So after our Jaffna adventure, we headed down the east coast to Trincomalee. Trinco for short (check us out with our hip shortening of place names) has beautiful long golden sandy beaches lined with palm trees. The back streets are filled with many colourful houses all painted in, shades of pink, blue, orange and purples, it's a Tamil Cornish village, instead of seagulls on the roofs there are many monkeys.
Trinco is mainly a Tamil town with colourful HIndu temples and mosques, lots of noise and bustle around the main street, plenty of manic Tuc Tuc drivers and crazy motorbikes to keep you on your toes whilst attempting to cross the road. Move away from the busy main roads though and it is peaceful and green, with lots of little roads to explore, an ancient fort and lots of smiling children that didn't ask for money.
There are sadly less cows on the streets, though they do still wander around the town, and also are quite keen on a paddle in the sea, which is unusual to see, but everyone loves the seaside and I guess if you are a sacred beast then why not have a paddle.
Trinco is also famous for deer, they are protected by the city so are left to there own devices and as they are living pretty much in the city are used to humans and quite like a scratch behind the ear. Though not to long as the males can become amorous and you may get more than you bargained for jac, and be forced to runaway from a rampant rudolf. Large groups of reindeers hanging about the place is lovely, we found them munching on grass in the graveyard, chilling in the bus station and also sitting on the beach amongst the fishing boats.
People mainly come to Trinco for the beaches and they are lovely the main two tourist beaches of Uppuveli & Nilaveli, both are as yet free of such rampant development that we have seen in the south. They are still palm lined and natural with a distinct lack of any beach bars pumping music, and on the days we were there, they were also free of people.
We opted to stay in Trinco town, away from the main tourist beaches and plonked ourselves in Dutch Bay at ...Dykes rest.. This caused quite a lot of sniggering on our part, and thanks for the Facebook comments .... The rest of the guests were quite bemused as to why it was so funny. Anyway it was extremely restful and a perfect location right on the beach, the guesthouse owner was lovely, the food was tasty and we spent the nights listening to the waves and drinking cold beers and gazing up at the stars.
As a thank you for visiting a rubber plantation and helping out at the factory for DSL, we were treated to a couple of free scuba dives. This is an excellent way to get paid for some work, though I'm not sure it would be as appreciated in the cold UK waters.
Luckily for me Jac didn't fancy diving so I got to have two dives and she got to sit on the very small boat in the middle of the sea and feel sick.
Those 2 dives led onto another 3 days diving for me, and some snorkelling for jac, our days then were spent under the sea looking at the beautiful fishes and we even spotted a turtle but sadly no sharks. I did a night dive, I'm not really keen on them if I'm honest, for some reason I can hear the jaws music at night and always expect something lurking around a dark corner, but it turned out to be pretty spectacular, mainly for the amazing bio iluminicances in the water. This is plankton that reacts to movement in the water, so as soon as you move your body in the dark ocean, thousands of little white explosions of light happen, it was incredible, jac was a bit reluctant to come into a chilly dark ocean but as soon as she did I couldn't get her out, we splashed around for ages creating our own milky ways in the sea.
What I have learnt:
Do not point and say, have you seen that fat cow in the sea in a loud voice, especially in presence of other beach users, as they maybe Russian have good English, a large bottom and therefore likely to become quite agitated.
Also do not try and make the situation better by explaining that you didn't mean they were a fat cow, but it was the one in the sea, as the paddling bovine may have wandered off behind a fishing boat to be replaced by the Russian ladies sister.
I can last a very long time on a scuba tank of air, especially if that tank of air costs around 30 US dollars, this will trigger my tight arse gene and I will attempt to suck every last bit of expensive air, before surfacing, However this will result in you becoming prune like and very cold as even though it is 28 in the water after 80 minutes it will be freezing and no amount peeing in your wet suit is going to keep you warm.
Be very very careful when explaining various hand signals for fish under the sea, to a group of none divers, you must take extra care in remembering that the sign for dolphin is-a finger under the nose (this makes the first half of the word by representing an infamous name ... and your hand upright on your forehead to resemble a sharks fin. Under no circumstances no matter how many beers you have had forget this and instead replace the fin shape with a full blown hitter salute, as there is likely to be a couple of very grumpy Germans around, and no matter how hard you apologise it will not make any difference.
Diving is very sociable and if you are lucky enough to not have offended everyone then you will form a merry little band who dive during the day and then spend the evenings drinking G&T or as we call it now mosquito repellent. I don't think it repelled any mosquitos, you just didn't care about being bitten after you had a couple.