A scooter day trip in Tangalle
Updated: Jan 1, 2020
Soon after renting scooters, the local police pulled us over and quickly discovered that we'd left our licences in the hotel room #RookieMistake
The ensuing conversation was as bizarre as it was brief:
'Do you want to pay a fine? 1000 rupees?'
'No thanks', replies The Boyfriend.
'Okay', says the policeman.
After this, the officer clearly decided that there was no sense in talking to The Boyfriend, so he questioned me instead, ‘Does your husband really have a driving licence?’.
Perhaps it was my biker face mask (or that I kind of look like a local) that meant he believed me and let us go.
This was in stark contrast to our run in with the sexist police in Kent who would barely look in my direction.
Remarkably, the two officers were quite happy to have their photo taken - although later on I discovered that 'Polfies' are quite popular in Sri Lanka…
Who knew it was so easy to avoid a police fine – you just politely decline and smile. I love this country.
Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary
We carried on to the Bird Sanctuary, 13 miles east of Tangalle town. It wasn't until we got there that the effects of the summer heat were evident: the lake that you're supposed to float down to observe the birds had practically dried up.
So instead we trudged through the boggy marshes (unsuccessfully in my case) in the blistering heat.
The buffalo were not too pleased to see us so we kept a wide berth; however, the local rascal dogs came in for a bit of light entertainment and chased the beasts around.
Next was a relaxing stop on Silent Beach, probably the most beautiful of all the coastal places we've visited so far.
5 of the world's 7 turtle species nest on the beaches of Sri Lanka. Turtles always return to the same place they were born to give birth to their own young.
We scooted out to the Turtle Hut in Rekawa for the 8.30pm beach walk with the volunteers (donation 1000 rupees).
We were very lucky to see a green sea turtle digging a deep chamber to lay her eggs under a tree.
The red torch is because turtles can't see red easily on the light spectrum.
She spent a long time laboriously flinging sand back over the hole with her fins to keep the new turtle generation safe from predators.
This was an exhausting task which preceded her having to drag her vast 150 kilos of weight across the sand and back into the Indian Ocean. Well done, mama!
The drive back was uneventful except for the local buses which sneak up behind you in the dark and then sound their excessively loud horn in your ear as they overtake.
The ditch and I nearly became acquainted on several occasions.
Thankfully, the police were nowhere to be seen...
Next post (A Safari in Udawalawe National Park)