Nothing beats waking up to the sound of the ocean. The first thing I did that morning was to go for a swim. I walked 10 paces and the water washed over my feet. I looked around and I quickly realized that I had the beach to myself. Not a soul was up yet. I dived right in and swam and played with the waves. When I was done with that I walked up and down the beach and saw it come alive with hotel staff, swimmers, walkers and dogs. 

The rest of the day was spent exploring the nearby costal areas where we saw stick fishermen, took a boat ride on a lagoon and saw a Portuguese fort. Each stop offered its own unique experience that I will not forget. 

With the stick fishermen, I actually got up on the stick after falling once; only to find out I was facing the wrong way so instead of fishing I smiled at the beach! While boating on the lagoon we stopped at Cinnamon Island, where for families live and produce cinnamon. At the Fort we had the best Sri Lankan food of the trip at a small inn called Mrs. Khalid’s. 

Mrs. Khalid and her family were celebrating Eid and while we ate we were able to observe their Eid traditions. What struck me was that even though we were miles apart in so many ways our traditions were the same. As visitors came and went to wish her Eid Mubark, they too gave gifts to children and said the same things and did the same things. 

We spent two idyllic days in Unawatuna and then made our way up the coast to Bentota to see the masks and the turtles.