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Sri Lanka - Arugam Bay // Surfing Right Points and AK-47's

Killvan's Sri Lanka. A tale of poverty, tsunamis, B-grade right hand point breaks and a civil war.

 

Crows buzzing low, testing the ragged dogs sitting dazed and confused in the heat of the day, tumble weed dusting in a dry wind down a battered road, herds of cattle wandering, military patrols slowly passing through delivering silent authority. This is Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka.


The countries best area for waves and a former tourist beachside hub. But in September 2007 it’s a ghost town, a fatigued frontier holding weak in obvious decline. Our stay was to be an isolated simple surfing adventure. Homework undertaken before launching into this 3rd world corner gave us insight to what we should expect. With an unstable political situation and a civil war rasing its head during the early 70’s, through the 80’s and most notably in 1991, the trip was constantly subject to what ifs. The long ranging battle between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and anything Sinhalese had flared up in recent weeks. An incident took place in Jaffna, the Tamil stronghold in the north of the country. A small spark like this can quickly take the country back into chaos.

Excerpts from the Australian government website read as follows – “…reconsider your need to travel to Sri Lanka at this time because of ongoing civil unrest, the volatile security situation and the very high risk of terrorist attacks…”. “the LTTE had deployed vehicle bombs to attack Colombo”

What really questioned our travel plans was –  “anti-aircraft weapons were fired over Colombo”.

We would carry peace in our board bags, but from the ground it seemed this would be a redundant proclamation. Some piece of mind was found in that our focus was to be in the south of the country, primarily Aragum Bay, a few hundred kilometres from Jaffna. Without a political or religious agenda our presence and desire to ride waves would hopefully be welcomed.

 

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LOCATION OVERVIEW

Location: South East Coast of Sri Lanka.
Optimum: May to September.
Weather: Can be stifling hot on the coast, dry heat that hurts.
Surf Conditions: Sandy Point Breaks, Rocky Points and beachbreaks.
Access: Fly into Columbo from any international airport, and cop a hellish ten hour drive south.
Accomodation: Holiday Rentals, Camping and cheap resorts.
Live Free:  3/10.  Poor mans Indonesia post civil war.

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