Sri Lanka 24: Pottuvil Lagoon

First off, yes, obviously, this picture you saw when you clicked this post has nothing to do with a lagoon.

We’ll get to that.  Lagoon at the bottom.

The day started like most others in Arugam Bay might.  No particular fixed schedule, woke up and wandered to find some breakfast, finding at a restaurant named “Sham”, which had really good food and an awesomely misspelled menu featuring “Blake Tea” and “Blake Coffee”, along with “Thoste and Jam”.  Great breakfast food, though, and the owner was super friendly, letting us know that, if we wanted a good Sri Lankan curry tonight, we could let him know before 3:00 pm and it would be on the menu.

Funny thing about him as he did that, though.  Lots of older men in Sri Lanka wear sarongs, and I’ve noticed that, when they have to walk around, they do a little grab in the front that makes it look like they’re holding their junk.  So to be invited to dinner by a guy who looked like he was grabbing his crotch, but was actually just maintaining his sarong, was an interesting sight.

We headed back for what will likely be our last bit of beach time on this vacation, coming across an entire Sri Lankan family having a dance-off with drum accompaniment.  We were brought over by a very enthusiastic guy who said we could film and take pictures, no problem, if we’d come and dance.

So we did.  I had a few moves and got this kid eating an ice cream cone involved.  Like a rapper dropping a mic, he tossed aside the ice cream cone – with some ice cream still inside – to bust the best moves a four year old could bust.  Daina got down in the dancing circle and, after one guy “challenged” me with some hand walking, I did a little “headstand dancing”, which involved me standing on my head and waving my arms and legs to the beat.  He then proceeded to bust out a worm, a flying somersault and a backflip, at which point I said “You win.”  He then gave me his phone number to remember, if we ever wanted to hang out.  I remember that it started with 077 and had a 5 in it, so chalk that one up to lost opportunity.

We spent over an hour jumping in the waves and getting some sun before heading back to the main strip for lunch.  We found some excellent kothu at Why Not, and thus far it hasn’t had the same effect as the Kandy kothu.

Quick change and shower and we were off for the daily scheduled activity, the Pottuvil Lagoon!

The lagoon is located outside of Arugam Bay (another tuk tuk to get there) and a “tour” basically involves one of the local fishermen taking you out on a boat made of two pontoons and some planks of sturdy wood.  The lagoon is surrounded by mangroves, and you’ll spend the better part of two hours slowly floating around, spotting eagles, kingfishers, egrets and cormorants, with the specter of crocodiles hiding in the mangroves.  Our guides saw some, but they were under the water before we were able to spot them.

Overall, not a “must see” in Sri Lanka, but you could do worse than to spend a couple of hours floating around a peaceful lagoon at sunset.

Tomorrow is a LONG transit day, as we make the eight hour drive to Colombo.  Let you know if anything interesting happens along the way.

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