Unawatuna eventually became my base to explore other beach towns like Mirissa, Tangalla, Hikkaduwa, Galle, and Weligama to name a few. I was sort of feeling beached out but so I thought I’d check out the further end of Unawatuna today then head to Galle Fort after lunch. It was a pretty average day but at least I did something!
In the morning I walked to the beach with a Russian girl I met the night before who was also staying in my dorm. She adored the two little puppies and says she’s done some modelling work in China. English wasn’t perfect but we still got along. Russians definitely have a unique accent relative to the majority of Europeans who I haven’t quite got the hang of differentiating just yet.
Once we reached the tourist strip we parted ways and I headed to the pointy southern end of the beach to check out the big buddha that was sticking its head out just above the canopy of palm trees. Gosh I really need to start eating more nutritious food, it was just a tiny hill to get up and I felt 60! It was a nice breeze and view of Unawatuna main beach I discovered at the top as well as a few people practising Yoga by the big buddha. On the other side was a stretch of rocky shore and all you could feel was a strong cool breeze and hear the waves crashing dangerously agains the rocks below.
The ‘secret’ beach everyone knows about. I was under the impression it wasn’t a walking distance but I followed a path I hadn’t uncovered yet and ended up following the marked signs for Jungle Beach. From the big buddha, it was probably a 15-20 min through shady and quiet jungle bush land and gravel/sandy paths.
Jungle beach was small but it was a nice palmy area, not to crowded, and the water had just enough wave to enjoy floating about but no big waves so that was nice. I went in for a short dip just so I can enjoy the warm feeling you get drying up by sun baking – loved it.
Galle is apparently name so after the sea gulls or birds the Dutch were hearing when they arrived. The disputed belief is that Galle is the Sinhalese word for ‘rock’. As a result both tourists and locals would pronounce the place as ‘Goll’ or ‘Gaah-le’. The Fort is ancient and it was apparently where King Solomon acquired gems, spices, and peacocks. But after a century or so, the Dutch claimed it as their main base for their cinnamon trade in Sri Lanka.
Galle Fort has an interesting village feeling in a similar way to the Vattican in Italy. There are old buildings, museums, and court rooms that make you feel as if you’re in an old Western / English movie. Pricey boutique travel inns were dotted about the cobble stone streets amongst upmarket cafes, tea and mask stores, and a lot of stores selling gemstones and other jewellery. I wasn’t interested in shopping but they made good refuge from the heat outside 😛
Besides Galle Fort, Galle town isn’t great. It’s a busy, crowded little beach town with little to offer in terms of beach paradise. I was certainly glad to have chosen to stay in Unawatuna!!