Monday, January 23, 2017

Sri Lanka: Exploring the Beaches of Kalkudah and Pasikudah


We woke up earlier than usual to catch sunrise at the beach. Aside from four fishermen who were busy on their catch, we owned the whole stretch of Kalkudah Beach. We watched with great anticipation as the sun started to pierce through the thick clouds. There wasn’t a burst of daybreak colors but there was a moment of absolute serenity while I was sitting on the sand trying to meditate. I couldn’t imagine that this exact same shore was devastated a few years back by the deadly 2004 tsunami.

Sri Lanka was the third country on our two-month Beach Hop Asia 2016 backpacking trip. After exploring Malaysia and Thailand, me and my buddy headed to Colombo for an overnight transit and then moved to Sigiriya for a four-day exploration on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. Kalkudah was our first beach stop and we dedicated four days in this part of the country.

Sri Lanka Elephant
On the way to the train station, we spotted a wild elephant that's crossing the street.
All of the motorists made sure that they were out of its way as it can be dangerous.
I didn’t exactly know where we were going next. My buddy was just telling me that it will be beach time again, I couldn’t be much happier for I was itching for a swim after a week of temple hopping. We were brought to the Habarana train station by our lovely driver (from a rented car from JNW Lanka Tours) at half past seven in the morning. He's been our driver for the past five days and as much as we wanted him to join us, we really wanted to experience Sri Lanka’s local train so we bid him our last goodbye.

Habarana Train Station Sri Lanka

The train arrived at eight and we boarded it, together with an old woman. The four-hour ride going to Batticaloa District was charming (LKR100 each | US$0.67). We got to experience what a typical day looks like for Sri Lankan people in the countryside. There were a number of stops but I was never bored. The intense heat lulled me to sleep (weird, I know) and so I stretched out on the padded wooden bench as the train went on.

Sri Lanka Train

Sri Lanka Train
Playing hide n' seek with the local kids
We alighted at Kalkudah Station and noticed that we were the only ones who got off. The station itself seemed so far-off from civilization, like it was smacked in the middle of nowhere. We sat under a tree, trying to look for a refuge from the midnoon sun when we met a guy. He works at the train station and was about to leave for lunch when he saw us. We chatted a bit after we asked for directions to our inn. We’ve been in Sri Lanka for almost a week now and we never once had any bad experiences with regard to the people; they were all kind and so helpful.

Kalkudah Sri Lanka
Herd of cows welcomed us in Kalkudah
Google maps indicated that we’re two kilometers away from our inn. We tried to walk our way towards it but the scorching heat drained all our energy as we drag our backpacks. We flagged a trishaw and got the ride for LKR200 (US$1.33).

Nirma Shadow Inn was our home in Kalkudah for four days. We scored a good deal online (check discounted rates here) on the cheapest room they have.

Nirma Shadow Inn Kalkudah
No TV. No AC.
Yes WiFi. Yes beach view.
We were greeted by the owner and immediately ushered us to our room, he probably noticed our tired look. We got the cheapest room with double bed, mosquito net, fan, private toilet and bathroom. It was basic, yet, all the necessities for a comfy stay were there. Our room was on the second level so we had a nice view of the garden and a peek on the beach. They also have a restaurant and complimentary WiFi at the lobby.

Kalkudah Beach Sri Lanka
I usually don't have this affection to dogs
Kalkudah Beach Sri Lanka
We owned Kalkudah Beach almost all the time! :)
I was wiped out and slept like a baby that afternoon. My buddy woke me up just in time for dinner. We walked to the main road and scanned for places to dine. The stroll led us to a famous beach place in the area, the Pasikudah Beach.

Pasikudah Beach
Pasikudah Beach
Warnings for crocodiles were everywhere but... 
The small cove was filled with locals who were enjoying their afternoon dip with their families. The water wasn’t tempting at all and warnings for crocodiles were around so I never considered swimming. We were still looking for a dinner place as we strolled back to the road and found a shack where they serve the best Sri Lankan Omelet, according to my buddy (I will dedicate a separate post for our Sri Lankan Food Adventure), which became our go-to place at dinner.

Kalkudah Beach Sri Lanka
Crows and peacocks were a normal sight
Kalkudah Beach Sri Lanka
Morning scene at Kalkudah
We hired a trishaw (LKR400 | US$2.66) that brought us to the town center where we bought some food supplies for the next few days forgetting about our nightly beer sesh as liquor stores are really hard to find in the whole of Sri Lanka, letting us save a few bucks.


In those four days, we did nothing but lounged on the balcony; sometimes working on our writing backlogs and sometimes just chatting endlessly about, well, nothing in particular. There were days when we felt like walking on the 14-kilometer stretch of Kalkudah Beach and one time we braved the strong waves just to feel the water. In those days, we cared about nothing but our meals for the day. We’re stuck with nothing to do in Kalkudah but it was the perfect place to get stuck to.

Kalkudah Beach Sri Lanka


Nirma Shadow Inn
Beach Lane, Kumpurumulai Road,
Kalkudah, Sri Lanka
Contact Number: (+94) 652.054545
Email Address: nirmakalkudah@gmail.com






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