A First Time For Everything In Arugam Bay

Well, maybe not everything, but you get my drift.

They say that travel broadens the mind and, although it’s a major cliche (and I’m not above those), it’s hard to deny it sometimes. Arugam Bay – Sri Lanka’s major tourist surfing spot – has been a place where I’ve put my prejudices to one side and opened my mind a little to a couple of things that I’d never previously considered, and even laughed at before!

Come to think of it, our journey from Ella into Arugam Bay was a first, as we rolled into town on our first ever bumpy Sri Lankan bus ride which took nine hours, involved three buses and more leg cramps than I care to remember.


Do not adjust your screens.

I have been doing yoga every day this week and perhaps more surprisingly, I’ve actually really enjoyed it. A far cry from a post I wrote not so long ago slating a bunch of yoga fanatics I met on my travels…


Not quite…

 Safe to say I was very skeptical at first. After all, I’m sure I don’t strike you as the most spiritual person you’ve ever come across (plus I have the back of a 70 year old arthritic man) but to my surprise I actually really enjoyed it. It was a great way to start the morning – once you feel like you’ve been productive before midday you’re perfectly entitled to sit on the beach all day, right? Kat roped me in to trying it on the first day, and after that it was me trying to drag her along. How the tables turned!

It wasn’t all rosey though and in fact, I almost considered giving up after one lesson. Within five minutes of the mats being out, I noticed the fella in front had decided to go commando with no netting in his shorts. Safe to say my heart wasn’t really in it with a pair of swinging bollocks in front of me for an hour. I made a mental note to avoid having him in front of me at all costs in the future.


Again, surfing is something I’d never considered in the past for no real reason – it just never appealed to me. However I realised that coming to Arugam Bay and not surfing would be like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower, so I booked in for a lesson at Amigo Surf School (who I can highly recommend, by the way).

My first lesson went great. I think my previous wakeboarding experience probably gave me a bit of a head start and my instructor, Babu, was a really nice, funny guy. I felt like I learned a lot – so much that we booked a second lesson for Kat’s birthday.

I’m not sure green lycra is very ‘me’…

This was where it went a little bit wrong.

The second lesson was going swimmingly (is that even a pun? If so, intended) when halfway through, I decided I was feeling confident. I thought I was good enough to get a decent video of me surfing to go with this post, so I grabbed the Go Pro, strapped it to my head and away I went.

The lack of video in this post should tell you all you need to know about the fate of my beloved Go Pro. As I was getting to my feet, I lost my balance and went crashing into a wave. I knew straight away what had happened, and that was where the Go Pro and I parted ways. It was a fun month we spent together – gone too soon.

After that, I sat the rest of the session out and called a temporary hiatus on my newly-hatched surfing career.

I always preferred wakeboarding anyway.


3 responses to “A First Time For Everything In Arugam Bay

  1. Can’t believe just how much there is to do in Sri Lanka! Yoga, whale watching, surfing, safaris, Ayurveda, volunteering, snake farms, hiking… I was worried a month was too long but now I don’t think it will be enough.

    • I did a month, and only saw the centre and the south coast! Towards the end I was only doing one or two nights max in places, but that’s because I spent a week in Arugam Bay which was maybe a little too long!

  2. Pingback: New Year in Kenting | Rambling Northerner·

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