Kirinda Beach and Tissamaharamaya

OSI-Sri Lanka

1 September 2011

Map

Kirinda Beach on the south coast of Sri Lanka is 130km from Nayabedde, -a 3 1/2 hour journey by bus. Pan or zoom the below map for a closer detail of our route and destinations.

Our Journey

Our chartered bus met us at Nayabedde's Hindu temple, and we departed at 7:45 in the morning.  An hour into our trip, still in the rugged high-country, our first stop was at Rawana Falls.  The beautiful falls are also the scene of a famous legend in our national folklore, -one of numerous sites where the king Rawana hid the princess Sita (for another such site, see our last-year's visit to Seetha Amman temple near Nuwara Eliya).  Continuing on our journey, the temperature climbed and the road straightened as we descended into the lowlands.  Our time on the bus was occupied by a steady stream of breakfast pastries, juices, and chocolate milk.  We had another short break at a shady spot near the wilds of Lunugamvehera National Park, an exotic, parched safari environment completely novel to us.

Kirinda Beach

We caught a momentary glimpse of the sea, -many of us for the first time ever, as our bus approached Kirinda.  This awesome site filled us with great anticipation!  Our bus parked behind the massive rock outcroppings that line Kirinda Beach.  A short walk over a sandy hill top and there it was! -endless sandy beach and endless sea, like nothing we had ever imagined.  Novices that we were, the first wave promptly ripped our flip-flop sandals off our feet! -and we spent the next 20 minutes running back-and-forth as the sea teasingly tossed them back to us.  The rest of the time we waded (barefoot) in the water, made sand castles, sat on the rocks, and just contemplated the vast expanse of sea before us.

Tissamaharamaya

We departed Kirinda Beach at 2:00 pm and enjoyed refreshing fruit juices and chocolate bars on the bus during the half-hour ride inland to Tissamaharamaya.  "Tissa" is an ancient and historically important city, featuring massive Buddhist dagobas and an ancient reservoir, both dating back more than 2300 years when Tissamaharamaya was the capital of the Kingdom of Ruhuna.  At Tissa we enjoyed a bus-ride around the lake, and a fantastic buffet lunch at a hotel with shady gardens right above the lake (after changing into dry clothes!).  We left Tissa at about 4:15 pm, singing and dancing on the bus all the way back to Nayabedde, where we arrived at 7:00 pm, thoroughly exhausted after our fantastic day.

Acknowledgements

We are especially grateful to our old friends Ron and Brenda Cornelius and their friends from the UK for providing the cost of our chartered bus.
Thanks to our children's individual sponsors for providing all of the other costs, -breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc., enabling each of these children to have this experience.
And thanks to our fantastic friends right here in Sri Lanka, -Jennet and Lalith Sarathchandra, Hirushi, Farouk and Fazna, and Liz McLaughlin, for all of your assistance and supervision of the children during the day!
Many thanks to all of you, on behalf of these children, for creating another lifelong memory!
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