Monday, 16 January 2017

Arugam Bay - Cookery classes and beach asses!

Our day started with breakfast in a cute artsy cafe and a walk to a tea plantation but it was shut! Dammit, and turns out all of them shut on a Sunday as it was a Poya day. Boooo. So instead we came back to town and by then it was time for our taxi. He stopped off along the way at some waterfalls and coming up to Arugam Bay we drove through a National Park and we stopped to view wild elephants and buffalo in the plains.

When we arrived it was late afternoon so we found some beach accommodation, 500 rupees a night each for a bungalow/cababa right on the beach front in a cute little treehouse type place with hammocks etc - total chill out zone. It is low season on the east coast as its supposed to be monsoon season but we had really good weather. We had read about a really good cooking course that was eco friendly, was set up after the tsunami as a way to fund money for the community and it still was still all going for a good cause, plus it was taught by local people so it seemed great. So we went and booked that for the following evening and went for a good prawn curry and sunset on the beach.

The next day after our last few hectic days was a chill day on the beach, lunch and then our cooking course. It started at 4.30pm and lasted until around 9pm. It only cost us 2500 rupees each and we made 8 dishes in total including coconut sambol and rice. We thought as there was only two of us doing it there would be enough curry for two...nope! There was enough ingredients per dish for around 10 people! We had to invite other people along to help us eat it and then told the guy running it to eat too!

We learnt how to make; fish curry, coconut sambol - where we grated coconuts and also learnt how to produce coconut milk and coconut cream from them - okra curry, pumpkin curry, a vegetable called Snakegourd curry, aubergine salad (more like cooked aubergine in coconut oil and spices), dhal, and plantain curry. I made sure I wrote down the recipes so that I can make it all at home. It was delicious but by the time we had tasted everything we could barely eat much when it came to the final sit-down meal! However we met a good group of people by inviting them to eat. A Spanish couple and two guys from Australia.

We had spent all day also deciding where we were going next. We knew it would be a national park but we weren't sure which one we should do - there's so many in Sri Lanka!! We eventually decided on Yala National Park as its the best place to try to see Leopards. So we decided we would need to get an early bus, which the Spanish couple were also taking, so it was another early morning for us!

Our time in Arugam bay had been brief but because it was low season it was wonderfully qquiet and we had managed to have the whole beach pretty much to ourselves. Its supposed to be a great surfing spot and we could tell with the rough waves! If I ever come back to Sri Lanka it will be to the east and north during high season to see what its all about!

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