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Sri Lanka 6 Marooned

21st July, Afternoon, Arugam Bay

Its not been a good day.

Yesterday I burnt my feet on the sand, it was about midday and the sun had been cooking for a few hours. With my experience of beaches being on the Welsh coastline I was unaware of just how hot sand can get so I just wandered out barefoot.

Sheer agony.

I only had to walk about 100 yards, but it turned into a bit of an ordeal.

It was basically indirect sunburn on the bottom of my feet, which must be the body part least equipped to deal with sunlight.

I suppose I could have just started running which would have (slightly) decreased the time my feet were on baked grains.

But I was carrying my laptop and I didn’t want to drop it. Hobbling around for a few days I can cope with but no tweeting or blogging for over a fortnight? Never!

Twitter, The Crystal Meth of Social Networking

So my feet blistered and walking on them was very painful.

(I’m currently reading Lance Armstrong’s “It’s Not About The Bike” and the nightmarish chemo he has to endure, so I’m wary of exaggerating my own trivial complaints, although as Lance goes on to be a Tour De France champion and hook up with Sheryl Crow, so I think long term I may have the harder life)

Today I bandaged myself up and decided to wander up to the shop with Llyw and Hannah. Its only a few hundred metres up the road but less than halfway and I was shuffling like a man three times my age. Llyw flagged down a tuk tuk and later explained he did this because it was painful watching me hobble along. I’m glad he did because I really didn’t want to have to ask.

Returning to the cabin I was put on rest for the remainder of the day.

Which has been soul destroying.

I’ve sat here all afternoon, while the others have gone swimming and stuff. I got so fed up at one point I crawled back into bed.

I tried writing earlier but the heat made it tough to focus.

I’m hot, sweaty, hassled by bugs and generally being a bit of a miserable sod.

Making it all worse were the bloody crows.

I’d thought the trees would be full of the full spectrum of parrots but all we seem to have are loud, obnoxious black crows.

Lots of crows.

Creepy crows.

One in particular has been singled out in my wrath. Its beak is constantly hanging half open, giving him a gormless expression that infuriates me beyond all rational explanation.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that they creeped me out and cawing continuously, but the feathery c***s then went and stole my biccies!

As I lay inside I heard a scuffle and saw one of the avian c***suckers swoop off with my pack of biscuits in his beak.

I hobble out, cursing a blue streak but the winged w****r was gone.

As I sit here writing some of the bastards have come back eating the scraps I couldn’t retrieve and bin (I’m not risking bird flu for a pack of sickly sweet strawberry puffs). I appreciate they’re scavengers but really there is no need need to return to the scene of the crime and (PUN WARNING!!) crow about it.

For the first time I can totally understand Hunter S. Thompson’s obsession with guns.

Hunter S Thompson

A high powered revolver would’ve improved my mood immensely and helped pass the time.

I know I’d have had a massive grin on my face if I’d sat here surrounded by scattered feathers and bullet holes.

I’d like to point out that my mood had improved by the time I finished writing this and listened to some Springsteen. I still wouldn’t mind a gun though.

* * * * *


25th July, 8:37AM

Yesterday I had a day of ups and downs. Perhaps the clearest indicator of this are the 3 songs that at different times were stuck in my head.

First up it was Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” a wonderfully melancholic song about getting trapped in working class drudgery (“A dream of life that don’t come true”) which was replaced by “Going Loco Down In Acapulco” and later by Sum 41’s anthem of my teenage years “Fat Lip”.

Why was I so all over the place?

The morning had passed in the usual way- dozing, reading and general loafing.

I’d wandered across to the sensitively named Tsunami Hotel to use their internet and for the first time communicated directly with my family on Skype.

Perhaps that was the start of it. Speaking to them was the 1st time on this trip I’d experienced homesickness.

By the time I get home I won’t have seen my family for a month. And while moving out wasthe right thing to do, I still like that I see them fairly regularly.

That was probably at the root of the slump exacerbated by my quick necking of 2 Lion beers that seemed to make me belligerent. This is the “Loco” phase of the day.

Throw in some bad luck at cards and the smouldering annoyance with one of our group that had been growing for days caught fire. My inner Sam managed to control the flames and I kept myself from shooting my mouth off.

You have 2 more weeks with this lot, a calm inner voice whispered, there’s no point making them awkward and miserable for everyone.

Then I hit the water.

Somehow, splashing about and getting knocked about by the waves cheered me up despite the gallons of salt water sloshing around in my stomach.

Hopping in the shower my mood was bright and Sum 41 popped into my head:

“Storming through the party like my name was El Nino

(I decided to end with the first line of the song and that’s what a google search threw up, but I’ve always sang “Stroll into the party like my name was Ali”, well, live and learn.)


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