Surfing & Elephants


Colombo was done and in the early hours of the morning I embarked on an odyssey which even Homer would have smiled at.
The initiative had come from Pundit, whispering about a famous tooth which could be visited in Kandy, up in the highlands.
Disembarking, my backside tingled after hours of being beaten on the wooden bench in the bus. The early morning, veiled with the promise of a new day hummed quietly, as I stepped into an elephant turd. About the size of a 10L bucket, & still steaming, its owner brightly painted and tinkling with trinkets swayed comfortably down the road in front of me.
Welcome to planet India, magical in its chaos, dirt and vibrant colours. A fragment from the Middle Ages turbaned and sari ed swirled around my tired vision and I smiled.
Yes I smiled, as a deep sense of recognition and understanding washed across my soul, this was my deja vu, my odyssey beginning, my Parsifal journey to an unknown grail.
Later that day I met Buddha. His huge golden image illuminated by oil lamps and awash in swaths of sweet incensed smoke, his gaze fixed on the casket, containing his once living tooth.

Aragum Bay has no real geographical or even geological significance. It marks the South eastern most corner of Sri Lanka with a rocky point. This point however is so exactly positioned that the ocean swell, after traveling thousands of sea miles, is tripped and dissected, resulting in a perfect and pristine curving wave. A Shangri-La, for surfers like me to enjoy in the solitude of paradise lost.
“Guten Tag, wie heist du?” a foreign language but a friendly bearded face greeted me as I entered the palm hut just off the beach, “Welcome to Aragum Bay!”, here we surf with the elephants.

Part 3. Aragum to Cochin


Part 2. Paradise into Hell

Coco del Mare

 Coco del Mare, Seychelles

Those Robinson Crusoe days in the Seychelles stretched out and soon almost two months had slipped away. I had made friends with Mike, a Seychellois’ living down at Bovolion Beach, then spent a couple of days across at Praslin Island where the Coco de Mare grows. This is the largest nut on the planet, snuggled in a small valley and a major attraction. The attraction being  the Nut  itself.  The form as you can see  imitates the hips of a woman with all the connotations you can imagine, the male part of the plant a penis. God does play jokes.
Next stop Colombo, Siri Lanka, my visa had run out of days and my travels were pushed forward to the next destination. On the spluttering three wheeler taxi, we bumped into the city, dark stormy clouds hustled in over a city still choking in the smoke of extinguished riots. The projectiles hurled between engaging parties in the night and days before, caused us to swerve, then bump heavly as we hit the odd one. Smashed shop windows, piles of acrid smoldering tires and a chaos and filth which retrieved childhood images from a picture book description of hell.
Uups, paradise and hours later this!
The Colombo Guest House greeted me with my first chai, the proprietor a fine Singelise gentleman call Pundit showed me through the sagging and moulding  Colonial Lounge into my bed room. “You´ll be having a jolly good stay, no doubt!” he chimed in a broad sing song accent and disappearing behind the ripped heavy red velvet curtain. Falling with an exasperated sigh and a solid thump onto my spring less mattress, the upward gaze was fixed by a dangerously wobbling ceiling fan , a nearby gecko with its head raised in alarm and unconcerned,  a huge black spider came shuffling down the wall in my direction.

Sri Lanka, I had arrived.

Part 3.  Surfing in an Elephant Park