I do not about you, but for me the sea is vital. It is synonymous to freedom, endless possibilities, untold stories, mysteries, and not least tranquility. Whenever I seek answers to life’s challenges and hardships, I feel sad or lonely I go to the sea…I listen to the waves touching the shore, sometimes gently whispering, sometimes in an angry roar, and all become better, the questions get answers and all problems find solutions.
So, leaving in Sri Lanka, the new year had to be close to the ocean, so many choices and places to go. This time, I chose Kalpitiya. Be it because it is new territory to exploit, not as popular as the places in the South and I always wanted to be different. So, off I was at 4 am when the only direct bus from Negombo goes. I chose a guesthouse, Thotupala Kite Resort (if you are not familiar with Sri Lanka, you need to know that resort is a name in fashion, it has nothing to do with the definition of the concept generally speaking). It is a small place with independent cottages, 5 minutes away from the beach, a hidden gem with great people and an amazing cook. So, after a too big sri Lankan breakfast, I started my expedition. Geographically speaking, Kalpitiya is a peninsula in Puttalam district, North Western Province, about 170 km north of Colombo, but the town with the same name was mainly a fishing village before tourism was introduced…. rather recently. When walking around coconut and palmyra trees, I felt like the area is a transition between the luxuriant vegetation of the rest of Sri Lanka and the much drier Jaffna, people still tell stories about the recent war, and some still suffer the consequences. There are no major objectives that you should not miss, but it is interesting to take a tuktuk drive in and around the city. Piece of advice: make sure the driver speaks English, the one that was arranged for me did not really so I used all my limited Sinhala, phone and a lot of body language to communicate. All good, part of the fun J
When you read about Kalpitiya, the most common thing you will find is kitesurfing. And, yes, there are so many colorful kites over the lagoon and the ocean and it is fascinating to watch the people trying to control and master them. If you go close to sunset, you are in for magic: it is like the world has come to an end, and the sky is set on fire waiting for the roaring ocean to calm it down, colourful kites adding life to all that majestic picture. At sunrise, watch the fishermen disappearing in the horizon, see the world being born again with the sun rising over the lagoon. It is all so calm and quiet, and if you are fond of noise, this is definitely not for you. But it is a piece of heaven for those who wish to have a few days of calm. and if you had enough, go see the dolphins (if you are lucky, a random whale) and dive into the ocean to explore further mysteries. The evenings can be particularly animated, especially if you are going in a festive period like I did: you may stumble across a picnic by the ocean and e invited for dinner by total strangers. Do not refuse, it is an excellent opportunity to get to know the culture, take the pulse of the place. They are warm people, proud of living all in harmony, Hindu, Buddhists, Muslim, Christians which is something all will tell you.
The place has a charm of its own, I fell in love with the palm tree fences, the cottages, the labyrinthine display of the guest houses…ah, and the people, they honor Sri Lanka, famous for hospitality: modest, warm, helpful and always ready to welcome you to their home and family. As they say, come as guest, leave as friend. In this case, I would say like a cousin