After a 10 hour train ride from Colombo to Ella and a three day respite walking and cycling the inclines and tea estates around Ella I took a 4 ½ hour bus to Matara and then a short bus ride to Mirissa.
I thought I had arrived in heaven on earth! I quickly found the Villa Seaview which must have the best view of all the hotels in Mirissa.
Other than a few thundershowers at night the sun shone daily on the sand and sparkling blue water. Mirissa is a fishing village that has a kilometer long beach sprinkled with cabanas and small guest houses. The fishing harbor and the main village are at kilometer 149 which is on the outskirts of the main beach area on the way to Galle. I wandered down to the fishing harbor and for a mere 25 rupees for foreigners was given a pass which enabled me to have access to see the morning catch coming in and being sold. I then wandered back to the main road and found a local fruits and vegetables market .
On the way back to the Villa Seaview I passes the Sunandarameya Buddhist temple and met the affable Mr. Zoysa who teaches grades one to five at the monastery school. Here I learned about the community centre (Nenasala) with reliable and inexpensive internet. A few local establishments offer internet in a hot house setting for an expensive price. The centre was cool and the computers were new and reliable.
For breakfast I went back to the Devmini Koththu Shop situated next to the Shell Gas station on the entrance into Mirissa from Matara.
The enterprising Gayani and her husband opened up the shop three months ago and the “short eats” is excellent. Gayani, in addition to working in offices learned much of her food service experience from working at Pizza Hut. Her English is excellent and she is able to explain how the food is made as well as about the ingredients. Everything is fresh, clean and tasty and reasonably priced. Also, she has a few tables in addition to take away and the view of the ocean from her stall is breathtaking. It is unusual for women to be so visible in the operation of a Koththu shop. I also saw her riding her bicycle as a quick way to get from the shop to her home as she has a 5 year old daughter. Women in Sri Lanka are rarely seen riding bicycles, although it is a common mode of transport for men.
I wish Gayani and her family success with their Koththu shop.