Samsara is a beach

Kirinda is the penultimate stop on this tour: a small fishing harbour (funded by Japan), and a one horse street. I came across it bumbling along the coast road after being denied entry into Yala national park. After recent encounters with a cobra, monitor lizards and elephants it’s probably a good idea to restrict entry to reinforced jeeps. But though the wildlife there is meant to be extraordinary, I didn’t feel inclined to go chasing the animals about.

So after a long day’s ride, I turned around and followed the coast road, hoping to find a way to the beach I was glimpsing through breaks in the coconut palms and salt pans. Ironically, after 20 klicks I found myself the centre of attention. Coming into Kirinda I was spotted and duly corralled into a small guesthouse that hadn’t seen a westerner in two years.

I don’t know what to write about the three days I spent there; suffice to say I fixed the gas hob with the owner’s teenage son and listed the place on Hotels.com, familiar stuff. I also fantasised about making it a more permanent base, but not for long.

Kirinda has the kind of beach depicted on the cover of holiday brochures: golden sand, marked only by paw prints and giant weatherworn boulders nestling rock pools away from the surf.

Lying submerged in warm salt water was a bit special.

A few pleasant days spent out the saddle as a lone, languid, tea drinking guest. A breakwater between the road and a meditation retreat.

One thought on “Samsara is a beach

  1. You’re way ahead of the curve there Nick…
    Here’s en extract from yesterday’s Evening Standard:

    “Here we go again. Another January, another variant sweeping the globe. But as long as there are beaches to flop on, sparkling oceans to float in and hot new boutique hotels wherein to be pampered, we’ll be there.
    Here’s the best of 2022 — start planning…

    Hot spots: Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka’s economy has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. But the borders are now open and it’s already one of Flash Pack’s most in-demand trips. “Sri Lanka is set to be one of the hottest destinations in 2022 according to our recent surge in bookings,” says co-founder Lee Thompson. “The incredible landscapes, rich and authentic culture and tropical beaches have proven to be irresistible for those who want to indulge their wanderlust.”

    Glad to see that you have discovered a particularly attractive little backwater off the beaten tourist track!
    I found Kirinda on google maps and the situation looks idyllic 🙂 Safe travels on the road back to Negombo.

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