Galleh

CYCLING THERE

We made it in 8 hours and our bikes were pretty much exhausted. We were drained out for a few minutes after reaching the fort too. But that might have had something to do with us racing each other for the final 5k of the journey. Surprisingly our strength recovered remarkably quickly. Although we looked a bit out of place among the clean, non-sunblackened, non-grease smeared, non-sweaty people milling around the Hall de Gaul for a while there.

Jerry blew a flat somewhere south of Payagala, just after breakfast. Can’t blame fate for that. An ant with bit of determination could have pierced the thin layer of rubber impersonating as his tyre tread.

We made good time to start with. And made several stops to hydrate and one to have a swim. The spot we were led to by two overly friendly dudes at Ambalangoda looked like it was infested by a school of beached human shaped tuna so we turned back as politely as we could.

We hit the refreshing waves just before Hikka proper a couple hours later. The sea was.. rough. After nearly 5 hours riding in the hot sun, the waves felt like particles of liquid awesome.

FORT

The  Galle Fort was built by the Portuguese and modified by the Dutch in the 17th Century. Here I will cut to the chase and insert some fine but cliche metaphors to describe the ambiance within the rampart walls and the nostalgic beauty of the architecture. I hope the pics explain that accurately enough.

A lot of places to stay, does the Galle Fort offer. But unfortunately most of them require very deep pockets in order for you to be able to shrug off a visit enjoyably on the way back; instead of crouch in a corner of your bus/train sadly counting the remnants of the contents of your wallet. So we camped. On the ramparts no less. Didn’t even think it was possible. But no one seemed to mind. As you can imagine, it was two kinds of happening.

JUNGLE BEACH

The difficulty in accessing it might explain why most tourists shun it. To get there you must confront a very steep climb that will go on for a good kilometer or so. Just when you were beginning to think that Galle was all flat land.

Near the top of your climb you will arrive at a space where the road runs along a cliff edge. And you can look out and see the view; Galle Fort in the distance. Jungle Beach below you and the open sea to your right. If you’re sober at the time you may just avoid passing out. Or dying of an overdose of corny lines.

Jungle Beach is actually two small beaches separated by a narrow strip of rock. The sea is the turquoise blue akin to that found in most novels set in a tropical environment. But only for a few feet or so. The water gets deeper about 20 meters out. And the swimming prowess of the likes of Chinthana are required for successful navigation. Success being equated with preserving your life.

Wolfram and his dogs

The beaches are small. Just as well there are so few people visiting the place. Getting there is not easy and one can see why it deserves the name ‘Jungle’. A hundred years ago that place would have been truly wild. And way better. Yes i think that is possible.

Expect a more detailed post on Sinhalaya Travels soon…

Advertisements
18 comments
  1. Dee said:

    whats the cam ur using..lovely pics! 🙂

    • Whacko said:

      using a canon digi cam. put it down to pure skillz yo :p and great light of course

  2. magerata said:

    Marvelous report and photographs, Whacko! I think I know the “Jungle Beach” but could not sure because I can’t remember the radio(?) towers that you see. I can’t recall seeing those. Appreciate the fun you you shared with us!

    • Whacko said:

      Thanks! Hope you get to go there again soon. thrilling place

  3. Sach said:

    3rd pic is cool. The blue in ocean is just magnificent!

  4. Argh. am gonna get it here someday.

    loved the shots. I second Sach. 3rd shot.

    • Whacko said:

      Thanks guys!

  5. hey, you need to let me know when you go cycling next. would be cool to join. dil.

    • Whacko said:

      we had a note up on the Sinhalaya Travels blog. too bad you didnt see it on time! we’ll keep updating it with notifications of course so stay tuned, we’d love to have you along.

  6. black said:

    luckyyyy! i ❤ the 3rd pic!

  7. Chavie said:

    stunning shots man! 🙂 where is this ‘jungle beach’ anyway? close to Una and the Ruhunu Cement factory?

  8. Jerry said:

    I’m so proud of him *tear :p

    @deecee whack used a regular canon powershot compact.

    @chavie yeah, how’d you know that? Are you stalking us? 😮

  9. Chavie said:

    haha, no you said something about hills, so that Hill near Una is the only one I could think of in that area… 😉

    • Chavie said:

      going through a map, I see that this hill is non other than the famous ‘Rumassala’… oooh! 😯

  10. Whacko said:

    Yeah the hill was dropped by ravana while he flew by one day, as per legend

    • Chavie said:

      Hanuman actually… the other part fell to Ritigala. Both are biodiversity hotspots! 🙂

  11. You guys are something. You actually managed to cycle to Galle in 8 hours?

    More details on the journey would be appreciated, especially on pre-preparation for the ride plus timing (leave early morning – or even midnight?), packing (how heavy a pack is practical).

    The furthest I’ve ever got is Colombo – Wattala years ago(45 min) but that was no picnic.

    • Jerry said:

      There wasn’t muich preparation except for a sketchy route from Colombo fort to the Kelaniya temple and back. THat took about three to four hours, with all the sight-seeing.

      As the posta at http://www.sinhalayatravels.com/cycling-to-galle/ mentions, we left around 6am, and tried to keep the bagas as light as possible. A few clothes and some tools was all we had. Plus the water on the bike frame.

      I’m sure if you take your bike out for a few rounds in and around the district, and are generally in decent shape, you’ll make galle pretty easy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: