So this technically doesn't start on day 2 but hey..here it is! We spent the night at Peanut farm which is South of Arugam bay itself and a real surfing mecca in High season. We are so lucky to be able to stay there with guests as it feels so wild at night and while our camping is (as always) pretty basic, we have the benefit of being able to use their well and occasionally shower block to freshen up. It may be hot but we still lit a campfire, firstly because the sound of the wood crackling, along with the waves crashing is amazing..secondly because it puts wild elephants off from wandering through. They may be big but they move fast and quietly and because the moon is often the only light (there are no other hotels, houses or street lights here) you don't usually see them coming!
Our favourite part of staying here is waking to the sunrise (hard luck to the lazy late sleepers amongst us-the sunshine peeping through the trees will wake you up but it's definitely worth it) As we had a couple of surfers present this meant hitting the water before tuk tuks started arriving from the Bay, which is an added bonus of the early start!
After a surf and a snooze in the shade, we had a drive to a couple of spots to look for crocodiles. We weren't as fortunate as usual because the water level was too low, so we saw 4-5 of them where we would usually find around 15-20 but that's part of looking for things in their natural habitat, it's not to predictable and you have to be satisfied with a glimpse of these creatures! (Take note if you're thinking of joining a Sri Lankan whale tour..!) We did however enjoy the walk, collect some exotic feathers and see some birds who were totally undeterred from fishing by us.
On our way back we stopped off at a small Hindu temple in the village. While Hikkaduwa is predominantly Buddhist, there are a large number of Muslim and Hindu residents in this part of the island, which means you can find some vibrant temples and large mosques dotted through the towns. Some kids who were waiting outside for a bus after school sized up our guests and managed to get some free ice creams, which then led to them curiously following them into the temple. We had worked up a sweat by that point and needed refreshments..If anyone has tried Sri Lankan juices or tea, they will know just how sugary drinks here can be-sometimes it feels like you could stand a spoon in your glass! It's strangely satisfying in the heat though and we noticed a tiny stall selling syrupy juice with fruit floating in it (not quite like Faluda as seen in previous post but just as sickly) and all happily guzzled a glass full in the shade.
Come evening time we took a walk along the windy dusty road which connects Peanut farm to the main road (a great spot for elephant watching with a guide at night) and made a plan to head to the lagoon for fishing and drinks.
We rowed out on small canoes into the lagoon and found a large rock to fish from. We were joined by local fishermen we know, who definitely helped in our efforts to get a decent meal together! Sometimes elephants can be seen swimming here at night so you have to keep an eye out. In the distance we could see lightening which made for a great view in the dark.
After Marco's morning surf and a delicious breakfast, we started our journey back to Hikkaduwa. It's so hard to leave and this time we really enjoyed having Sudhi the puppy to play with (seen above running away with a bikini) If anyone is headed that way and wants to swing by Peanut Farm, donations of flea collars, frontline, vitamins etc would be great for the jungle dogs living there. They're very affectionate even if they seem a bit wild looking!