Unawatuna is a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and famous for its beautiful beach and corals. It is quite an expensive place. As usual Mr.H exercised his level best to stick with our regular budget, but couldn’t find any.. Finally we settled with a beach facing resort for double the money we normally spend per day! We didn’t mind as it was our last day of stay.
Unawatuna is a coastal town in Galle district of Sri Lanka. Unawatuna traces its roots to the great epic Ramayana.In the epic, the monkey-warrior Hanuman was sent back to India to fetch the four medicinal herbs by Jambavan namely, Mritasanjeevani, Vishalyakarani, Suvarnakarani, and Sandhani from the Himalayas in order to heal Lakshman who was wounded trying to save the abducted Princess Sita from the demon king Ravana. Hanuman failed to identify these herbs, so he lifted the entire mountain and carried it to the battlefield to try to save Lakshman, but in the process, a chunk of it “fell-down” in the location of the present day Unawatuna, the name of the village derives from “Una-watuna” meaning “fell down”.
It was a Friday night. There were lots of weekend parties happening in the beach. Entry to those party locations were free for foreigners. Yipee! We were considered foreigners here and were proud to be one. The night view of the beach was amazing… Mr. G and I bought a couple of beer cans and roamed around the entire beach..
There were more women than men in the beach, most of them in their own sweet world. Japanese, Africans, British Asians etc.. and few locals were seen too. Camp fires were lit everywhere.. Most of the women were playing beach volleyball with the locals who called themselves guides.Few were seen kissing and swimming happily in the sea at around midnight It was almost 12.30 at night and we too having walked far from our resort decided to return. .
While getting back I was feeling low as this was our 4th night in Srilanka and we just had one more night left, before we headed back to India. Mr. G cheered me up reminding me of the mesmerising 5th day, of the casinos and dance bars in Colombo.. Talking all such nonsense we reached our resort and fell asleep!
Waking up early the next morning, we got ready and were sitting in the swinging couch. I was fiddling with my mobile when I got a new notification from Skype – “ Free international Skype calls to landlines and mobiles into Tamil Nadu, India”. I thought that it was a new feature. Without even realizing why such feature is being introduced, I tried calling a few Indian numbers.. Phones were ringing but I guess it was too early for people to pick up calls..
We got ready for the adventure activities planned by Mr.S such as Scuba and Snorkeling. Mr. H as usual did the honors by negotiating and settling with Unawatuna Diving Centre. We were first taken for Snorkeling. After being given instructions about the .do’s and dont’s, we wore the safety gears and climbed aboard a boat. We were asked to practise a bit for the first 30 minutes near the sea shore and the next 30 minutes, we were told, we would be taken to the mid sea..
We started with familiarisation in the first 30 minutes.. I was more comfortable than others because of routine practice of breathing through my mouth. H & S also jumped into the water and were getting the feel of it. Our beach boy, Mr. G who spoke lots of science about this, jumped in and ended up drinking sea water. He cried for life and got back into the boat. I enjoyed other scenes from my distance. There were people who were celebrating their birthdays cutting a cake standing inside the sea water! H & S were trying to get G into the sea and make him experience.. By that time, the first 30 minutes got over and we were taken to the mid sea.
As a non-swimmer, it was a dream for me to get into water at the mid sea. That I was in the Indian Ocean was an exciting feeling. We reached the midsea and were given instructions not to go beyond 500 meters from the boat. This time I didn’t want H & S to waste their time making G comfortable. I just pulled him inside the water and took him in. Slowly he started enjoying. We explored the underwater world.
After few minutes, I couldn’t spot G around. I thought he had perhaps gone back to the boat, and I went back to exploring underwater. Slowly I started to feel that I was moving faster.. Suddenly I heard loud shouts. I tried to come out of the water, but could feel the high tides coming in and I just couldn’t lift my head out of water.. When I tried jumping, I saw the boat guy was shouting at me and sending the other guy towards me to fetch me back. I was far off from the boat and G was on the other side, both off battling for life. I just couldn’t constantly keep my head out of water.
Within few minutes, the rescue guy came and pulled me on to the boat. G was pulled in too. A sudden high tide happened was what I was told!. The boat guys sensed it and called S & H since they were around the boat. But since we were both very far, we had to face the imminent danger. The boat guy was screaming like hell in Sinhalese. With Sudden fear instilled, we returned to the shore, cancelling the scuba activity too.
Walking back to the resort, we took a shower and got ready to pack up. G and I sat in the van fiddling with our mobiles. G informed me that it had been raining heavily in Chennai since the time we left. Most of the houses apparently had been washed away in the floods and people were struggling for life. I too realised now the reason why skype gave free calls to Tamil nadu.
The driver was saying that the entire stretch till Colombo would be a coastal ride and there were beaches here and there. Deciding to spend some time in a couple of beaches which S has noted we drove ahead. The driver was also in a happy mood as he would be reaching his home and family that day.
The first beach we stopped at was called Hikkaduwa’s beach where nightlife made it a popular tourist destination. It is a well-known international destination for board-surfing. This is similar to Unawatuna beach, but with lesser cottages, and easier on the pocket. We just took a walk clicked a few snaps.
As we were feeling hungry, we decided to move on to lunch.
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