Pushing on up the East coast I viewed abandoned buildings partially destroyed by the tsunami. Conversely there were many signs of renewal some of which has been undertaken using overseas aid. I stopped to look at some curious looking ‘hobbit’ homes and was told by a local farmer that they had been built by a Dutch relief agency.
The next day brought more sun drenched beaches and coconuts on slivers of land between sea and lakes. The road took me over bridge after bridge. I passed through the bustling city of Batticaloa, again with a noticeably large Moslem population, and headed to the well reviewed beaches of Passekudah Bay.
Passikudah bay and its neighbour Kalkudah bay have beautiful beaches. However the surrounding area is little more than a major construction site. There are established high end holiday resorts pandering to the well heeled but the rest is a bit of a mess. No doubt the place will look like the French riviera in a few years time but meanwhile it simply provides buckets of work for labourers from the surrounding region.
I am now addicted to Sri Lankan ‘plain’ tea so I made for a small place serving tea on Passikudah beach. Lonely Planet reveals a local guest house ‘nearby’ (Anna’s) but was advised to go to a place a short walk away called ‘Kogulas’ (renamed as Inn On the Bay’) Good advice. I was welcomed by a young chap called Ashoka and shown a newly built cabana in the garden. It was one of three with another under construction. The other cabanas were occupied by local traders. Ashoka was not the owner and intimated that the owner had another hotel in Battilacoa and really not too interested in this one. The main building itself was somewhat dilapidated. Kogulas was the first guest house in the area long before the idyllic beaches started garnering interest from further afield.
A good nights sleep and I headed off the next morning to check out the local town of Valaichchenai. It is some distance away but on the way was delighted to see an orange painted library with a wonderful statue of a candy coloured four armed god by the entrance.