Monday, June 22, 2015

THE BACKPACKER's DIARY


We are backpackers. We love what we do and we do what we really love. As always, travelling purifies me to behold new experiences and allows me to open my heart and mind to the new things and challenges... 
  
This is the story of a woman who loves hitting the road, swimming across the ocean, climbing the mountains and who loves travelling with her backpacker husband. Am glad we did this together not just because we deserve some break and relaxation but for the love we share and the dreams we dream of…

Completely not knowing what to expect, we finally landed in Colombo on 15th June, 2015. 

"Home Stay" (A bed & breakfast type of guest house . This is where we stayed the arrival night. Owned by a lovely lady called Priyani)

Walking down Mount Lavinia Beach the next morning!

Before boarding local bus in the evening at 7pm for the Eastern part of the Island, we headed for some good food and drinks the next morning. It was a pure fun to walk down the beach and allows the waves to tease us and whisper some few secrets...  



a) Prawn and local veggies fried rice with hot & spicy Lankan chutney
b) BELOW !!! Fresh coconut water and tender coconut scoop out ( its silly...we ate as our starter)



                                 


After all the indulgence, we hop in to one of the local bus (102) that goes to  Colombo fort and from there we boarded the bus for Arugam Bay (Pottuvil). As you can see from the map, it was one weirdest and craziest road journey we've ever taken. We enjoyed the ride to the fullest though. Started from Colombo Fort by 7 pm, we reach Pottuvil the next day at 4 am. 

Map of Sri Lanka


THE MARVELLOUS ARUGAM BAY !  
The lovely Arugam Bay is what I called " the pearl in the crown of Sri Lankan beaches". Post Tsunami, the lovely town is on its way to rebuild its own home and recreate its own magic that enchant travellers & backpackers like us. Arugam Bay is not just the best surfing destination but it also serves as one of the most unspoilt place I must say. I really love the way how this little spot has its own charm.  I believe the sun never set in Arugam Bay...it shines no matter what!!! 
We are grateful to the people and strangers who allowed us to be part of their world and to be happy about it... For me, travelling helps me see beyond what I can see. It is always an inward journey!!!

                   



 

We stayed at THE FOLLY...a lovely rustic and organic resort. The roofless (open sky view) bathroom stood out so out for me (haha)... It was fun. 


                                                                                                                                                                                            


THE OCEAN....THE HIGH POINT OF OUR EXPEDITION!!!

 








His new found unpredictable friend Brownie! Brownie is the most ferocious four footed fur in the Island. Mind you...even the beach patrol police are scared of him (Lol). Yes, you heard me...POLICE..  




FOOD, MORE THAN A FOOD!!! 

I believe food are really more than just a food. They speak to our inner self and are a window to understand the other self who serves the food or share their table. Seeing all the gourmet preparation, I couldn't resist what I saw so I grab my camera and took all these photos to testify that this is what I called food. Thanks to my husband who patiently waited for the crazy photographer to click...I know I know...he was annoyed as we were already famished by then. 
The spices, the flavour and the seasonal favourite fruits and vegetables just got better and much to my realization, it defines the community and their love and respect for one another.    


     WHITE SNIPER 




         Sri Lankan speciality by Ratna (the master chef of The Folly)... 
         "Cooking with love provides food for the soul"...


      ROCK FISH from the FOLLY (an experience of a lifetime)  

    THE FAMOUS SUKSAKA BREAKFAST at Folly 


   THE MESMERISING ARUGAM BAY's SURFERS!!!


    It was breathtaking to see this totally mind-boggling insane surfer...no words!!! 

THE REAL WORLD THE REAL PEOPLE LIVES HERE...

Like its own colourful spices and food, the land is a plater of varied colours of people, mountains, animals, birds, fishermen's colourful boats, rocks, flowers and list goes on... 

                   

 A closer walk with nature and its dwellers!!! 


 
                 
THE BACKPACKER's CONFESSION!!!

Had sunburn, tanned my skin, skinned my knees, emptied my wallet...Well who cares, as long as you know you're born for this journey...this journey of Life... So fall in love again with life, take some risk and pack your bag... Time to hit the road. It makes me alive and kick hard! That's my forte!!! 


Until then, I'll see you again on the other side of the lonely planet. Thank you Sri Lanka for the love and memories!!! Truly a place like no other place". 


 "WE TRAVEL NOT TO ESCAPE LIFE BUT FOR LIFE NOT TO ESCAPE US" anonymous





Monday, January 26, 2015

CELEBRATION OF LIFE IN TRUE NAGA STYLE ( courtesy: MY HORNBILL FESTIVAL DIARY PART II)


The " Hornbill Festival" of Nagaland is one of the premier festivals in India. It is also fondly called as "FESTIVAL OF ALL FESTIVALS"... Religiously held during the first week of December every year in Nagaland. I have been waiting for a long time to attend this festival...hmmm finally here we are.... The festival's spirit of love and memories of my forefathers have resonated far more than I've imagine. Am once again reminded of my rich cultural heritage and all the privilege inheritance I have as Nagas.
Nagas are one of the most diverse and unique tribe in the world. Having more than 30 sub-tribes speaking different dialects, Nagas are definitely one of the most colourful community. Hornbill festival is nothing but the testament of the rich heritage of our forefathers and ancestors... the festival embodies the spirit of freedom, love and the spirit of oneness and harmony. Hornbill festival is surely a lifetime treat for a soul who quest for organic inspiration and originality. Surrounded by mountains and rivers, the festival simply echo what is in-scripted by the land and the people who owns it.  This is Hornbill festival 2014.... !

Ladies pounding rice 

Fire stunts

On fire ( display of bravery) 

Fame buzzes through the community and are honoured  

Innocence and simplicity  

We sing and that's how we talk 

Warriors and hunters

This is how I protect my people and hunt 

Head of the morung 




"Horn" 
The young vibrant Naga young adults in their traditional attire

Young Naga lad with his obvious display of bravery decorated with tiger's claws


If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song... Khalil Gibran 


THE BARLEY CULTIVATION DANCE ( courtesy: MY HORNBILL FESTIVAL DIARY PART I )

This is how  they look out for fertile soil and land and fence the boundary as they get ready to plan barley
As the spring arrives, the villagers prepare their barns and look forward to the golden harvest
This is how they cultivate 
The baskets were made of cane and bamboos
By the end of Autumn... the barleys are brought home
The muscular fine men in the village has no complain to showcase their strength  as they stump through the barley 
Ladies along with the elders separating the husks and the barleys
Happy time is here.... Barley time is here
The barn closes down for winter 
Until next spring 
Villagers on their way home after the glorious harvest