Christmas in Sri Lanka
Updated: Jan 1, 2020
The balcony of our hotel room looks out over palm trees filled with parakeets and the rolling waves of the Indian Ocean.
Sunrise in Tangalle (turn the volume up)
However, Christmas morning found me balancing over a hole-in-the-floor toilet collecting a urine sample whilst trying to avoid touching the mouldy hospital walls.
By late afternoon, I had escaped the medical facilities with some drugs so The Boyfriend and I headed over to Mangrove Beach for our delayed Christmas (curry) lunch.
Kayaking in Rekawa Lagoon
After our non-turkey feast, we rented some kayaks from a hotel nearby and headed off into the lagoon to work off the festive food coma.
We didn’t see as much wildlife as on the Bentota Water Safari but there were several electric blue Kingfishers flirting around, water monitors and eagles circling above.
The old fish-a-roo
We ended the day with a fresh seafood platter by the shore at Happy Bar. We carefully chose our fish from the display cabinet - ones with bright eyes and healthy gills - and then sat with a couple of beers to play Yahtzee.
We were bit confused when we tucked into the food – instead of BBQd flakes of delectable fish, the flesh of the red snapper and seer mackerel was more like a paste.
The Boyfriend pointed this out to the waiter who immediately looked very worried and said that we didn’t have to pay for the food at all.
This was a clear admission of fish-swapping guilt and left a bitter taste in more than one way.
To drown our sorrows, we took a night cap in Free Beer Bar who, true to their name, gave us a complimentary beer after we ordered two bottles of Tiger.
Soon after leaving, the diuretics the doctor gave me kicked in and I had a glorious festive wee on the empty beach, looking up at Orion’s Belt.
Free beer and a sky full of stars… not such a bad Christmas after all.