A woman walks alone – Batticaloa

It was the first time, I traveled alone in the night in public transport from Colombo to another border of the country across the island. While experimenting the boundaries of fear and risk. Yet it’s the most amazing weekend I have ever had in my life spending three days in the northern province of Sri Lanka. I have traveled 8 long hours sitting next to a Muslim man in a bus. Being the only woman throughout the journey to my first destination beautiful Batticaloa.

I was advised to take a friend thousand times when I tell my family that I’m planning this trip. “It’s not safe to walk alone,” or, “You might get raped,” as they pass on mythologies of danger like old consorts tales, stir up the fire of fear.

Let’s be clear: “men” are not that dangerous.

Highly intermittent scoundrel psychopathic slaughterers are dangerous.

I had to stay with a Tamil family which I found through couchsurfing.com for few hours till sunrise since I arrived Batticaloa in earliest in the morning around four. I was hosted by a Tamil guy called Pushpakaran, who was really kind and supportive when I explained my plan for the day. After having a nap, walking down the lanes I planned to get a bicycle to rent out. Riding it across the town and having a light breakfast from a local food shop was an amazing experience when you don’t know any of Tamil word! I have studied Tamil at school but never had good grades on the subject.

Batticaloa is a nice city on the northern coast with golden beaches and flat year-round warm-water shallow-lagoons. The Batticaloa fort was built by the Portuguese in 1628 and was the first to be captured by the Dutch (18 May 1638). It is one of the most picturesque of the forts of Sri Lanka. It’s situated on an island, yet still in good condition. Few of government offices are located there inside the fort now.

I visited the fort and found some amazing old sculptures of colonial buildings and Ancient mortar located on the borders of the fort. Some fishing boats were there at that time in the lagoon and I had to come back to the town to have lunch. Luckily I found a restaurant in the middle of the town where there are Sinhala speaking waiters!

After having Lunch I rode to the lighthouse of Batticaloa. It was facing the blue lagoon in one border of the town. It was a tiring ride around the lagoon to get there. Unfortunately, tourists are not allowed to climb up the lighthouse. By resting there for an hour on the windy shore of the eastern coast, I rode back to the home-stay to get my backpack. In the evening I had to leave the town to get to my next destination the wonderful town Ampara. It was great to ride across the sandy lands. Also, I got to visit few Hindu temples on the way with beautiful magnificent architectural buildings.

Pushpakaran the Tamil guy who hosted me for few hours was kind enough to come with me to the bus stand in the evening after I had to return the bicycle I rented for the day. Because he thought it was too late to walk alone for a girl.

Let’s be clear again; “men” are not that dangerous.

Leave a Reply