One beautiful day we rented a motorbike to explore around. It was such a lovely and eventfull day, even if our little trip started with the most uncomfortable situation we’ve ever been in here in Sri Lanka.
Just a couple of kilometers from ‘our’ peaceful little village, we cruised past the traditional fishermen stilts, with men sitting on them for once! We’ve seen plenty of stilts, but no one has been using them as it is not season to go fishing close to the beach just yet. But now we could finally see them! And that was one magical second! Then some guys came up to us and wanted to charge us for taking photos of the ‘fishermen’! Seriously?! I said laughing, I thought they must be joking? But no, that is their business they said! They charge every person whom take a photos ‘a small amount’ of 1000 rupees (that is equal to like 4 dinners for us).
We were very dissapointed and a little bit upset as we continued driving, but we stopped a little further away to take just one photo as a little revenge, before one of the ‘fishermen’ pointed at us and yelled to the ‘businessmen’, and then one of them came running after us and we continued driving quickly! A couple of kilometers later we saw some more ‘fishermen’, with a big audience of chinese tourists taking photos of them from every angle. I cannot understand how someone can want to pay money for something so fake! That shot will never be authentic, the men are not fishermen, they are simply fishing for tourists!
Luckily, this doesn’t happen everywhere. Our friends told us that when the season starts, there will be plenty of fishermen whom will never charge us. But as the country slowly slowly gets more tourists coming after the civilwar ended in 2009, there will probably be more and more poeple trying to make the most money out of us visitors, unfortunately. But I have to say, that Sri Lanka is still the most pure country I’ve ever travelled to. It is not yet destroyed by tourism. The beaches are wild, the jungle is evergreen and the people are genuinly nice.
We continued to Galle, the 3rd biggest city of the country. There is the Sri Lankan side of the city, and then there is the Dutch/Portugese side of town, that is surrounded by an old fortress. It was kind of interesting to see European arcitecture here in Asia. We just had a little walk around, and randomly walked into an old Brittish friend of mine, that I haven’t seen since I met him in Australia back in 2013! I really love when those things happens! The world feels very small when I start thinking about how many people I’ve randomly crossed paths with in different parts of the world.
After cruising around Galle for a bit, we continued to a little jungle beach that we’ve spotted from the lighthouse in Galle. We had a coconut on the beach after walking through the jungle and meeting a big family of monkeys. And then we visited a majestic Pagoda on the top of a hill.
On our way back home we were really on the right road at the right time! We met this adorable school parade. Everyone was so beautiful and happy, and they invited us to come and dance along with them. I couldn’t really get an explanation of why they were having the parade that day, but it was probably something about the school start.
..and then just after we had passed the parade, the motorbike broke down and we had to wait for our friend to come and fix it, haha. That day was really a rollercoaster of good and bad things happening. Balance I guess. Did you have any experience with the dark side of tourism? Please write in comments!
Lots of love