from her time her prior to my arrival in Sri Lanka are the Gangaramaya temple with many Buddha statues and Gangarama lake (the smaller of the lakes) with its Buddhist temple (very pretty at night).
Bye, bye Sri Lanka. It has been wonderful. Now the North of India 🇮🇳 awaits – somehow i already feel we will miss you…