24.10.2019 - 26.10.2019 28 °C
Unawatuna is a town in southern Sri Lanka. It’s known for its coral reef and its palm-lined beaches. Nestled in nearby jungle, the Japanese Peace Pagoda has a stupa with ocean views. The Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery south of town protects endangered species. North across the bay is the city of Galle’s fortified old town, founded by the Portuguese and expanded by the Dutch in the 17th century.
KOGGALA SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION PROJECT
On the way to Unawatuna from Mirissa I stopped at the Koggala Sea Turtle Conservation Project. The cost to enter was a very reasonable $1000 rupees ($8.64 nzd). The weather was not that great, it was 27 degrees but pissing down with rain. Lucky the tour was all under cover. The tour with a local guide that speaks good english lasts about 30 minutes.
They care for sick or injured adult turtles as well as having an onsite hatchery for baby turtles which are eventually released into the ocean. Here is a link to their website http://seaturtlekoggala.com/
Most of the turtles that are there have lost a leg due to nets and plastic in the ocean. they either get caught in the fishing nets or eat the plastic which causes them to go blind and eventually die as the plastic is toxic.
You will see in a couple of these pictures where the turtle is missing a leg.
I also got to hold a baby turtle but the picture is not that good, here it is anyway. Also some pictures of the baby turtles in the enclosure. These little turtles are surprisingly strong for such a tiny animal.
This beach was a 40 minute walk from my accommodation and then about another 5-10 minutes through the bush and own a fairly steep and slippery incline, so caution is recommended. I went here on the pretense that it would be a secluded beach with sparkling blue water. Well it was secluded, no doubt about that but the water happens to be a dirty brown/green colour, not the blue clear water you will find on the internet. Below is a link to jungle beach on Tripadvisor, compare it to the pictures I took today.
Here is a picture of the sign at the top of the bush walk to the beach, it also shows impossibly blue water that does not compare to the water I saw today.
Pictures of Jungle Beach taken today.
Galle Fort , in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch from 1649 onwards. Even after more than 423 years maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka.
The fort has a colourful history, and today has a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population. The Sri Lankan government and many Dutch people who still own some of the properties inside the fort are looking at making this one of the modern wonders of the world. The fort has been recognized by UNESCO and the site has been inscribed as a cultural heritage UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Galle Fort, also known as the Dutch Fort or the "Ramparts of Galle", withstood the Boxing Day tsunami which damaged part of coastal area Galle town. It has been since restored.
If you google Unawatuna Beach you will see pictures of the most amazing beach with the bluest water you have ever seen. Well I believe they must be photo shopped because I was there and took my own pictures and the water is not that colour. This is one of about 3 beaches I went to on my trip to Sri Lanka that do not measure up to the pictures you see online.
Overall Unawatuna is a nice place to stay but definately over rated as is Mirissa. Still worth spending a couple of days here or Galle for some time out of the business of the cities.