The day begins at 5:30 a.m.: The alarm clock rings. The penetrating sound mixes with the hum of the fan, various bird calls outside my window, the call of a peacock and the barking of dogs on the street. A new day begins. I, far from the mindset of an early bird, struggle out of bed – nothing usually gets me out of bed at this hour. Only the view of the wonderfully pleasant lukewarm water and the refreshing first step into the morning pink glowing ocean motivate me to overcome my tiredness. In Sri Lanka, there is nothing more beautiful than the early morning surf – and it usually starts when the sun is working its way up the horizon. Even I have realized this after three seasons of living and working at drivethru surf camp: First come, first surf. I use the tuk-tuk ride to the best spots on the south coast to slowly wake up. Together with the other drivethru guests and team members who made it out of bed at that time, we strap our boards onto the tuk-tuk and set off in search of the perfect wave.
6:00 a.m.: Calm wind, warm summer temperature, the air full of different smells: Sea salt, leafy fires, fresh fish, tropical fruits in the small fruit stands that slowly open their stores. We grab our boards, paddle off and enjoy the breathtaking morning atmosphere that settles over the palm bay of Weligama. By the time the sun is diagonally above us, we have already passed the first waves. The beach breaks on the south coast of Sri Lanka offer me and the other beginners and intermediates exactly what we need: open, slow-breaking waves that always give us the opportunity to rest in between – without immediately panicking about the next rolling sets.
9:00 am: Back at the camp. The well-deserved breakfast awaits us. We strengthen ourselves with traditional Sri Lankan Roti, French Toast and fresh King Coconut. Around 10:00 a.m. it’s time for video analysis and stand-up training on the yoga terrace for course number one and reef break on the house beach for the advanced group. Personally, I’ve had enough for today. Getting up in the morning leaves me happy and exhausted, falling into the hammock before my work shift begins. After all, a little nap never hurt anyone.
3:00 p.m.: While some enjoy the jungle view doing yoga, others chill on the beach, practice duckdives in the pool or prepare for surf session two or three.
7:00 p.m.: Dhal curry at its best awaits me on the large table. Fresh pumpkin from the market, beet, okra beans, water spinach, chickpeas and mango chutney. All this mixed with red rice and crunchy salad: if you surf a lot, you have to eat a lot. After the meal, there’s another theory session from the surf coach. And because we just can’t get enough, we chill out together on the comfortable sofa corner. There we watch a – who would have thought – surf movie! As always, I go to bed way too late, but tomorrow, I know anyway, the thoughts of the crystal clear blue water, of me alone with my board in the Indian Ocean, of the rising sun and the warm rays on my skin let me get up again before sunrise. Maybe here in the south of Sri Lanka, the surfing and travel destination par excellence, I’ll end up being a real early bird after all…
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