Nilaveli Beach & Pigeon Island


    Nilaveli was already an established beach resort in Trincomalee on the East Coast of Sri Lanka as early as the 1970s with two classy beach-front hotels in operation.  I stayed at one of them in 1980 and thoroughly enjoyed it. The four-kilometre long palm fringed beach was exquisite and the hotel served sumptuous…

Seruwawila – Then & Now


  I peered in to the darkness and saw giant shapes moving slowly. They were prowling wild elephants beyond the perimeter fires I lit that evening. I was lying in my little hut with a thatched roof and no walls. The jungle was all round me     That was then – 1966 to be…

Duwili Ella Falls


  On the final day of our stay at the Blue Magpie Lodge in central Sri Lanka, we visited Duwili Ella Falls     The path down to the stream is steep and a garden lizard with a bright red head watched us trying to negotiate it. Further on, concrete steps and a metal hand…

A Walk In The Rain Forest


  “That’s a Kangaroo Lizard” the guide whispered, pointing at a small brown lizard on a tree trunk. Otocryptis wiegmanni with long hind legs, is a small ground-dwelling lizard of the rain forest. The female is brown in colour and the male has a garland of emerald round its neck. We were in the Sinharaja Rainforest…

Weekend At The Blue Magpie


  We spent a weekend at he Blue Magpie Lodge in Kudawa, Sri Lanka, using it as a base for visiting Sinharaja Forest. We left Colombo at dawn and drove to Ambalama – a roadside cafe in Hanwella, for a fine Sri Lankan breakfast of freshly made hoppers – pancakes made with rice flour and coconut milk…

A Beach Walk In The Morning


  On our final day at Jetwing Surf, Hiran Cooray and Len Porter of Jetwing led a dawn beach walk to Pottuvil Point and back       We took nothing from the beach and left only footprints in the sand.        

Walk On The Bund


  In Sri Lanka, ‘Tank‘ refers to an ancient irrigation reservoir. The first Tank was built in 4th century BC and over the years, successive kings constructed nearly 2800 of them in the dry zone of the country to retain rain water for paddy cultivation. The bund was built with compressed earth and the inside…

Brunch In The Bush


The oarsman beached the boat. It was painted blue and the man was wearing a blue sarong. Three young women in blue traditional dress stepped out of the dugout canoe. They were wearing white necklaces and had white flowers in their hair. They carried wicker baskets full of hoppers, milk-rice, fish curry and Sri Lankan sweets to…

Kumana Safari


We left Jetwing Surf at dawn and drove to Kumana National Park. The big coach crawled past Arugam Bay, Panama and Okanda on mostly dirt tracks. At the entrance to the park, a fleet of jeeps was waiting to take us on safari. The jeep drivers wore bright coloured cloths, blissfully unaware of the safari…

Weekend At Jetwing Surf


It was already dark when we reached Jetwing Surf. From Pottuvil on the east coast of Sri Lanka, a fleet of Tuk-Tuks ferried us to the little seaside hotel – the coach could not negotiate the narrow roads. With twenty cabanas in a seven acre coconut grove, Jetwing Surf looked pretty. We checked-in, sipped chilled…