We've been here in Arugam Bay for a week now and although we're probably not going to stay for the month as we once thought (weather is definitely on the turn) we're settled for at least another few days.
We've almost been here long enough to feel at home. We have a lovely tuk tuk driver, Fazreem, who has been taking us to all different local sights and we've found a lively evening eating establishment - Beach Hut - where the food is good and cheap (£1.50 - £2.50) and there's endless cold beers on tap.
Here are the highs and lows of the last week:
Peanut Farm beach: swimming on a deserted beach when the raucous trumpet of a wild elephant was heard. The very same large, male, tusker who had visited the day before and plodded straight through the wall of the kitchen in the cabanas there, eaten all the food and protested at the amount of plastics by kicking it all out. Eco-warrior Elephants! Most animals would be if given the chance I guess, but it takes one the size of an elephant to make a real impact!
I'm trying not to worry excessively about the dangers the kids may face on this trip, but I did find myself frantically looking for an escape route for if the beast appeared. Could I beat a stampeding elephant to the steps of the tree house whilst carrying Jessica? Or should I take my chances swimming deeper into the ocean? Can elephants swim? Can elephants climb rocks? Can elephants be subdued by cute blonde haired kids?
Thankfully, I didn't have to find out any answers as he never appeared.
Panama and crocodiles: about 15 of the prehistoric reptiles, just lazing in the river we were walking by. One of whom was around 7ft long and could have easily eaten Otto in one snap of the jaws. Cue excessive worrying mother in me again!
Whiskey point: being served omlettes by the Sri Lankan spit of Martin Hunt. There's now a plush hotel with swimming pool here, where 4 years ago there was just a platform for the beach parties!
One low point was they wouldn't let us use their luxury pool - not even after Jessica cried her eyes out. Nothing was to work on the stony faced staff members.
One other low point was Jessie left her cat backpack in a tuk tuk a few days back and it's now lost, with it her favourite toy horse, Cola and the family photos we'd brought with us of the whole Newitts, Hunters and Judges.
On the flip side though. More highs last night and today. We met a great fun English family who are driving a tuk tuk round Sri Lanka in their half term. Tony, Joanne and their kids, Lucy(5) and Christopher (7). Lucy has given Jess her pink, Disney princess bag so Jess is happy again. Hopefully we'll hang on to this one for longer than 3 weeks!
Released a turtle into the sea today at Pottuvil Point that had been caught in the fishermen's nets. And watched the fishermen dividing a catch of probably 40 or 50 sting rays.
Here's how happy Mikes was driving Tony's tuk tuk...
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Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!