3rd January 2015 – Weligama, Sri Lanka
In the sandy village, the surfers flock to their herd, Devoid of the chaos from Mirissa and Unawatuna nearby. But when the sun rises, and the waves are still quelled, Its not the surfboard that shines, its the fishing fly.
Weligama literally means ‘sandy village’ in Sinhalese. And rightly so.
This sleepy and silent surf-town, sandwiched between the party havens of Mirissa and Unawatuna, was made popular by Steve McCurry through his famous photograph of stilt fisherman. But sadly, there is no more stilt fishing that goes on in these regions. Well, there is, but it is purely as a tourist attraction. You have to pay 3000 LKR, and the fishermen will pose for you. No, thanks. I can fish myself if needed.
But nowadays this village, along with the nearby village of Midigama, are home to surfers. Decent waves mop up the shoreline, and while the waves are not as professional as Hikkaduwa, it is still worth one’s salt.
I found a hostel in Weligama last night, and slept early, to wake up early and head out to see the sunrise. I was hoping to catch some of the surfers in the early morning sun. Turns out, I was in for a surprise. In Weligama fishing is still a deep-rooted tradition. And even if there are no stilt fisherman, there are still plenty of other fishermen here, who ply their boats early in the morning.
The surfers will have to wait another day for me to click them.