“Hendru! Cats piss bag!”

On Saturday we went for a swim with some of the village kids, like we’ve done over the past weeks here in Weligama. Usually the girls and some of the mothers go swimming on Saturdays, and lately also some boys have tagged along. We like to join them in this little routine, and enjoy playing, swimming, diving, practicing English and Sinhala and spending time together in the water.

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Kids swimming and playing

This past weekend something new happened; one of the older boys had a mask and snorkel that Anders (Andrew) got to use for a while. At some point when Anders had his head above the surface, he heard:
“Hendru! Cats piss bag!” from the boy that gave him his mask. And Andrew (Anders) asked him to repeat it, since he didn’t understand what was with the bag and the cats piss.

The boy gave Anders a plastic bag and again said: “Hendru! Cats piss bag!”, and Anders realizes that the boy wants him to catch a fish into the bag. ‘Andrew! Catch fish bag’.

Sometimes the sentences and pronunciation of words creates a bit of confusion for us. And of course, at a time like this, it also makes a really good story of when the boy came to talk about the cats piss bag.

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Refreshment after swimming

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Andrew and Wiva: Valentine’s

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Lunch in Mirissa today

The past few days people here in Weligama have reminded us that Valentine’s Day was coming up.
We didn’t expect it to be a thing for Sri Lankan’s, but apparently they were quite aware of it, and if that’s because of tourist places having parties today, or it’s info from the internet we don’t know.

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Papaya juice at a beach restaurant

A 14-year old girl told me yesterday:
“Tomorrow Valentine’s Day. Andrew and Wiva, Valentine’s.” and then she giggled with great expectation in her face.

Today a fisherman called to tell us about the big catch (1 ton) of fish, and he happily greeted me:
“Happy Valentine’s Day, yeah!” and laughed.

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Sunday in the shade

And then the tuktuk driver, when we asked to stop by a supermarket:
“Oh, so the husband can buy Valentine present for Madam. Maybe rose flowers!”.
We didn’t do any of the Valentine’s stuff with hearts and flowers but Anders who also is named Vallentin, got a small present that he had asked for – a new sarong.

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Papaya juice

We did go surfing together in the morning and had a good time in the waves; Anders third session and he’s now getting up on the board properly, and I caught my first green waves today! And again, some fun snorkeling in the afternoon. What a luxury to stay close to spots with great surfing, swimming and snorkeling!

With joy and gratitude: Good night!
//Wivan

The crazy snorkeling tour

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On the speed boat out to Similan islands

After spending a bit over two weeks in Khao Lak in Thailand we were ready to explore some of the famous sites. We have needed time to rest, heal and usually we hardly ever go on group trips and prefer going on our own or in smaller settings, but most of all we love to experience as much of local life as possible. That’s a bit hard on a tourist destination like Khao Lak, but we’ve caught some good moments of that too!

This time we found a price of a snorkling trip that appealed to us and we wanted to experience the Similan islands the way most people do…

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A bit bumpy in the beginning and then a smooth ride

During the full-day trip this was something we would both regret and laugh at. Because what a frenzy it was! Herding tourists like sheep, making quick stops for snorkling, lunch, beach stops (taking pictures) and some more snorkling.

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Not really on our own...

Even though the guide had given information about the schedule and times to be back at the boat, it was so much going on at the same time, we were constantly confused on what we were supposed to do or where to be at what time. And who of all the snorklers in the water were they yelling at? From which boat did they yell? And what did it mean; to come back to the boat, to stay away from the current or that a rare fish or turtle was seen? Lots of questions!

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Follow the mass

Good take-aways from the day:
* We got a good chance to try our new snorkeling/diving masks; Wivan had another little break down when the snorkel didn’t work but it got better with another one, Anders took his snorkeling skills to a new level and is a truly superior under-water-man.

The under-water-pro

The under-water-pro

* We did see some spectacular fishes, a free living turtle and many dolphins!!!
* The amount of snacks, different soft drinks, and lunch alternatives was richer than expected.
* The water was so clear, beautiful and wonderful to swim in.

One of the colorful fishes

One of the colorful fishes

* We didn’t get sea sick! Anders took two motion sickness pills during the day and Wivan none. The boat ride was rather smooth though, but still. Great experience!
* Our gut feeling of not really liking touristy places or very touristy activities is still accurate. When in nature and around animals we love to feel the real nature and be able to see the animals in some sort of freedom or natural habitat – not always chased by tens of cameras.

The beauty of marine life

The beauty of marine life

* Sometimes “Living life fully” means to take big steps out of ones comfort zone, be in the crazyness of it all and afterwards realize you survived, tired like few and grateful at the end of the day. And to wake up the next day and enjoy that it’s mostly the good moments you remember after all!
* Gratitude of having the knowledge, since young years, of how to swim in open water. To, without hesitation or floating devices, jump off a boat in the middle of the Andaman sea and know you can handle it. It’s wonderful to know how to swim!

Wivan: selfie, after regaining control of mask and snorkel

Wivan: selfie, after regaining control of mask and snorkel

* Deepened knowledge of our big love for water, the ocean, marine life and warm waters + sunshine. A greater lust of learning more, practice, explore and gain more control and experience of diving and snorkeling.

Ascend after free diving

Ascend after free diving

* Off-season traveling rocks! The past week the number of people staying in Khao Lak has increased by a huge number and it makes a big difference in restaurants, tours, pricing and on the beaches.

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White sand on Similan island nr?

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Time to load the boat after a stop

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Beautiful colors

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Famous signature picture

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Crowded beach

Free diving deeper than ever

Free diving deeper than ever

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Boats waiting for next pick-up time

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Pictures taken everywhere

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Tired, happy, confused

After four weeks in Flores…

… this is part of what we’ve done, seen and experienced.

Driving a scooter

Driving a scooter

Barbeque dinner

Barbeque dinner

Quiet and peaceful sightseeing

Quiet and peaceful sightseeing

Stunning view of Ponta Delgada in Flores

Stunning view of Ponta Delgada in Flores

Swimming in the Atlantic

Swimming in the Atlantic

Useful hamam-towels from Istanbul

Useful hamam-towels from Istanbul

Our new friend: Lucky

Our new friend: Lucky

Spectacular Fajã Lopo Vaz

Spectacular Fajã Lopo Vaz

Fajã Lopo Vaz

Fajã Lopo Vaz

Hiking in beautiful locations

Hiking in beautiful locations

Trying our best to take pictures up in the clouds

Trying our best to take pictures up in the clouds

Pictures of friendship...

Pictures of friendship…

... arranging pictures of friendship...

… arranging pictures of friendship…

Waterfalls

Waterfalls

Lots of cooking going on

Lots of cooking going on

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Classy "fika" with brownie, coffee and pink sparkling wine

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Flowering beauty

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Rain, storm & rainbows

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At the beach

Thanks for following us and joining our journey! More pictures and stories to come.

// Anders & Wivan