Old Hippy

The “Rough Guide” says: “Back in the 1970s, Hikkaduwa was Sri Lanka’s original hippy hangout…” So, naturally I had to go. Better late than never, after all.

I had a relatively lazy start to the morning: the bread van woke me at about 5:30, but I dozed and read until 7:00 or so and generally slobbed around before heading out.

The 30 minute bus journey from Galle cost the princely sum of 40/- (20p) and I negotiated my path through all the beach front cafés that block access to the beach from the coastal road: a cunning ploy to sell food and drink on their part.

Having hit the beach, I decided to splash out and have breakfast. A large glass of freshly squeezed pineapple, two fried eggs, “toast” (a bit nearer the real thing than you-know-where’s), butter, yellow jam and enough strong coffee to set off heart palpitations, all for £3. The service was good and a tip to the waitress ensured I was in her good books so I got a lounger and lounged. At one point I went into the sea and played about, keeping my bag in view. There was quite a strong undertow on the shelving beach which had quite big waves and some surfers not too far off. It was a popular spot and nearby were a small group of holiday-makers – German, I think – consisting of two mums, two young girls and a wee boy. The girls were in and out of the water. Suddenly, I was aware that one of the mums was getting frantic that the girls were too far out and looked to be having difficulties. I got to my feet and started to wade in, but a local guy got there well before me and disaster was averted.

Excitement over, I went back to lounging, occasionally alternating that with reclining, then caught a bus back to Galle.

As I approached my abode, I bumped into Rick, Head Teacher at TGS. He said “It’s movie night: wanna come?” The result is that at 5pm this evening I should be watching “Peanuts: the Movie” across the road from here.

I’m still waiting for the table that’s coming for my room. I asked Sera and he says this weekend and tells me there’ll be an upright chair as well. That should make a huge difference to my arrangements here and will be a welcome addition to my modern lifestyle.

The daughter of the family – Sulakshi – is off on a school day trip to Anuradhapura, one of the country’s main cultural highlights and for a millennium SL’s main city, before being destroyed over 1000 years ago. The poor girl was leaving Galle in a coach at 3:30 this morning and is not due to be home until about 11pm. I hope she enjoys it: she certainly seemed to be excited about the trip.

If I try to make it up to the “Cultural Triangle”, which includes Anuradhapura, I’d certainly not be trying to do it in a day! However, we did visit the area on my first visit here, so I may give it a miss this time.

 

Afterword

If you haven’t yet seen “Peanuts: the Movie”, can I suggest you remove it from your “to do” list. The kindest thing I can say is: “I’m not entirely convinced the transition from the condensed bitter-sweet wit of a 5 or 6 frame cartoon strip to 90+ minutes of high-pitched American voices overlaid on OTT CGI has been a complete success.”

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