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Though it was not quite the season for surfing, we decided to make a day trip to Arugam Bay anyway - and it wound up being a nice journey.
The drive there was absolutely gorgeous. We saw outcroppings and other great features that made for some great roadside geology.
We stopped at the Stardust Beach Hotel for lunch. While it looks unassuming, they make everything fresh and the food is fantastic. I still remember my meal without even looking it up in my travel journal - freshly battered fried fish accompanied with a pesto romaine salad - delicious.
But all of this sounds rather light and jovial... the trip did have a somber tone to it.
Many of the buildings in this area were completely destroyed by the tsunami. While it's hard not to feel a sense of stillness in the air, it is nice to see that the businesses are making a recovery, slowly but surely.
While we waited for our food my mother and I walked around the beach. Little flowers were blooming in the restaurant's garden, as well as all along the fencing.
My uncle said these were a type of "Birds of Paradise." They were in a lot of gardens throughout the country.
This little flower looked like a star burst. So pretty!
When it's the proper season, the area is a huge destination point for surfers. While we were there, though, the water was very calm and fisherman had taken over the beach.
Big difference in wave size, no? (Photo above from Arugam Info page, courtesy of the Arugam Surf Club.)
After lunch we headed back to our hotel in Passekudah. However, we had one minor delay...
We noticed a van and a motor cyclist had stopped along the road. After getting a little closer - we figured out why: there was a ginormous elephant COMMANDING the road!
As cars approached from one side, he would race towards them - turning back only when cars approached again from behind. This went on for a good 20 minutes until he walked off to the side of the road. There he stood for another 10 minutes, throwing sand at his face, whole nobody dared to cross in front.
You can see the elephant a bit in the video below. The video is shaky, and includes audio of my family pretty much freaking out.
Yeah. That's probably the worst video I've ever taken but at least you get the idea. At the very end what happened was - the driver started backing up because sometimes elephants will rush cars. When he did that, the camera fell off the dashboard. Oops!
Finally a tiny little tuk-tuk driver took a chance and raced in front of the elephant. Once he made it past safely, everybody else was relieved and followed suit.
Our elephant friend wasn't the only traffic jam we came across, however.
"Mooooove over! We're trying to get throoooough."
But clearly cars do not phase these beasts. Check these guys out on the median, while cars zip by quickly on either side.
We had a nice, peaceful day in Arugam Bay, and I hope that I can return.
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