Sunday, December 27, 2009

Arugam Bay II


I’ve been to Arugam Bay before in its tourist season and it’s an absolute beauty. The waves the wind and everything was so perfect. However in the raining season it’s not the case; you cannot even go out because of the rain. In the raining season it’s very hard to find a day without any rain. Thanks to a weather forecasting website I was able to find a day without any rain. It was 26th December 2009; the day is exactly 5 years after Sri Lanka was hit by the Tsunami in 2004, and surprisingly Arugam Bay is one of the very first coasts to get hit by the Tsunami in Sri Lanka.

A set of old friends of mine was planning on a trip and my initial idea was to go to Hikkaduwa and have some fun, somehow the destination happened to be ‘Siyambalanduwa’ a place where many people haven’t been to. Siyambalanduwa is closer to Arugam Bay, just 30km away to be precise. So we planned a three day trip, the route we chose was a little long. We started the journey in the early morning around 4.45am from Colombo on 25th December 2009. We were near Rathnapura by 7.00am and we went to Bambarakanda waterfall, the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka. It was about another 40km off our route. We went to the waterfall and had breakfast there. After that we went to Diyaluma waterfall, the 2nd tallest waterfall and probably the most famous waterfall in Sri Lanka. We didn’t make a stop there like earlier because the waterfall was clearly visible from the main road.

Bambarakanda waterfall


Diyaluma waterfall


After watching the waterfalls we continued our journey to Siyambalanduwa. We stayed at Piyum’s house at Siyambalanduwa. In the first day we didn’t do anything other than watching the two tallest waterfalls. We went to bed early as we were planning to go to Arugam Bay in the next day morning. We got up early and went to Arugam Bay. The sea was not beautiful as before, there were no surfers and it was not much crowded. But fortunately my forecast on rain was correct, it was not raining and the skies were clear. December is not the season for tourists but by 11.00 am there were many local people coming to Arugam Bay especially from Colombo to enjoy their long weekend.

Arugam Bay


Since the lunch was already arranged at Piyum’s place at Siyambalanduwa we left the beach early, on our way we went to an ancient place called ‘Magul Madu Viharaya’ and headed back to Piyum’s place. Passing ‘Lahugala’ we saw a wild elephant, they were very close to the main road. First we thought we were lucky to see an elephant around but then again we saw many wild elephants on the way.

In the third and final day we visited another historical place called ‘Biso Kotuwa’ a big swimming pool of ancient times :D. The route we chose to get back to Colombo was even longer than what we used to come to Siyambalanduwa. But it was even better, we came through ‘Udawalawe National Park’. The Udawalawe National Park is a paradise for elephants. We saw about twenty individual elephants here and there.

A wild Elephant at Udawalawe National Park


It was raining heavily throughout the journey way back to Colombo; however we managed to get back safely around 7.00pm on Sunday.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Return of the Master: Schumacher


The news cannot be much better for the 2010 Formula 1 Season. Michael Schumacher has returned to Formula 1 after 3 years, well he was there with Ferrari for the past 3 years as an advisor but not as a race driver.

Schumacher will be racing for Mercedes (formally known as Brawn GP) alongside Nico Rosberg; another German Formula 1 star that raced for Williams in the previous season.
There have been lots of changes in Formula 1 this time, the rules, the teams, the drivers and pretty much everything.

While Ross Brawn remains as one of the team principals, I hope Mercedes will come up with a competitive car for the 2010 season.

An Illustration of 2010 Mercedes Formula 1 car


Finally, welcome back Shumi :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Indoor Cricket


I’m not a fan of Cricket except for watching those 20 over matches. Udara asked me whether I’m interested of playing some indoor cricket. He has already booked the Indoor cricket court at Austasia and invited myself and my brother to come with them. Me and my brother were on our way for something else and luckily it finished early. So we came to Austasia.

Playing Indoor Cricket at Austasia


Indoor cricket is something different to outdoor version of cricket we know. The rules are totally upside down. However playing indoor cricket for 2 hours is quite a workout.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Batch Trip - 2009


After we left school most of our batch mates got together at the Batch Re-Union, there we talked about organizing a batch trip, so it finally happened.

We booked a hotel called 'The Paradise' at Negombo just for a spend a day. Not everyone who came to the Batch Re-Union was there for the trip but most of them were present. We were planning to start the trip early as 8.00 am but we were able to leave Colombo after one hour delay, however it was not a big issue as Negombo is just 30 kilo meters away from Colombo.

We arrived at the hotel before 10.00 am and had a lot of fun till the lunch time. After the lunch nothing interesting happened since all of us were tired by then. Finally we left the hotel around 4.00 pm.

TNL OnStage 2009 - Finals



TNL OnStage 2009 - Finals held at the SLECC. Like the last year a special performance was done by ‘CivilizationOne’ and it went extremely well. ‘CivilizationOne’ had to come on stage for the second time as they couldn’t ignore the demand from the crowd.

There were some bands performed equally well, the winning band was ‘Five Minutes Apart’ and the winning soloist was ‘Sam’.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A new Formula 1 champion


Yes it is Jenson Button from Brawn GP, a team which did not exist 6 months back has done it. It’s not only the Drivers championship, from the constructor’s championship game Brawn GP has won the race as well.

The 2009 Formula 1 season is not over as yet, the last race of the season will be held at Yas Marina Circuit – Abu Dhabi. From the Drivers standings Sebastian Vettel and Rubens Barrichello are fighting for the second position while Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Räikkönen are fighting for the fifth position. The Abu Dhabi GP will be another unique race since it’s the first ever twilight race in Formula 1.

As the end of 2009 season arrived and there isn’t much for me to celebrate my focus has already gone towards the 2010 season. For the 2010 season there will be 4 new teams joining and sadly BMW will be leaving Formula 1. Fernando Alonso will be moving to Ferrari replacing Kimi Räikkönen. Robert Kubica is moving in to Renault to fill Alonso’s position. McLaren will most probably be dropping Kovalainen and look for another driver to support Hamilton. McLaren’s former driver Räikkönen would be ideal for them but surprisingly McLaren are considering Jenson Button as a candidate too. I don’t know why McLaren would think of Button since Räikkönen is already available for them to grab. And McLaren has totally forgot it’s the magic of Brawn GP which helped Button to gain the drivers title :D

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back to playing Basketball


It has been over 5 years since I haven’t played basketball. I did try once last year when Udara came back to SL. That day I almost fainted after playing for 5 minutes so that doesn’t count :D

My new RBK Basketball


I went to Reebok and got myself a new Basketball (which has Allen Iverson’s signature on it) and initiated basketball practices again. Dinuka has invited couple of his friends from school and we played some good 2 hours of basketball on Saturday, 10th October at my old place called 'The Church'

I rested the whole Sunday and even at the time of writing this my legs still hurts.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Yala


I know it’s wired to say that I’ve never been to Yala before, but that’s the truth. Me and a couple of people I know planned this trip to Yala. We managed to book the hotel ‘Yala Village’ which happened to be inside the Yala jungle.

Around 5.00 am 3rd October we left Colombo towards our destination. There were two main routes to Yala from Colombo, the Coastal road and the road which goes through Rathnapura & Embilipitiya. We chose the coastal route which is about 30 kilometers longer than the other road. Around 9.00 am we reached Tangalle and stopped for breakfast. It was a poya day and most of the shops were closed, but there was a small shop opened in Tangalle where we had breakfast. After that we continued the journey to Yala. We arrived at the Yala Village hotel around 11.00 am. The hotel was indeed located inside the jungle; the rooms were separate cottage separated from the main building. Our cottage was about 40 meters away from the main building. We’ve received instructions from the reception not to step outside from the cottage after the sunset because of the wild elephants *sigh*

We checked in to the rooms unloaded the bags. After that we went to the main building for lunch. The buffet was good but I wished there were more stuff :D. We spoke to the reception and arranged the Yala Safari. The Jeep came around 2.30 pm and we went on the Safari. Somewhere down the road we stopped and the driver got down and got the tickets. They’ve allocated a guide for every 3 vehicles. There was a small museum and we took couple of snaps there.

Yala Museum - Leopard


Yala Museum - Bear


In the very beginning of the safari we saw many peacocks, dears and loads of wild boars. The Yala jungle is in the dry most part in the island. We saw lot of crocodiles eating dead buffalos. According to the driver the buffalos just come to the places where the water is and just die (super wired).

Eagle


Crocodile


Peacock


Somewhere down the road the driver has spotted a leopard and we tried to locate that for more than 10 minutes but it has vanished already.

Came back to the hotel safely and we were in the mood for a swim, it was past sunset and Yala wasn’t hot as I thought. After we got out from the swimming pool we came to the entrance of the main building to go to our cottage and guess what the wild elephant has already come and people told us not to go. We were there for a while till the elephants make a move from our cottage and quickly ran towards the cottage had a change and came back for dinner. After the dinner also the same drama, another wild elephant has come and we were stuck in the main building for some time.

In the early morning Sunday, 4th October we got up and went for breakfast. The sea is located not too far away from our cottage and we went to the beach, we again received a warning from the reception not to go to the sea as it is rough. We saw the red flag displayed on the beach so just walked here and there in the beach and came back to the cottage to watch the Formula 1 Japanese GP. Unfortunately BBC sports was not available, the only option was Star Sports with loads of lame Indian commercials.

We packed our stuff and went for lunch, after lunch we directly got in to the car and was on our way home. We stopped the car in less than 15 minutes drive because there was a giant wild elephant.

Elephant


We used the Embilipitiya, Rathnapura road to come back to Colombo. For a nature freak Yala might be thrilling but for me, well I prefer Hikkaduwa more :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Covering the East coast


I have been to Trinco about 5 years back but at that time we couldn’t enjoy much because of the situation there. After the ruthless war ended we were given the chance to visit all parts of Sri Lanka. Visiting Trinco again has been in my plans for quite a time, but for some reason I couldn’t make it happen. About three weeks back Ranga called me and asked about the Trinco trip to be planned for the long weekend in September. Since I had no plans on that weekend I agreed to go. The initial plan was just 3 days but later we changed it to 4 days which will enable us to visit more parts of the Eastern Province.

There were few friends of mine who went to Trinco recently and I called and asked them about the whereabouts. We went on a shopping round on Thursday evening to buy stuff needed for the trip.

We left Colombo at 3.00am on Friday 4th September 2009. I thought the roads will be deserted but it was not. We learnt that many people are going to Trinco just like us. We stopped near the ‘Kanthale wewa’ for breakfast and continued the journey to Trinco. It was around 7.30am when we arrived at Trinco.

Since the entire day was there for us we went to the Nilaveli beach located about 15km north to Trinco. The beach is absolutely amazing compared to the beaches down south specially the area around Pigeon Island. We took a boat to the Pigeon Island from Nilaveli and stayed there for hours. After that we went looking for a place to eat but unfortunately there weren’t any. We went further northward about 30km to see some ancient temple but the road condition was way too bad and half way through we decided to come back to Trinco and rest.

Pigeon Island from Nilaveli Coast


Pigeon Island


At around 5.30pm we went to the beach at Trinco just to see what’s there. It’s a mini Galle Face green with a better beach where people actually go for a swim. The sea is very calm it was more like a swimming pool. Since we didn’t have any proper food for lunch we went to a hotel at Trico and had a great dinner.

Saturday 5th September 2009, we got up early as 5.00am and went to a place called ‘Koneswaran Kovil’ where you can see the sun rising from the east coast. Dharshana have already organized us to visit the Tricomalee naval base, the naval base is one of the largest natural naval base in the world. We were taken to the naval museum and it was stunning.

Trincomalee Fort entrance


Cannons at Trinco Fort


Items at Naval Museum


Pre WW-II Naval Artillery


Saturday evening we were planning to visit Muttur but the boat services were overcrowded, instead of going to Muttur there was a special boat service covering most of the Trinco harbor so we decided to go on that.

View from Muttur Boat


Navy patrol boat


'Seruwila II' boat


Saturday evening also we went to the Trinco beach and chilled there for a while. Since we had to travel about 300km the next day we went to sleep early. Sunday 6th September 2009, early morning we got up and by 5.30am all of us were ready to go to Pasikuda. From Trinco if we have taken the coastal road the distance is less, but the roads were not in good condition. So we went all the way back to Habarana and from there through Polonnaruwa and Manampitiya we went to Pasikuda. The beach there was even better than in Trinco it was not deep whatsoever. After that we went to Batticaloa and had lunch. From there we went to Ampara and reached Dharshana’s cousin’s place around 4.30pm. Chilled there for a while and we were on our way to Arugam bay.

Surfing at Arugam bay

video

Surfing Video


Around 7.30pm we reached Pottuvil and from there we went to Arugam bay. The place was a mini Hikkaduwa with more space to breath. The hotels and guest houses were all occupied though it was the end of the season. We were on the beach chilling till 1.00am and went to sleep. Got up a little late Monday 7th September 2009 and went back to the beach. Early morning is the best to surf and the waves were ideal. If you love surfing this is the best place you’ll ever find. There were more than 50 surfers and most of them were foreigners. We had breakfast from Arugam bay and we were back to Ampara. From Ampara we took the Maha Oya, Mahiyanganaya road to Kandy. Traveling through Mahiyangana Kandy road is like watching a movie, relaxed where you can enjoy every moment without any stress. We stopped for lunch on that road and went hit a buffet with some excellent food. After arriving at Kandy we directly came back to Colombo around 7.30pm.

This is officially the longest road trip I’ve even been on. 1288 kilo meters covering 7 provinces out of 9 in Sri Lanka and almost touching the rest of the provinces (Sothern & Northern).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

McLaren’s are flying again


2009 Formula 1 Season started with Brawn GP team winning most of the races in the first half in the season. The season had many rule changes. Especially people were discussing on the KERS. Though Hamilton was promoted to the 3rd place in the first race in the season he was disqualified from that couple of days after that. No KERS car won nor managed to get a podium finish till Massa finishing 3rd on Nürburgring in Germany on the 9th race in the season.

McLaren cars received a major upgrade just before the Nürburgring, and yes it was well reflected in the Practices and in the Qualifying. Though Hamilton finished last due to an unfortunate incident in the very first corner the McLaren cars showed that they are very powerful. Next came the Hungarian GP and McLarens were flying. Hamilton scored the Victory making the first ever KERS car victory in Formula 1 while his team mate Kovalainen taking 5th place.

Today, 22nd August 2009 I was watching the Qualifying of the European GP and McLarens did fly once again. The Pole position was taken by Hamilton while Kovalainen taking the 2nd place. Valencia Street Circuit is where KERS can play a big role, McLarens will charge the KERS battery in the practice lap and when the race starts they will be smoking the rest of the cars for sure :P This is only my prediction, let’s wait and see what happens tomorrow :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hikkaduwa Beach Festival 2009


The Hikkaduwa Beach festival started last year, and the Sri Lanka Tourism is conducting it as an annual event. The Hikkaduwa Beach Festival 2009 started on 30th July 2009 and continued for 4 days.

VIP Ticket


We planned the Hikka trip about a month ahead knowing booking a place to stay would be an issue if we wait till the end. I tried to book my usual place at Hikka but it was already booked by someone else. So we booked another place which happened to be on the land side. As soon as the tickets were out I managed to book 10 VIP tickets. Since I was the first to collect those tickets we got tickets starting from ticket number 00001 to 00010 (VVIP I guess)

Though the Hikka Fest started on Thursday, 30th July we went there only on Friday, 31st July. So we missed the entire Drum Festival. Friday we left Colombo around 11pm after having dinner. We arrived at Hikka just before the midnight. We chilled at the guest house till 1.30 am and went for the Beach Rave party at Imperial Hotel Stretch. The music was all techno and the place was crowded. There was a separate area for the people having VIP tickets but that area wasn’t much packed. Though we had VIP tickets we stayed most of the time in the general area.

Beach Rave


The Rave party went till the morning however we left the party around 4.30 am and slept will 10 or 11 am Saturday.

Saturday afternoon we went to see the beach carnival at Corel Gardens. There were few interesting sculptures made for the Sand Castle contest. We were also planning on doing a sand castle but we didn’t have much time to prepare and gave it up. At the other side of the beach near Corel Sands hotel things were prepared for the beach games.

An attractive sculpture

The Beach Carnival area


We came back to the guest house and rested till 9pm. Then we went to the Roti Shop and had dinner before going for Theme parties at Narigama beach stretch. There were 3 separate DJs going on at that location. The beach stretch was not big as where the Rave party held but this time it was totally packed with the young crowd from Colombo.

Theme parties


Since we started partying early on Saturday we came back to take some rest little early as well. Sunday everyone got up late just like the Saturday, again everyone missed breakfast but had a good brunch. I wanted to stay Sunday night at Hikka as well but others wanted to go back to Colombo since they needed some rest. We all went to the beach where the beach carnival took place and headed back towards Colombo.

Our final moments at Hikka


Link(s): Hikka Fest

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Colombo Motor Show 2009


The Colombo Motor Show 2009 was held at the BMICH from 24th to 26th July. This year there were lesser cars than the previous year's show.

Hummer H2

Porsche Carrera 4

The Mini's

Honda S2000

Land Rover Defender



Simplicity



You all know how much I love TNL; they have organized an Acoustic musical event called 'Simplicity' under the theme 'Get Unplugged' at The Golden Mile at Mount Lavinia on 24th July 2009.

It was TNL's 16th birthday on the previous day and they were giving free passes to the event for all the callers. I didn’t have to call since I had my ways in :). The event was simply awesome.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sand Castle


How hard would it be to build a sand castle?? Well you might think it’s easy but no its not. Me and couple of my friends did some research using the internet to learn how to build a sand castle and we learned a lot. We bought some basic equipment like baskets and went down to Mount Lavinia beach to build one. We did not complete it in full but here is how it looked like at the end…


(The Sand Castle)


Next time we’ll be doing it better :D

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sri Lanka: Small Miracle


I was searching for some information on upcoming events in Sri Lanka and I randomly saw this video on YouTube.

Sri Lanka - Small Miracle


Link(s): Sri Lanka Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bentota


I have been to Bentota Beach Hotel couple of time during the last year alone, it’s a nice place. But most importantly their food is the best. I and few people I know initiated this trip and we all were ready for this, we booked the hotel 3 days in advance, but that’s the only thing we had to plan for. We decided to use Train to travel so arranging van burden was completely eliminated. Plus it’s very cheap :D

Saturday (27th June 2009) we went to the Fort railway station to get the train. The train was supposed to arrive at 1.30 pm but when it arrived it was passed 2.00 pm. The traveling didn’t take much time, by 3.00 pm we were at Bentota. The Bentota railway station is just walking distance to the Bentota Beach Hotel. We checked in to the hotel and chilled out for a while and soon we went to the pool. The pool wasn’t much crowded because the weather wasn’t that good. After that we went to the beach for a moment and went back to our rooms to rest for a while. Finally it was the time I was waiting for... the Buffet :). I’m quite sure the others who went with me were shocked of seeing me eating all that food. I mean you should eat all you can while you can right?? Plus we have paid for that. I only stopped eating because the others were done with the dinner, otherwise I would have gone for another round :D

After the dinner we rested for some time and went to the dance floor near the pub around 10.30 pm. The DJ was not very good and the music was kinda boring but I must say the crowd rocked the dance floor. We stayed there about 2-3 hours and went to bed and got up a little late in the next day morning. Went to the breakfast again had a super meal and went for a swim in the pool. At the hotel there was a separate pool to play water polo so we used that pool as well. After doing all that we went for lunch and took the bus back to Colombo.

Bentota Beach Hotel - View 1


Bentota Beach Hotel - View 2


Bentota Beach Hotel - View 3


Bentota Beach Hotel - View 4

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ground Zero


To start off I must admit that I’m not a big fan of computer games. I have played some computer games but that’s it, I have never played a multiplayer game with anyone else.

I went to see few old friends of mine on Friday (12th June 2009) just to see how they are doing. Well they were alright and they asked me to come play some computer games with them, well I couldn’t say 'No' and since I haven't done anything like that before I said Ok. Prakanthan called and booked this place called 'Ground Zero', I didn’t even know what it was or where it was. It happened to be at the 'Excel World'. There were 7 of us and I asked Prakanthan what computer game that we are going to play, and he said it’s 'Halo 3'. I have seen Nuvina playing Halo on his computer so I figured it was some first person shooting game. But at Ground Zero it was X-Box and there weren't any computer key boards. They had these devices just for the games.

The next thing I knew the game was on, and I was like 'OMG what to do now' but somehow I figured and Damn... it was fun. Glad they do it like everyday but honestly it’s a waste of money plus it’s not what I used to do on Friday nights just not my thing. Having said that I’m not gonna say that I didn’t enjoy it, of course I did enjoy it a lot :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Car showrooms in Thailand


In the shopping malls in Sri Lanka we don’t see cars for sale, the most precious car showroom in Sri Lanka in the Porsche showroom at Peliyagoda. But I saw all these cars in a shopping mall at Bangkok.

Ferrari - Front View


Ferrari - Front View


Ferrari - Side View


Lotus


Porsche


Lamborghini


Lamborghini


Lamborghini Podium


White color Lamborghini - Front View


Lamborghini - Side View


Lamborghini - Front View