Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dolphins 3, Raiders 0

This is why I came to Sri Lanka. Well, this and to get out of paying any rent. Or cooking any meals. And I wanted to meet some new people. And hang out in cool places. I've talked about living with my brother and all that goes with that, and I've mentioned so many cool people that I've met, and it's not that Colombo isn't cool, it is, in a grimy city kind of way (who doesn't love that?), but I may have just returned from Paradise. Riyaz, Nisreen, their kids, Nisreen’s brother Moru who is visiting from New York City, and I went to Alankuda Beach in the sleepy town of Kalpitya this past weekend. Riyaz, Nis and the kids had been there twice before, the draw being the “thousands of dolphins” that supposedly swim off the shore of this resort north of Colombo. The drill is, you get up at 6am, go out in the boats, and supposedly the sea is lousy with dolphins. None of the people I know who have been there have ever seen one, but the place is fabulous and they figured the third time would be the charm. No luck. It was raining Sunday morning at 7am when we got to the boat-house; a group was just coming back in having searched for about an hour—not a fin to be found. The group coming out of the boat was cold and wet and more than a little annoyed at the lack of mammal sighting, but it’s difficult to stay annoyed for any length of time at Alankuda. I think the pictures make that case pretty well. We decided to bag the dolphin hunt and spent the morning relaxing, snoozing, reading, eating, drinking, swimming, and hanging out in pretty much the same fashion we had the previous day. Here’s what it all looked like:

You walk down this path to get to the cabanas; there are four on the property, plus a little guest house. Turn into one of the openings in the path...

The cabanas sleep four (plus two kids) very comfortably.

Everything is very open-air, including the bathroom.

The best part, as described by one of the kids: "the magic coconut tree shower."

This is the main building where everyone hangs out and it's where meals are served.

We arrived on Saturday just in time for lunch.

Crab curry!

Evening: kids are in bed, everyone else is hard-core relaxing. Notice the iPod docking station on the right.

Did I mention the pool?

There's a pool.

This is one of the boats we would have gone out in to see the dolphins that weren't there.

Rishard and Adam.

Moru, Nisreen, and Riyaz.

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