Saturday, 1 May 2010

In the President's Shadow

After a walk along the beach at sunrise, and after helping these fishermen push their boat to a safe piece of sand, I encountered some water buffalo waiting to go for a dip in the lagoons. Where the concrete eventually peters out at about 2km from town, the beach road turns into a dirt track which goes on for a distance I've yet to explore. It's an area of murky lagoons, frequented only by the foolhardy and the thick skinned. If the infections in the water don't get you then the creatures living in it probably will. The beast I spotted was either a crocodile or a damned big lizard - either way, I didn't fancy investigating closer!

Back in Tangalle I ventured down to the harbour. I hadn't expected to be able to get there by walking along the beach but, what I'd taken to be a river passing through the centre of town turned out to be another long, skinny, land-locked lagoon. I was told that the sea overcame the sand bridge once or twice a year which must give it a chance to refresh the stagnant water.

Tangalle's only roundabout not only hosts one of the largest self-promoting posters I've seen in my life (showing the SL President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose 23 year-old son won the local parliamentary elections a couple of weeks ago) but notice what's underneath it. Yep, cows! Both son and cows benefitting from being in the president's shadow!

And finally, these three Muslim children (4, 10 and 12) charmed me for half an hour while I indulged in two slices of bread with strawberry jam, and some of the sweetest, sickliest milky tea I've ever, ever forced myself to drink!

A few more photos from Sri Lanka...

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