Finally we made it to the main road (A9) and had our lunch at a local shop in Kodikamam. I was able to charge my phone while we ate. This part was alright – smooth roads. We were deciding whether to wait at the shop till it wasn’t too hot, but later decided to continue because the day before we got the timings all wrong.
We were passing lonely areas that didn’t have buildings or houses, probably the best place for animals to be on their own. However these places were extremely dangerous to walk those days. During the Civil war between the LTTE and Sri Lankan Forces, this was a heavily bombarded post, because whoever took control of this point had significant advantage. This place is called Elephant Pass. I stopped at the Hasalaka Gamini War Memorial, where the famous enemy Army Tank is on display.
Two things amuse me when I see that tank, one is the level of skill the LTTE had to build such a deadly machine out of agricultural equipment, and the other is the mindset of the soldier Gamini to go towards that beast of a machine and disable it at the cost of his life. War is a terrible time and place to be.
After travelling for so long in the A9 road, we finally bid farewell to it. We turned off at Paranthan and joined the Paranthan – Mullativu highway. Another 50 km to go but I knew I have done this before, so it wasn’t a big deal. We were going through a Tamil village where almost everyone rode bikes, but what they don’t seem to care is use headlights to show themselves in the dark. Some take insane U-turns from the left most corner of the road to the far right without any alert.
You wouldn’t believe this, but these villages have places called “Cream Houses”. These are ice cream parlors, but not the posh and fancy Carnival Ice cream you see in Colombo – but very Saivar shop type of places. What my Jaffna friend Thavakumaran told me is that, ‘usually’ in the Hindu culture alcohol is prohibited, so there aren’t many bars over here. Instead people have Cream houses where they can have a chat with their friends. There was a Hindu festival happening nearby, where a man was hung from behind with hooks pierced through his skin and another fellow on top of a tree trunk riding him. It sort of reminded me of the relationship people have with their bosses.
As we approached the town of Mulativu, we went through narrow roads where people were fishing in the dark on the side. This is not a populated area like Jaffna and it’s not as developed as other places. It was very hard to find a place to stay here and it was very expensive. The town we stayed over was a Muslim area so we could have some meat in our Dinner for tonight. Unbelievable… we came to Mulativu by bike.