First week in Trincomalee
I wanted to post this blog before the one about our trip.
We arrived safely on Wednesday 3rd February. After checking in Bill and I walked into the town which is very close to the town jetty. First impressions were that it was a bit shabby but not as dirty as some of the towns in Indonesia. The streets aren’t covered in rubbish which is an improvement. There are three wheeled tuk tuks everywhere. The people look quite poor but seemed happy to see us and very friendly and welcoming. Some of the buildings are painted in bright colours. Most of the shops are quite small. This guy has a lot of bananas to sell.
One of the first things we have to sort out when we arrive in a new country is sim cards for the phones. Most countries have access to mobile phones and the network varies but is usually at least 3G now. Bill bought a sim card and some credit which, once loaded, can be for data or the phone. For the sim card and 2 1/2 gigs of data we paid the princely sum of £2.50! While standing on this corner I watched the tuk tuks wizzing across the crossroads along with the motorbikes and pedal bikes. There didn’t seem to be any road rules so hopefully no one gets hurt but it looked scary driving. I took a video and will post it on facebook when I’ve posted this blog. We had a nice meal in the Dutch Bank cafe later that afternoon.
The next day was a celebration for Sri Lanka having fully gained their independence from the British in 1947. There wasn’t very much planned in Trinco except that every where was shut so we spent the day sorting out the boat. Bill discovered more problems with the twizzle rig. The central ring had been bent out of shape and the downhaul needed some work. Bill had kept the metal ring from the clew of the old sail which was good enough for the job, he then sewed a ‘thimble’ onto the end of the downhaul so that sorted that out. One of the big shackles had also broken although not from the damage, just general wear and tear but Bill managed to borrow one from Gary when they arrived on Inspiration Lady later that day.
The boat was covered in salt. In the past I haven’t worried about it but now with our new deck and Camomile looking so beautiful I decided it needed to be washed off. I had already washed the cockpit down and the windows of the new cockpit cover so today was the turn of the deck. We don’t have enough water to hose it down so I painstakingly hand washed the whole of the decks, coachroof and metal work starting from the bow. Think about washing a very muddy car by hand and times that by at least three and you’ll appreciate how much work it was. Took me all day. She looked beautiful and gleaming when I had finished.
Friday 5th February with all jobs completed we all decided to have a day out. Gary and Jackie went in early to check in then we all met at 11.00 for coffee in the Dutch bank cafe. After catching up on our trip over delicious coffees we all decided to jump in some tuk tuks and go up to Kandasamy Kovil. This revered temple at the summit of a rocky outcrop is one of five historical Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva and established to protect the island from natural disaster. It’s an ancient place of worship but this structure only dates back to 1952. The site has been a place of worship for at least two millennia.
Kevin, Gary and Bill weren’t really interested although they did walk round the inside of the temple with us but no photos allowed inside. Here they were looking over Swami rock, a 130m – high cliff nicknamed Lovers Leap.
Not really sure what these boxes were hanging in the tree but they looked unusual.
We were on a peninsula looking across to the Uppuveli beaches. The view was amazing.
We walked back down the hill to find a tuk tuk to take us to the Uppuveli beach. The winds that had blown us here were still blowing quite strongly out at sea. This is Uppuveli beach, which faces to the east, where we had come from, looking toward the cliffs where we had been standing not more that half an hour ago. Wonderful surf but no swim today.
The six of us enjoyed a lovely lunch together and this little chap thought he would join us. It was very difficult to capture it in a photo. I have so many with a blur in it. Bill kept feeding it chips so I could get my photograph.
Our ride back to the jetty in another tuk tuk was pretty hair raising. The driving here can only be described in one word, ‘chaotic’. Tuk tuk’s are definitely way down in the pecking order on the road, how we didn’t get squished I’ll never know.
Saturday was another quiet day on the boat. I gave the inside a clean and Bill was busy doing various jobs. We had a great game of cards on Inspiration Lady in the evening with Dave and Katrina from Laragh, the other yacht in the anchorage.
On Sunday Bill and I went ashore for my favourite coffee at the cafe and then went for a little wander. This is Dutch bay which is the beach on the other side of the peninsular to the temple. Beautiful beach and the sea was calmer today.
We treated ourselves to a nice lunch in one of the hotels that looked out over Dutch bay before continuing our exploration. This is Kali Kovil which has the impressive and eye catching gopuram of the many temples here.
We continued onto the market which we assumed would be closed but there were several stalls open with very good quality fruit and vegetables on display. Not quite like the displays in Sainsbury’s although equal in quality but only a fraction of the price.
Note the scales.
When we got back to the jetty we noticed the police had put out beautifully painted new bins. The jetty where we come ashore is part of the police compound so our dinghies are very safe here plus there’s a little toothless old guy who watches them all day.
So at the end of our first week here are the 4 boats with others on their way or preparing to leave. Our first impressions of Trinco are good but next week the six of us are planning to see more of Sri Lanka.