Sri Lanka’s north-west coast was alien territory for me and the name Kalpitiya only brought to mind images of a rural fishing village when I was told of my impending familiarization tour as a new recruit of the Red Dot sales team. Little did I know then that the tour would culminate in one of the most exhilarating and unforgettable experiences of my life.
The familiarization tour, with Kishani at the helm, went flawlessly and the numerous properties we visited on the north-west coast heralded a subtle extension of tourist facilities in an area that so far had remained unexplored and ignored.
Our final destination of the two-day tour was the small town of Alankuda and a resort named thus. The Alankuda resort, set amidst the gently swaying palm trees and so in tune with nature, was breathtaking in its beauty.
Having the resort to ourselves was a boon and we set about enjoying ourselves by first plunging into Alankuda’s infinity pool that stretched seamlessly towards the madly crashing waves of the ocean. The starlit night, good food, great company and sheer splendour and serenity of the resort made us all feel millions of miles away from our daily lives in the Red Dot office on the outskirts of Colombo.
The next morning at the crack of dawn we were at the boat house, all geared up for the dolphin watching trip. Enlivened by a cup of hot tea before the staff arrived, away we went bouncing and jostling in a boat that was gathering momentum with each minute. Half an hour in to the deep blue I still had not the much-anticipated dolphins. My heart was drooping with disappointment when the boat suddenly gathered more speed and spun forward and we gasped in delight at our first sight of these amazing creatures.
Suddenly after no dolphins, there were dolphins everywhere, swimming in pairs, swimming in groups, swimming in tandem in short bursts with their gleaming bodies half out of the water. To my untrained eye it looked like they were in a mad rush to get to a beach party that I had no invitation to. They frolicked, jumped and did twists and the exuberance of their movements was amazing to watch. Our gasps of admiration were intermingled with the clicking of the cameras as we vied with each other to capture the perfect shot.
The north-west really is undiscovered Sri Lanka and, with the reopening of the nearby Wilpattu game park, the area offers so many opportunities for nature lovers. I would recommend you not to miss this amazing experience. Back in the Red Dot office, those of us lucky to make the trip are still talking about it.