18 Nov 2017

Sri Lanka - Getting Lost In Travel by nfiamingo

13/14

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After a night of partying for the group - my roommate snored all night and the girls next door, they invited one of the “wild” dogs to join them for a good nights rest and used a frisbee to provided water for the other who remained outside.

Their hearts are truly filled with gold and I am sure having spent time at the S.O.S Animal Shelter even more so expanded their “parental-sense” for these dogs. I am humbled to call them friends.

I headed off for breakfast and figured I would likely be solo- BUT found a couple strays made their way over - some still a little drunk - some, the hangover was starting to set in.

As I sit here for my last morning at Sion Surf Camp, I think to myself, "Man, am I going to miss having tea and breakfast made for me"- it’s a rare treat for me and the Sion Surf team did an excellent job accommodating.

The "Nicole-Safe" food was an amazing and unexpected benefit to this trip- I couldn't help but sit there a bit somber. I’ve gotten to know most of our group fairly well and I have grown very fond of having friends and someone to eat each meal with. Back at home, I currently eat by myself, and usually while watching tv or researching articles- instead of sitting and enjoying my meal and perhaps another’s company.

Reflecting back, one of my Sion Surf Camp's favorite breakfasts was the red rice and coconut with fresh island fruits!

Today's breakfast menu "Nicole-Friendly" items brought us string hoppers, Dahl, spicy coconut sambol and fresh fruit.

I think I ate a bit too much with the thought in mind, "This is it, this is my last Sri Lankan breakfast, take in as much as you can!"

But I did enjoy another cup of Ceylon tea, local honey, and black pepper (I've got to increase my brain functionality".

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I was blessed with a number of adventures this trip - honestly, I accomplished more on the wish-list than I thought even possible. Again, many thanks to those that help make it happen!

This morning no one was feeling their 100% after the long night / early morning and we found ourselves just sitting near Sion's beach- taking in the last sight- of the deep blue ocean. I am not a typical beach gal, but I have to admit, sitting here feeling the waves through my hair, the sun wrapping my soul, the sound of waves crashing and the sheer beauty of the local surfers dancing the waves - was tranquil. It stole my soul and placed me in a very peaceful state of mind.

On our way back to our rooms this particular morning, the tree monkeys were a bit rambunctious! I started to recall the advice the rest of the group provided - "Monkeys like food and shiny things and they will attack them." SO..... since I was walking solo, had bananas stashed in my bag and a shiny cell phone in my hands, I darted through the land of monkeys very quickly!

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I'm not sure what the cause was, I just know I was not feeling well. Which I often do not feel well and still make sure I eat. The Sion chef was happy to create one final lunch for me - I have to say, I’m not 100% certain what I was eating- it was good, I was just unfamiliar with it - which was the first of all dishes I wasn't able to figure out.

I struggled to finish lunch only because my stomach was really not loving me- but I managed to get most down.

I had two salads- one with and one without dressing. Dahl. Rice and two other vegetable curries (not sure?).

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I arranged with Maureen’s and my prior driver to pick us up for a discounted rate of 7,000 rupees and no tolls- other drivers charge double and you are responsible for all tolls.

Our driver was unavailable but he sent his friend in a fancy van.

He arrived early BUT the Sri Lankan Buses! We had gotten on one that once again, would not let us off- thus running very late to meet our driver but it all worked out!

We said our goodbyes to the team and off we were.

I fell asleep for most of the drive and then work up abruptly and BOOM I was tossing my cookies!

It was a good thing I had gotten my dinner to go and had a bag available!

Our driver was awesome and just kept asking if I was okay. Stacey and Kelly helped me through it all- even carrying my luggage at the airport and getting me checked in. Prayers and thanks go out to them!

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Most of us returned to our rooms to take the time to pack up and take a short nap.

We awoke to our last communal 30-minute yoga class and then off to Sion to meet with Emma (our adopted UK team member, soon moving to Italy) and we once again hopped on the crazy disco-themed Sri Lankan buses.

Our group felt comfortable enough to do so with Gina along with us since our recent bus experiences have been anything but smooth. Yes, I would chalk them up to an adventure- but smooth was not happening for us and we needed to get to dinner and back in a timely manner.

We made it to Mirissa (the most touristy spot I had visited thus far) and known for their whale watching. In our quick walking around, I would say, I found some cool places I would have liked to visit, but again, back to a very touristy area - which is what I try to avoid when visiting new areas.

Those in our group that needed the ATM ran over real quick before we found our way to the recommended Little Tuna restaurant. (Special thanks to Jess, the yoga instructor at Sion Surf Camp for the recommendation).

What an adorable place! All seven of us ordered a massive amount of food and drinks for under 100 USD! Impossible in the US!

I ordered a pineapple, ginger and a mint smoothie (since they were out of coconut) and the beet roll minus the egg and mayo and added an avocado.

Sadly, I was feeling very ill and wasn’t able to enjoy this dish as much as I had hoped for. I look forward to returning soon because the few bites I did manage to get in where amazing!