Sunday, January 17, 2010
ARUGAM BAY- SRI LANKA
Arugam Bay is located 220 km due East of Colombo. It is a popular surfing and tourist destination in Sri Lanka. I’ve been to Arugam Bay before in its tourist season and it’s an absolute beauty. The waves the wind and everything was so perfect. However in the raining season it’s not the case; you cannot even go out because of the rain. In the raining season it’s very hard to find a day without any rain. Thanks to a weather forecasting website I was able to find a day without any rain. It was June 2009 nearly four and a half years after Sri Lanka was hit by the Tsunami in 2004, and surprisingly Arugam Bay is one of the very first coasts to get hit by the Tsunami in Sri Lanka.This time I visited the place to see how it progress after Tsunami.
Many of the buildings were destroyed in the 2004 tsunami. The post Tsunami recovery has by and large been very quick despite the remoteness of the area. Many NGO's and private organisations have help rebuild the area and some of the guest houses are now much better than before the wave. Both north and south of Arugam Bay there are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole of Sri Lanka.Due to its popularity among tourists they are managed a slow recovery by private initiatives only.
The main beach is Clean now, it was bit dirty as it is used as a garbage dump by some locals after tsunami. Nearby beaches are more aesthetically pleasing and also have excellent waves. Arugam Surf Point has a very long, consistent, section right hand break. Many organizations claim to have done extensive work in the area, but locally and on close inspection no progress can be observed so far, end first quarter of 2008.US 'Mercy Corps' has been the most active organization, funded by Oprah Whinfrey 'Angel Network', following a huge fund-raising TV series in the United States. Sadly, none of their projects survived the first year of operation. A bridge being constructed by USAID and It was opened for traffic in 2008. It replaced the 1960s, original landmark box girder construction linking Arugam Bay with Pottuvil. At km 313 on the main A4 road, an excellent shortcut link road exists, which ends up in the very middle of Arugam Bay itself. This picturesque drive avoids the dusty town of Pottuvil.
November to January is coolest and April to August, when the surf is best, could reach above 36 C in the shade. The three international renowned surf points close to Arugam Bay are Arugam Point, Pottuvil Point and Crocodile Rock. The ISA (International Surfing Association) staged Arugam Bay's first international surfing competition in the summer of 2004, and despite the shocking destruction of the Tsunami, returned again in 2005 to give the battered local economy a boost.
The nearby (4 km) village of Pottuvil is the center of commerce and transportation while tourist accommodations lie along the beach to the south of Pottuvil. There are now almost daily flights to Ampara with Sri Lankan Airlines sea planes. They are presently applying for a licence to land on Pottuvil Lagoon. Arugam Bay (4 km) is also the gateway and the only road access to the Yala East National Park. This area is known as Kumana (44 km), to be reached via Panama (17 km) and the shires at Okanda (32 km).
Whether you want to dine on the beach in view of the sea or watch the world pass by from a sidewalk cafe, the cuisine of Arugam Bay offers just what you’re looking for. A stroll along Main Street will take you past many traditional Sri Lankan restaurants serving some of the best rice and curry on the island. You’ll find a variety of accommodation in Arugam Bay with something suitable for every budget. Many of the hotels are small ‘guesthouses’.
Unfortunately Arugam Bay is on its way to become a major tourist destination, so you better hurry up while it’s still laid-back and original!
at 8:29 AM