While the wind gusts relentlessly across Arugam Bay, most surfers, wannabes and instructors have gone into hiding while the kiteboarders come out to play.
Main Point saw a few die-hard, desperate surfers try in vain to get a decent rideable wave, which popped up infrequently as the small swell was flattened into submission by the wind.
As they bobbed around, wistfully staring at the horizon trying to will a set into action, their frustration was further aggravated, as the kitesurfers cruised around them in the line up, snatching a few waves beyond their reach. One crashing his kite into a batch of unimpressed surfers. Oh well, “What to do ? “. Pack away the board, slip on the party shoes and sip on a coconut arrack, as the one thing the wind will not be putting a dampener on, is the regular Friday night Party at Sababa’s, Whiskey Point or The Nest, Arugam Bay! 😉
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Main Point Arugam Bay – A world class break they say. Many learner surfers stare longingly at the “hardcore” surfers at The Point, hoping that they too will one day progress to the level of capability to venture across the reefy bottom from Baby Point to Main Point.
But having counted around 65 surfers in the line up one sunset evening with a small swell, it held as much appeal to me as attending a packed shopping mall on Christmas eve, with a hangover. And 20 screaming kids in tow. And no bar in site. While the turkeys and gammons are all sold out. Get the picture?
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Arugam Bay Surf Contest
In order to get some inspiration to tackle a new (in fact any) adventure, we find it essential to carefully observe, take notes and learn a few tricks before storming head first into a potentially life threatening exercise. Of course it also helps if there are a few cold beverages on hand, bikinis, palm trees and good tunes. Thus, we set out in the blazing sun to watch and learn from the masters of the art, in order to pick up some of the lost surfing “skills” from last year, before foolishly rushing in to confront the masses in the beginner’s line up, armed to the teeth with boards and bodies of immense proportions and shapes. This is how we found ourselves parked off under a palm tree for 3 days, watching the sun, surf, bikinis and surf talent do their thing. It’s not easy I tell you! Read the rest of this entry
Its unlike ChillieandRum to visit a place twice in a space of almost less than a year. Simply because I feel there are still so many places to get to on this fast changing planet of ours that unfortunately we often tend to whizz though and past places hastily trying to see as much of it as possible in order to get a feel and flavour of a place. But sometimes something about a country or place just gets under your skin and it’s a bit like a scratchy, drying on your ass, wetsuit itch that won’t leave you, until you either get out of your suit or get back in the water. In a good way of course. So when a mate, questioned our momentary lapse of reasoning, thinking the rum had finally soaked through, I knew there was only one way of dealing with this itch – go back. Besides, sometimes its ok to just go back and chill at a place to soak up the vibe, meet the real people and let it get under your skin. Also people tend to treat you differently when they realize you are a little less transient than most.
But yet, landing in Sri Lanka I still had doubts about our choices buzzing through my mind – Should we be landing somewhere different? Will I be bored? Am I going to enjoy it as much as last time? Ah well. What to do?
But all the doubts were shunted out the back door when arriving near midnight on an already late and delayed flight from Bangkok wondering if the airport shuttle we requested weeks ago would be forgotten, only to be met with the broadest smile, on a friendly face with the words “Ayubowan, welcome to Sri Lanka. No worries you are late, we waited.” It felt like home. But warmer. Read the rest of this entry
An article in a local newspaper recently highlighted an age old incident of surf rage, something that seems to be on the increase. What’s causing all this aggro attitude in the water? Does it boil down to so called “tribalism”, locals who think they own a spot and lay claim to it above everyone else? Is it overcrowding due to the growing popularity of the sport? Or are we simply becoming a selfish, goal driven, generation of greedy humans? Read the rest of this entry
The trip to Jaffna, the Northern most city of the island, was going to be interesting to say the least. We have all heard bits and pieces about the notorious Tamil Tigers (LTTE) and the war that raged in Sri Lanka for 3 decades, ending in 2009. So leaving from surf happy, Marley mania in Arugam Bay, to the once war torn and tsunami ravaged Jaffna was going to be an adjustment of sorts.
We were not sure what to expect from Jaffna, as many Sri Lankans have never made the trip north and know nothing more about it other than, “LTTE stronghold, war, but now it’s ok”. Or, “Oh, there are Tamils.” Intrigued by these stories of “Tamils” as if we were talking about little green martians that had descended on planet earth and stumbled into a mormon gathering. It’s like coming to SA and saying, “Durban? Oh ya Durbs, cool spot. There are lank Indians there. And they are Hindu.” And the Dutchman hide in Bloem and Pretoria (usually wearing two-tone khaki short pant and shirt). Read the rest of this entry
Sri Lanka’s, surf capital, Arugam Bay.
Beer, cocktails, beach, surf, sun and sand, interesting people, not so interesting people, freaks, power cuts, beer, coffee, lack of coffee, dogs, cats, crows, cows, and squirrels. Together or singularly, all these things are to be blamed for my slight tardiness in updating ChillieAndRum. Not to mention my aging rum fueled forgetful mind….. But here is something more on Arugam Bay…… Read the rest of this entry
Arugam Bay Sunset
As the sun sets on Colombo and the WT20, new adventures lie on the horizons of surf city, Arugam Bay. Read the rest of this entry
W.Indies celebrate WT20 victory!
If you had told me 5 years ago I would be in Sri Lanka watching the final of a T20 match I’d tell you that you’ve been smoking your socks. Not because I didn’t think it possible but simply that I had NO interest in cricket. But then a turn of cricketing fate slapped me in the face with SA hosting the second IPL on our shores, due to Indian elections happening at the same time. “Pick a team and support them all the way through”, were the words coming from Lalit Modi and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. Oh whatever – so I’ll pick the most Bollywood looking team of the lot and supported Kolkata Knight Riders. Dud move, they were crap. Came last that year, but I fell in love with the game and the rest they say is history. I still support KKR – and finally they have done me proud and along the way I have developed an appreciation for all the formats of the game. And so came the WT20 in Sri Lanka. And my only regret is that it was not sooner. Sri Lanka – you’ve done yourself proud. Read the rest of this entry
The Battleground for the WT20 Final btw W.Indies and Sri Lanka
“Believe it – it is true. It is here!”, words spoken by an animated Desmond Tutu when we hosted the 2010 Football WC. It’s the same nervous excitement and energy hanging in the air this morning as Colombo prepares for an epic battle. And it couldn’t be between 2 more deserving teams. Sri Lanka vs W.Indies. It’s going to be like David and Goliath. The mighty and powerful W.Indies face up to the more diminutive, but accurate Sri Lankans. Swashbuckling Gayle vs refined Jayawardene. Big sixes vs crafty, well timed shots. Read the rest of this entry