Sunday, January 1, 2017
Then we went to the beach: Tangalle, Sri Lanka
For the last part of our trip, we drove from Yala to Tangalle. Tangalle is in the south of Sri Lanka and is so beautiful. We checked into our hotel and went for a swim in the pool before going in to town for dinner. We went to a local restaurant and got spicy curries with rice and some roti (a bread with filling-they made us one with spice and one without).
The morning of our second day, we took a quick tuk tuk ride to the most beautiful beach. We swam in the waves, relaxed and ran into Grace's classmate and her family. The next few days were spent beaching, eating and napping-just as a beach vacation should be.
The hotel hosted a nice dinner on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning met up with Grace's classmate's family for whale watching. This was our first time whale watching. We took a boat off the coast for about 30 minutes and joined about 20 other boats waiting to see a whale. We saw our first whale off in the distance-so exciting. The boats all raced towards it. We saw 4 whales (or 1 whale 4 times?) and each time it would come up to the surface about 3 times and then we'd see it's tail and it would go back under. The boat operators said that they come up to breathe about every 15 minutes. After seeing three whales, the guide asked if we were happy and wanted to go back. Everyone said yes except for one guy. At his request, we stayed out to see one more. I'm glad we stayed because this last time the whale came up for air right next to our boat. It was really amazing to see.
For the last night we went back to the city of Colombo so we could make it out for our dreaded red eye flight Tuesday night. It turns out that Colombo is a really interesting city. We went out to the shore Monday night and it was crowded with families picnicking and flying kites. The staff at the hotel said it was so busy because it was the recognized holiday for Christmas and there was some kind of carnival there. We had some potato snacks and saw a snake charmer. What?! I was definitely the most excited of the family. We got home Wednesday and celebrated Christmas now we have a few days before heading back to school. Now smooth sailing until summer break!