Searching for Moby & Nelly

We sought and we found, much to my utter delight. But more about that in a mo...

T'was a sentimental farewell to Mike and Linda (on my soppy part anyway). I think i even said "i wish i was coming home with you". I take that back now, they were heading back to snow and below zero temperatures. I really can't describe how happy I am to have missed this English winter, it sounds like it's gone on forever.

Anyway, back to Sri Lanka. We hit the road again, opting to take a Tuk Tuk the 25km east along the coast to Mirissa. Mirissa is officially my favourite beach so far on our trip.

Why? I hear you ask. Well, several reasons:

1. It has a wide, long stretch of sand. Wide enough and long enough for you not to feel like you are on top of each other, but in a horseshoe so you can see each end; making it cosy all the same.

Room for everyone on Mirissa beach.

2. The sea has the perfect depth for scaredy-cats (like me) who don't like going out of their depth and just the right size waves to have a real laugh whilst in the sea. Every 10 minutes or so the surf would pick up and some huge waves would be upon you. Brilliant fun. But no worries about being pulled out to sea as the undercurrent was not too strong.

See, totally relaxed. Not scared at all.

3. Mirissa beach is lined with beach bars which provide food and drink all day long and into the night. At around 6pm each day, each beach bar displays the day's catch for you to pick from. Delicious!

We opted for the lobster. Yum!

4. Mirissa is not over-developed. I don't recall too many high buildings, particularly in view from the beach. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

5. Last but not least, you go whale-watching from Mirissa! Blue whale-watching... We found Moby!

To describe how I felt when we caught our first glimpse of a blue whale, the largest mammal ever to inhabit planet earth, is impossible, but to give you an idea, I cried! It was just magnificent, so elegant, peaceful, harmless, graceful. The list could go on. And it was absolutely massive! So big that you could fit 100 humans in its mouth alone, its heart is as big as a Mini Cooper and its call is so loud, as loud as a 747, that it can communicate with other whales up to 1,000 miles away! I'm afraid the photos do not do what we saw justice, but here's another one anyhow.

There she blows

We also saw a school of pilot whales, dolphins and blue marlin. I can't believe we endanger these amazing creatures with our fishing and drilling and polluting. It makes me so angry. I am going to be a lot more careful about what fish I buy, and i'm going to cycle more and recycle more and find out what other ways I can help to conserve their habitat.

Pilot whales

And so, like a child in a sweet shop, you next find me a day later another 100km or so away from Mirissa in Uda Walawe National Park, with dropped jaw and plates for eyes. According to Lonely Planet, Uda Walawe is as good as the plains of East Africa for seeing elephants in the wild. Duncan was not quite as impressed as me as he'd actually been to the plains of East Africa and seen not only elephant but rhinos, giraffes, lions.. yeah, yeah, whatever. I was in my element! And my oh my did we see a lot of elephants. We most definitely found Nelly. Add to that peacocks, monkeys, bee-eaters, buffalo, hornbills, painted storks, a croc and a hawk eagle.

Mummy Nelly and baby, aaaahhhhhh
Mud bath time
Bee-eaters sharing a bee!
Painted stork
Hawk eagle
And if you want more elephants, here's a little video of us in Uda Walawe looking at them.

Sri Lanka so far, really was fulfilling all of our high expectations. Next stop Ella and the hill-country. A chance to cool down and not only drink a lovely cuppa but learn how it gets from bush to cup!


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