Ampara to Arugam Bay – Honks and Hellos
We rode out of Ampara at dawn, very happy to leave our dirty and over-priced lodgings. I thought that the TripAdvisor claims of blood on the wall and insect infestations at the “luxury” Hotel Monty were maybe a little exaggerated…. Until I noticed the blood on the wall of our room and found bugs all over the bed. Once again we were grateful for our silk sleep sacks – they make even the grossest bed dealable.
Sri Lankans love to honk as their vehicles pass us on the road – some of them are clearly “hello” honks (often accompanied by a wave, a shouted “hello” or just a head wobble). Others seem more like “get out of my way” honks or “just so you know, I am right beside you” honks. Most are obnoxiously loud, some are startling enough to almost make me ride into the sandy shoulder. Honestly, despite the obvious good intentions behind it, all the unnecessary honking gets old extremely fast. But once in a while, you hear a tuk-tuk approach from behind, brace yourself for the inevitable blare of the horn, and instead (or in addition to) you get a vehicle packed with children shouting hello, waving, and giving big smiles. Oh, Sri Lanka, we can’t stay mad at you.
We told some folks we met here in Arugam Bay that we were planning to head to India (where they have been traveling for the past 6 months). They told us that instead of one honk every 20 seconds (like we get here), we can expect 20 honks every single second. Joy.
Along the road we met some fellow cycle-tourists – the first we’ve seen so far in Sri Lanka. They are touring for 5 years, heading (mostly) overland from London to New Zealand.
Looks like an amazing journey. They recommended our current lodgings – the Beach Hut in Arugam Bay – which is located just off the beach with wifi, no blood on the walls, and real coffee!!! We’ll be staying here for a few nights, for sure.