We have arranged for the same tuktuk driver to collect us from the guest house and take us to the beach today and he is waiting for us when we emerge at 10:00.
We travel for about an hour and on the way stop to photograph the “stilt fishermen”. There are a lot of images about these guys on the Internet, but not much info, although I did find this explanation –
Stilt fishing is unique to Sri Lanka and mainly found along the South coast. This is no ordinary form of fishing, the fishermen in this scenario sit on small cross poles attached to poles which have been stuck into the ocean bed a few meters offshore. There are no large fish caught either, just small sardine sized reef fish. Traditionally the skill, and the pole itself, was passed down from father to son, and some poles were considered to be better than others based on location and surroundings. The stilt poles, known locally as riti panna, can be seen all along Galle Road, sadly however many were damaged or destroyed during the tsunami.
We finally arrive at a private beach resort at Milissa, with the use of the resort facilities, restaurant, etc. I am stunned by the beauty of the beach – pristine fine white sand fringed with towering palm trees, and huge breakers rolling up the sand.
I soon test the water and it is heavenly – no “ooh” factor when it reaches the delicate area, and although it is much too strong a current for me to swim, I spend a lot of time in the water, trying to keep my balance against the waves.
I also spend considerable time studying the tiny crabs that scuttle along the beach, picking fights with eachother, but not moving far from their hidey-holes that they race to take shelter in whenever I make any movement.
We reluctantly tear ourselves away from the sand to have a bite to eat in the restaurant and leave the resort at about 16:00 and stop off en-route to the Fort to collect my anti-leech trousers and Ella’s dress.
The driver receives a message for us to call in at the jewellers, and Ella starts to become anxious that the ring she commissioned yesterday will not be as she hopes and expects. However she is delighted with the custom made ring and continues to admire it for the rest of the evening.
It has been a wonderful relaxing day, the only one we are likely to have during the three weeks of our trip, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it.
This is our last night in Galle Fort, and we pack up ready for our departure in the morning.