Arugam Bay to Mirissa – Four Days of Riding
For reasons that have something to do with the size of Sri Lanka (small) and something to do with the size of my hubris (big) we decided to ride all the way from Arugam Bay to Colombo rather than catching a train part of the way, as was our original plan. We gave ourselves a week to ride the 420 kilometers (261 miles), and we’ve already made it 276 km (171 miles). Just 144km more to go!
I’ll be honest – Sri Lanka’s coastline is a lot hillier than Thailand, and I was not prepared for how exhausted I would be. To get ahead of the heat, we leave at first light (around 6am) and try to be off the road by 11. After arriving on the first day (65 km from Arugam Bay to Obbegoda), I only left the room for dinner. The second day (a VERY hilly 90 km from Obbegoda to Tissamaharama), I didn’t leave the room at all. Dmitry brought me lunch, which I ate and promptly fell asleep. It was really too bad – Tissa looked like a very cute town (the little I saw, anyway). I fared much better yesterday (70 km from Tissa to Tangalle), and even went for a beautiful walk along the beach yesterday evening. Today – a relatively brief jaunt (50 km from Tangalle to Mirissa) seemed like nothing. We were checking into a guest house by 9am, showered and laundered by 10am, and on the beach with lunch at noon.
Fortunately, all the riding has been gorgeous, so I don’t feel like I am missing out – even when I fall asleep so early.
Riding through the countryside in the early morning, we see farmers riding out to their fields on bicycles. Dozens of peacocks perch on tall tree branches and cry out their surprisingly feline cries. As we rode through Lahugala Sanctuary, we saw two wild elephants along the road (from a distance, thank goodness!).
In Yala National Park, we spotted mongoose and painted cranes as we rode through a cloud of butterflies. On the road to Tangalle, a giant monitor lizard made his slow way across our path, and today a monkey alomost landed on me as he launched himself just in front of my bike (yes, I was terrified; no, we don’t have video). And all along the road have been beaches, lush rice paddies, life-saving coconut sellers, and friendly Sri Lankan people. I am exhausted, but I wouldn’t trade it.
Subscribe to the blog to get notifications whenever we post!