Waking up to a sight of windy seaside is in one word ‘bliss’. After a scrumptious seafood dinner from Diyamba Beach Resort, we hardly remembered our plans to visit ‘Ali Gaha’ the very next day morning. It is way too funny to see ‘travel junkies’ can also be sleepy heads. With all the yelling, trying to get these sleepy heads out the door fast, we were almost late for the boat ride. Snacks ready, sunblock and swimwear packed, we headed on the incredible journey.
Ask the hotel you stay and they will arrange boat rides through Kalpitiya lagoon; believe me; it is best and much easier to get to the mangroves through your hotel. It took us about 45 minutes on a motorboat to reach the Kalpitiya mangroves, not too far, but the ride was ‘hardcore’, as worded by my good buddy ‘Shehan’ . The boat cutting through the waters, and rocking up and down, took us to this green space, where the boatman shut off the motor. Apparently, there are large rocks beneath the water which can damage the boat. Floating through the mangroves awhile with a soothing view can rock anyone to sleep. These magnificent mangroves are the building blocks that give life to eco systems.
‘Ali Gaha’ or the Elephant Tree lies about 20 minutes zigzagging around the mangroves. Nestled on the western boundary of Wilpattu, Ali Gaha or Baobab tree (also referred to as upside-down tree) is native to Africa. Raju, who piloted us to Ali Gaha, spoke in endearing terms about this tree. The local lingo has termed ‘Ali Gaha’ as its trunk and branches are swollen and misshapen, and also the bark reminds of an elephant’s epidermis. According to Raju, this tree was born long before we were. He even spotted a small area on the trunk where an elephant has scrubbed its back.
We climbed the tree and settled on the top, on a small flat area to rest and witness the green stretch of island. A 360° view of a green island in a breezy atmosphere is truly a getaway from the everyday hustle and bustle.
Sun in Kalpitiya is so harsh, so do not forget to grab your shades and hats, and better if you can head out early morning or after 3 pm.Admin