A woman walks alone – Batticaloa

It was the first time, I traveled alone in night in public transport from Colombo to another boarder of country across the island, with experimenting the boundaries of fear and risk. Yet it’s the most amazing weekend I have ever had in my life spending three days at the northern province of Sri Lanka All alone.  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 sun rise 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 for the subject.

Batticaloa is a nice city in 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 in 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 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 light house of Batticaloa, which was facing the blue lagoon in one border of the town. It was a tiring ride around the lagoon to get there and unfortunately tourists are not allowed to climb up the light house. 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 because I had to leave the town to get in to my next Destination the wonderful town Ampara. It was great to ride across the sandy lands and 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.

11 Comment

  1. Dear Prathibha,

    Let me be very clear first of all; you are very brave, and you have a sense of wonder about you which drives you and no doubt takes you to places of new experiences and discovery.

    I have been following your Instagram for a few months now. Your pictures alone of your visits, have inspired me to plan my own 2 week trip to Sri Lanka. I will be visiting in June after my 2nd year exams at University. I have actually made an itinerary including on some of the locations you have travelled.

    My mum wants to visit Sri Lanka one day and I myself have read stories about women not being safe there also, and so it is, like your family had been worried about you, I was worried for my mum and I made her aware of this with my concern. But like you, my mum replied to me saying that she will be ok, and she herself will head out into the unknown.

    I’ve never travelled on my own ever and I am a man, and even I am weary of an unknown land. But, you have shown me that fear is what keeps us stuck and prevents us from experiencing everything we ever wanted or dreamed of, and thus keeps us from expanding our mind beyond. I so wish to travel because I imagine we can learn in a way that we can never from books.

    And, I remembering a quote from a book I read called ‘The Alchemist’ – by Paolo Coello, about a boy who travelled to Egypt from Spain, and he was scared and it was a strange land, but after a few weeks, and even being robbed once, the land was not strange anymore as he had learned the language and the culture of the inhabitants.

    I look forward to more of you posts of your adventures.

    Your sincerely,
    Ravi

    1. Hi Ravi,

      Thanks a lot! you are always welcome to beautiful Sri Lanka. And yes you never have to trust your fears, they don’t know your strength. Happy travelling!

  2. Hi Prathibha,

    It is always appreciated the efforts you make to attract solo travelers to this island.

    Nadun….

    1. Thank you!

    1. Thank you!

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