A Near Life Experience
The mother of all long weekends came and went, and during the course of the five day holiday, I was engaged in doing all things awesome. A huge trip was planned and executed brilliantly. The travel itinerary was one night in Avissawella on Wednesday right after work, head off to Badulla on Thursday morning and spend two nights there before driving across the island to the much awaited Arugam Bay for yet another two nights before coming back home on Monday in time for Avurudu.
Wednesday was long and fucked up. It was a day filled with many client calls, reports and emails and when I came home, I was tired to the bone. It was five guys that left on the journey and two more were going to join us in Badulla on Friday. The place we were staying in Avissawella was called Famous Guest House, but ironically no one had heard about it. We quickly kept our bags in the room and went into the lounge with a packet of good stuff and a pipe to enjoy while watching the Liverpool – Chelsea match.
I couldn’t pay much attention to the match because my thoughts were going haywire. The good stuff was called ‘Death’ for a reason, and the afterlife was quite amazing. The effects of Death coupled with the fatigue of the long day I had, made it really hard for me to keep myself from falling off my seat. Now I can’t remember much of what happened that night, but I remember feeling really good, and I heard the next morning that Chelsea had won the match, although I was watching it till the end.
The next day we had breakfast in the town and headed off to Badulla, on the long yet scenic route through Nuwara Eliya. The twists and turns were challenging, yet I was up for it, as it was my little personal goal to drive the whole way and back. I was quite stubborn in refusing to give the wheel to the substitute drivers and that aroused some scorn. But I really wanted to be behind the wheel. The drive was long, yet eventful. The scenery was amazing and I realized once again how much beauty Sri Lanka has to offer.
We reached Badulla in the night and went to our hotel. The place was called Riverside Holiday Inn, but guess what, no river in sight! Spent two days there, smoking Death through joints, bongs and cross J’s! Yep, that’s right, we had a cross J like the one in Pineapple Express. Fucked us up quite nicely. Went to the Dunhinda waterfall next morning after getting stoned, and some clever fucker in the group ‘forgot’ to mention that there was a long walk over steep rocks and bridges, and I thought I would die because it is so hard to trek when you are under the influence. The waterfall was nice but totally not worth the climb.
After some time at the waterfall and a very tiring climb back up, we went to the hotel and had a nice Nasi Goreng for lunch. Oh yeah I forgot to mention, on the way to Badulla, we stopped at a Cargills to get some stuff and spotted a small portable BBQ grill for just 800 bucks. We thought it would be a wise investment and bought it to BBQ on the Arugam beach. Our enthusiasm got the better of us and we decided to have a BBQ at Badulla as well. So on a hairpin bend on some dark road, we lit the grill and BBQ’d sausages and ate it with bread and chili sauce.
Afterward, we went back to the hotel and awaited the two buggers who were to join us. After they came, we intoxicated ourselves once more and went to sleep. Early next morning we set off for Arugam Bay, the final destination in our journey. The drive was good, reached there much earlier than we expected. The roads were surprisingly good and the scenery was just out of this world. There was an area, where we emerged through the thicket of the jungle which surrounds the road onto a clearing, where you can see far away. Trees and greenery cover the entire area, and in the distance you can witness what looks like a very modern bridge, and beyond it, the sea.
The first day at Arugam Bay was a letdown because it started to rain like a bitch. We were all a little glum but managed to have fun while the rain raged on outside. We stayed up till about 1.30 and went to sleep hoping to see the sunrise in the morning. But I didn’t hear the alarm, and overslept. When I woke up I realized I hadn’t missed anything because the sky was cloudy. However the rain subsided and the clouds cleared and we witnessed the much talked about beauty of this place. The sea water had an amazing blue and it contrasted magnificently with the shiny sandy shore. The beach was quite dead as we had come just before the season and it was very peaceful. We took a walk to an area where the beach and the jungle almost merge. The water was rough and exciting. I believe the sea has to be rough and I find it quite boring when it’s calm. There is no better feeling than diving head first into a big wave.
That night we had a long session since it was our last night. Everybody decided to go to sleep at about 3am. But I didn’t want to sleep because I was afraid I will miss the sunrise. My friend who was quite drunk at the time also wanted to stay up and enjoy since it was the last night. So we decided to go and hang by the beach with his iPod dock listening to some music. I rolled a joint to have once the sun rose. I didn’t have my hopes quite up but I was optimistic enough to go and wait for it without sleeping. Everyone else went to sleep while the two of us were at the beach. This moment, I believe, was the best stoned moment I have had yet. It deserves another post and it’s gonna get one, so I will divulge into the details of what happened on that post.
The next morning after a lack of sleep I got prepared to drive back home. I was apprehensive about it yet I wasn’t about to let anyone else take the wheel either. I wasn’t being stupid as I was accused of. I was confident of myself and if I wasn’t, there was no way I would risk so many lives to just drive. I’m glad I was extremely stubborn about it because man, did I not enjoy that drive. It was one of the best experiences of my life. My vehicle, Chuck, never gave up on me. It was the first time that it actually fishtailed when I took three turns together at 130kmph and everybody thought that we would almost topple. At that moment I think my brain had an orgasm.
This trip to me was a life changing experience. The drive, the scenery, the whole fucking experience was just totally out of this world. The best part about going on a long trip to several destinations is whenever you pack up from one place to go to another you realize you are not going home and packing up doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the trip as it usually signifies. To me this was a resurrection. This is where I found peace and hope again. I vowed to go back to the beaches of Arugam Bay, to see the sunrise, to experience this beautiful bay in its full glory. This was my near life experience.