One of the most iconic images I’ve seen of Sri Lanka, long before we visited even the first time was of the stilt fishermen on the coastline of Galle and, understandably so, this is something I’d wanted to see for quite some time!
But more on that later… first off – lunch!
Lunch was at Church Street Social, the beautiful restaurant at the The Fort Bazaar (a brilliant find by the lovely folk at Thomson). The Fort Bazaar, and indeed the restaurant are something of an oasis of calm in busy Galle. The old property is within the UNESCO World Heritage site of Galle Fort and was abandoned back in the 1950s until in 2006, the hotel owners decided to create The Fort Bazaar.
For the last few weeks on our travels, I’d kinda avoided having curries for lunch/dinner and instantly regretting this when Lloyd’s curries arrived so on this trip to Sri Lanka, I had no intention of missing out on any curry dishes… (save for breakfast… I tend to go with sweet over savory for breakfast).
I had a passion fruit lemonade to get me ready (Lloyd went for a chocolate milkshake) and we both went for the curries for our mains (after some duck rolls to start).
Now I assumed, like with curries in the UK, I’d get the rice and curry pretty much on its own but curries here come with lots of little side dishes and so it turns out to be a lot more diverse and exciting tastes on your plate.
Tummies full and hunger-rumbling abated, we headed off to Koggala to see the fishermen on the stilts. By the way, when you’re headed here, it’s worth stopping off at the fish market on the way here. It’s not really a ‘sight to see’ that would make it onto any list but it’s a really nice way to experience more real parts of Sri Lanka…(I have a new friend from the Maldives to thank for that tip and he was right).
On the beach, the stilt fishermen carry on about their business (fully aware that you’re there to see them of course)…
Apparently, it’s a lot harder to catch any properly huge fish here, especially so in recent times, but the men come over to show you their catches anyway (which they then throw back into the ocean as its far too small to be eaten).
If you ask nicely (or tip generously), you can even get a chance to try your hands at stilt fishing. Lloyd gave it a go while I stood back on the shore, laughing so hard at him wobbling ridiculously once left along on the stilts…
I honestly had my camera out (in between fits of giggles) in the hopes that he would fall off the stilts but he disappointed and decided to stay put. Spoil sport!
Eventually it was time to head back ‘home’, albeit a different hotel, and a much more modern one this time; the brand new Riu Sri Lanka.
This is apparently the first Riu hotel in Sri Lanka but it’s been renovated recently and so everything is all shiny and new here. There are at least two different pools (from what I saw on my balcony) and so many restaurants to choose from. Needless to say, I settle right in very quickly (though the bottle of bubbly did help with that too).
We had little gifts waiting in the room too (always a nice welcome touch) and Thomson had arranged for us to have 1-hour massage so we hurried down to the spa for our massages (as always, I went for a strong massage).
The rest of the evening went by in such a phantasmagoria of fun! We started off with dinner…
…at which point I think I stopped photographing and thanks to the waiters who kept topping up our glasses of bubbly none-stop, we decided to hit the cocktail bar with everyone else before carrying on to the club.
I have blurry photos and a ridiculous amount of boomerangs on my phone to remind me of this night (I dropped my proper camera back in my room for fear of losing it) but oh boy was it one of the most fun nights ever! Definitely a very different experience to our experience in Sri Lanka before and another reminded of why it’s so good to return to places you’ve been before and see them in a different light!