Āyurveda & Elephants
We woke on our last day in Weligama slightly broken & aching from our surfing adventures; it was time to find a spa! A quick phone call later and we were booked into the Secret Root Spa in Mirissa later that day, post-yoga and post-surf. I was looking forward to it so much, after recovering from flu, getting over jet-lag and battering my body surfing, I was in need of some pampering.
We said our goodbyes to our surfing teacher and made our way to the rooftop restaurant at the Hangtime hostel in Weligama; a really nice spot to read a book, sip a coffee and enjoy a really good vegan lunch of spiced chickpeas (the falafel wrap that Sander ordered looked tasty too).
We headed to Mirissa and the spa for 4'oclock and we both went for the Ayurvedic package, which is an hour long massage followed by a steam bath, my aching muscles were positively quivering with excitement! We were led to an indoor/outdoor cabana with a curtain separating us, and one hour of a strong but gentle massage commenced.
It was exactly what I needed after being so active all week, and the scent of the Ayurvedic oils was heavenly. It was all over far too quickly, I really enjoyed drifting away as the rain fell heavily outside. I was then led to a wooden box type contraption, that I had to climb into (naked) and lie inside for twenty minutes (luckily my head was outside) as hot steam was released and enveloped my body. It was one of the best and worst experiences of my life. I felt amazing afterwards, but also slightly like I was being burnt alive inside the box....
Suitably relaxed and steamed we headed into Mirissa for some sunset drinks and dinner at Zephyr (one of my favourites finds in Sri Lanka so far). It's a lovely, whitewashed bar overlooking the beautiful moon-shaped bay of Mirissa. We also experienced the best sunset of our trip thus far. The food we had was also very high quality and we really enjoyed spending our last night on the South coast in this beautiful spot.
The next morning (after a quick trip to Matara hospital to have a rabies booster after being bitten by a stray dog !) we headed to the bus station in Matara to catch the bus to Udawalawe National Park. The bus journey takes around 4 hours because it stops a lot, I wouldn't suggest taking buses in Sri Lanka if you're a nervous traveller as the drivers are pretty crazy, they drive very erratically! We arrived in one piece at The Nature House and headed out for an early dinner as we missed lunch due to the crazy bus ride.
Yesterday we had an early morning wake up call (5.30) to go on our safari in the National Park. We saw lots of elephants in the wild, as well as monkeys, crocodiles, buffaloes, pretty birds and lots of different lizards. A great way to start the day! We had a hearty breakfast and then headed to see the orphaned baby elephants being fed at the Elephant Transition House. It's always so magical to be close to these magnificent creatures, elephants are one of my favourite animals, so I'm a happy human right now!
Today we're headed to Arugam Bay, (aka surfer paradise in Sri Lanka) we're spending almost two weeks there and we're looking forward to improving our surfing and practising more yoga for the next couple of weeks.