Reaching the town of Ottamavadi put us in a relaxed position – we had plenty of time to chill, and there were plenty of cycling shops available. This is also a Muslim town and one of the strange things I noticed was that almost all the shop owners are related to one another. Saroj was able to find a winkle that fixed his axle problem. Turns out the bearings on the axle of the pedal had worn off and it was making it hard for him to cycle. The winkle had great skill and maintained a very tidy work place which was inspiring to see. I was unable to find the necessary tubes nor tyres for my bike because this particular size isn’t available in these parts of the country. Many people here use Lumala bikes which has thick wheels.
Lunch at Ottamavadi was amazing! We were introduced to this biriyani joint called KMS and it was simply delicious. We called Uncle Jayasingham and he told us to take a dip in the Pasikudah beach before heading to his place. I would like to introduce Uncle Jayasingham in a separate article because we learnt so much from him. He’s a close friend of my mom and he is the current Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka. Pasikudah was refreshing – as if the water had healing powers. We stayed there for a good hour and relaxed our worn out muscles. The best thing about this beach is that you can walk for a mile towards the sea and still the water will be waist deep.
After the beach session, Saroj was looking for a bar that sold beer. The irony of that was, he had no idea it was a Poya day and all bars were closed. He told me that Mr. Anagarika Dharmapala (a freedom fighter against British colonialism at that time) worked so hard to grant Poya day as a public holiday so that Buddhists can go to the temples for religious observances. Well now Poya day is like a much awaited holiday to go on your next trip. A minute of silence for Mr. Anagarika.
Our next stop was Chenkaladi junction where Uncle Jayasingham lives. It was getting dark but we didn’t encounter any trouble on the road. We passed the gates of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka – it looked grand and beautiful at night.