Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dolphin watching at Mirissa

It all started when Jo asked me and Lahiru about Dolphin watching, i had never thought of planning such a trip. Somehow Jo initiated the trip; we set the dates as 11th and 12th of April. But for some wired reason we advanced the tour for a week. There were couple of parties in Colombo but i was ok with going on this trip since this was different ;)

There are 2 famous places in Sri Lanka for Dolphin watching. Kalpitiya is the most famous place, according to reviews and from the people i have spoken to you can see loads of Dolphins there. But there was another place, and it is Mirissa. At Mirissa it’s a two in one journey that is we can see both Dolphins and Whales :). So we planned to go to Mirissa. I and Kushan gathered at Rajeev’s place to discuss on the trip about a week back and that’s where we planned the whole journey.

Been to Hikkaduwa too many times I had some contacts of places to stay. And my personal favorite was “The Curry Bowl”, affordable nice place situated just after the Corel Gardens. I booked the place and Jo booked the van. In this trip the most important part in planning is booking the boat. But we didn’t book any, the reason was the price. If you want to go in a luxury boat trip then book Walkers Tours but it would cost you about Rs. 7500/- per head. Speaking with the people who have already gone for Dolphin watching we learnt that it’s the luck that matters to see Dolphins but not the kind of the boat we go in. So we decided not to take the expensive Walkers tour boat ride.

We started the tour on Friday (3rd March 2009) evening with me, Lahiru, Rajeev, Jo, Lakshika and Shiham. On the way to Hikkaduwa we stopped at a shop and bought Egg Hoppers, that and some snacks we picked up earlier was our Dinner on Friday. We arrived at Hikka around 10.30 pm, though we had to get up early neither of us went to sleep early. We all hanged out a while played the guitar and chilled a bit. By the time we went to sleep it was around 1 am. Next day i got up around 5 am and had to wake up everyone. All of us were ready by 6.45 am and we were on our way to Mirissa. Unfortunately our van broke down. While the driver trying to figure out what to do we went to the beach to watch the fisherman pulling the net ashore. I also went and pulled it with them for a while :)

(Pulling the Fishing net ashore)

After the van driver putting a temporary fix for the problem we got in the van and continued to go to Mirissa. We arrived at Mirissa by 8.30 am. We spoke to a fisherman and he told us not to go at that time because it’s too late. We also felt that it’s late and we told him we’ll come next day morning at 6 am. We got in the van and went towards Hikka, and again the van broke down. This time it was near Unawatuna, we somehow went to Unawatuna beach and let the driver go and fix the van. We went to this little rock mountain near the sea where there is a blowhole. There was only us on that place and we spent about 1 hour there.

(Near the Blowhole at Unawatuna)

After that we went to Unawatuna beach and hired a glass bottom boat and went on a ride to see the corals. Unfortunately most of the corals were damaged :( After the boat ride we straightaway jumped in to the sea :). When we got back we saw a gypsy with a huge python around his neck walking towards us. I never liked the idea of taking pictures with a python around my neck but it happened ;)

Van came and picked us up from Unawatuna around 2.30 pm and we went to Hikka and decided to have the snacks as our lunch. Since we were planning on going to Mambo’s that night we decided to have an early dinner. At this time Kushan arrived to the Curry Bowl and we chilled for a while. Since we still didn’t go on Dolphin watching, I called Dinuka and asked him to come to Hikka; he said he’ll come in the morning. We went to the beach near Coral Gardens and there was a sea turtle. People were feeding it and we did that too, at there we went on yet another glass bottom boat ride again. Corals at Hikka are way better than what we saw on Unawatuna. And there were lot more fish at Hikka too. Everyone was hungry at this time so we went to this awesome place called “No.1 Rotti Shop” That place is unique; I have never had Rotti like that in my entire life. They have all kinds of Rotti, Chocolate Rotti, Prawn Rotti, Chicken Cheese Rotti… you name it its there :)

After having that awesome food we came back to the Curry Bowl and chilled again, played the guitar, sang few songs and it was nice. Time was around 10 pm when went to Mambo’s place, and guess what??? The place was deserted. Though the music was on, there were absolutely no one there. When I was there couple of moths back it was packed. That’s the Mambo’s I expected but it was totally different on that night (must be the off season and/or the recession). Since we had to get up early we played some pool and for an hour and came back and slept.

Got up at 4 am on Sunday (5th April 2009) and called everyone to wake them up, and I called Dinuka to check where he is, surprisingly he was close to Hikka at that time (Normally he never comes on time :P). There were heavy lightning in the skies above sea, but it wasn’t raining in the land. I had a bad feeling but all of us got in the van by 5 am and we were on our way to Mirissa for the second time. Though it was early morning it took about an hour for us to come to Mirissa. It was raining slightly; we spoke to some fisherman and finally got a deal for 10,000/- for 4 hour boat ride. By 6.30 am we started the boat ride. There was a dark cloud right above us and still there were rain drops falling on us for more than 30 minutes. And suddenly skies got cleared and we saw two sea turtles :) and about 5 minutes after we saw two huge Whales.

(Tail of a Giant Whale)

Soon after that we started to see Dolphins all around the place, there were more than 1000 dolphins for sure :) There were three other boats with us who has come to the deep sea with us for the same purpose. Dolphins were very close to all the boats most of the time.

(The Dolphins)

We watched the Dolphins for more than a hour and a half and actually got tired of watching dolphins as there were plenty of them in the sea :P We Decided to end the boat ride and came back ashore.

(The Crew)

It was about 10 am when we came back to the main land. And all of us were hungry; so we went towards Hikka and had Lunch from Rotti Shop ;) Dinuka and his friends stayed at Hikka and the rest got in to the van and headed towards Colombo. Overall the trip was a really good one with a big difference :)


Saman said...

Looks like a graet trip! Great if we cud've arranged somthing like that.

crdesilva said...

Saman (a.k.a Hasnthika) >> Ya we should. But it's you people who are having the problems not me :P

Rajeev said...

My aunt and uncle from oz who are comming to SL in Dec, are planning a trip to see Dolphins and had come across this! Never knew you wrote this up till they just sent us the link!

Michelle Anne Custodio said...

I alway enjoy watching those cute friendly dolphins. Tried dolphins Oban and that was a blast!