Matara, Sri Lanka

We spent the most time in Matara out of all the cities in Sri Lanka, but our time there seemed to fly by. After the struggle of getting our driver to the accommodation, he tried to get us to pay more than the agreed upon price. His claim was that our place was outside of town (by 2 minutes) and that he needed an extra 500 rupees. We didn’t budge though, not only did we show him the address, the route on Google, and the kilometers beforehand, we agreed to a set price and we could tell the whole way he was trying to scam us into going to touristy spots to make a commission. It’s safe to say we didn’t keep his contact and instead used a nice young tuk-tuk driver in Matara to get to and from town and the train station the rest of our stay.

Ocean access from our bnb
Sunset at our bnb

Matara is a large southern coastal town in Sri Lanka, home to little tourism. Most people go to the two towns on either side, so we found it to be quiet and local. Known for Pigeon island with a Buddhist temple just a few hundred meters off the coast and for Dutch architecture. We didn’t do much direct sight-seeing within the town, but we were happy to not be in tourist hub.

Pool at Deep Blue
Garden at Deep Blue

When we arrived at Deep Blue Sri Lankan rentals it was a bit gray out, but it didn’t mask the beauty of the property. It was a beautiful compound with several villas, rooms, an open kitchen, common area, open access to the ocean, and the best part a pool! Actually, the best part was that there were three sweet pups that we bonded with instantly. We didn’t know the names, or if they even had names, but they were so sweet and just wanted a good belly rub and some treats. Another plus to this place was that we were there during off season, so we literally had the whole property to ourselves, except for one night. It was like having our own personal pool and villa.

Scott’s friend
Hanging out in front of our room

All of our hosts told us to expect rain in the evening and overall stormy weather. They apologized profusely each time, but we weren’t bothered by some rain. We were used to it at this point. After we dropped our bags, we checked out the ocean and then headed into town for dinner. Lately, we’ve been in a mood for Western food. You never realize how much you miss just basic things, like pasta, until you’re away from home (or Europe for that matter). Scott found a place in town called The Dutchman’s Street, which specialized in western food, but also had some local food. We were craving pasta, so we order French fries and two big bowls of cheesy pasta. It definitely hit the spot, but we forgot how filling that type of food was; we struggled to finish.

The Dutchman’s Street
Pasta Carbonara from Dutchman’s Street

That night as we were going to sleep, we were pleased to be in place that didn’t feel so humid and mildew-y. We could breath at night, which was a relief, especially since Scott is still fighting off a cold. The best part about falling asleep in that room was that we were so close to the ocean we could hear the waves crash all night long. It was like having a live noisemaking machine, but better. That was definitely one of my favorite parts of this location.

Our first morning in Matara we took advantage of the good weather and headed to the beach to snorkel. The host advised us to go to Polhena beach because there was good potential to see sea turtles during low tide. We walked down the driveway and took to lefts to wind up on a beach road of abandoned houses and empty homestays. When we arrived at the beach there were mostly locals swimming in tubes and people selling things. We only saw a few tourists who got scammed into a snorkel tour. Our host told us to just follow the groups of tourists out into the water and you’ll see turtles without having to pay a guide. Just as we were about to do that, we ended up face to face with our own turtle. He was much bigger than most turtles we had seen, and he was munching on the greens on the shallow ocean floor. We took lots of pictures and videos of him, but none really compare to the actual experience.

Sea Turtle at Polhena Beach

We wandered around the water some more and ran into a few more turtles, some pretty coral, and a few sea cucumbers. There weren’t a ton of fish and the water visibility was pretty poor. We were just thankful and excited to see some turtles at least!

Walking to Polhena BEach
Polhena Beach

After our short snorkeling adventure, we headed back to our homestay to swim in the pool and hang out in the common area. The rest of our days in Matara followed the same suit. Trying to take advantage of the good weather in the early parts of the day and then staying covered under the patio common area during the down pours and thunder. Scott did some work trying to plan a summer road trip while I studied for the tests I’m taking in December. We took full advantage of having a whole villa to ourselves.

Tuk-tuk with a German Shepard

One of the afternoons we were there, the housekeeper caught some lobsters (by hand) and offered to prepare them for lunch for us. Fresh lobster for $8USD each, we couldn’t turn that down. It was fresh, delicious, and didn’t need anything with it. Another act of Sri Lankan kindness! We were sad to say goodbye to Deep Blue in Matara, but as we hopped on the train to catch our plane out of Colombo, we were starting to get very excited for our next destination, Maldives. Maldives is my most anticipated destination of this trip, so stay tuned!

Fresh lobster meal from our host
Drone image of sunset from our bnb

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