Day 7, 16 July 2012 – Sri Lanka – Galle

Another leisurely start and we set off at 11:00 to walk through the Fort gate to the town of Galle beyond. The main road runs along the sea front and the sea is very rough with high rollers due to two different monsoon systems meeting at this point. It is very hot and humid but there is a nice breeze coming off the ocean.

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Galle is a busy fishing port, which is obvious from the very pungent smell that surrounds us. The fishing boats are a very unusual design.

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The main road is very noisy with much traffic all blasting their horns every few seconds. We see familiar forms of transport and those less familiar.

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We find various markets selling fruit, veg, fish and spices. We buy a few oranges which are ridiculously expensive, we can only imagine that they are not grown here. We are restricted in what we buy by having no knife to peel skin, although we buy some mangos and the vendor cuts them up for us.

I also buy some fresh vanilla pods which smell delicious.

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It occurs to me that the shabby and dilapidated buildings must be the result of the boxing day tsunami in 2004, and when I later look for info on the Internet I see that in Sri Lanka more than 35,000 deaths and 22,000 injuries were caused by the flooding and more than one million people were displaced, with 5,000 deaths in this area alone.

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We then come across a tourist information office which is a haven of coolness and we settle down with the very nice young man who tells us all about everything and shows us videos of various tourist attractions. I have to admit to nodding off a couple of times.

On the way back to the Fort, we pass by the famous international cricket ground (although not that famous – I was not aware of it), which has a backdrop of the ramparts and the sea beyond.

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We have lunch within the Fort and then set off to find an ice cream shop that a local man had given us a card for. We eventually find it and ring a bell for attention, to be greeted by a gaggle of small giggling girls, who ask us where we are from. Mum emerges from the back of the property and I choose a vanilla ice cream which is home made and absolutely delicious. We sit outside to eat it in the shade and Mum comes out to talk to us, telling us all about life in the Fort and about the Muslim fast that is about to begin and how the children cope with not eating all day.

We return to our room for a snooze before leaving to find the best spot on the ramparts to watch the sun set. There are many other people doing the same thing and I take photos for a few couples whilst we wait. It is very hazy so the sun set is not as spectacular as it sometimes is, but very pretty nevertheless.

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We wander on along the Fort walls and come across a couple in wedding dress having professional photos taken, and see a group of young men playing cricket. We find as nice restaurant and have the best meal of our stay so far and then proceed to get thoroughly lost, walking in ever increasing circles around the streets in the near pitch black as there are very few street lights.

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We finally come across our guest house, and watch an episode of Damages, before calling it a day.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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