Tangalle private beach by the Palm Paradise Cabanas hotel is very quiet and peaceful. Unwatuna beach is longer, more lively, doted with numerous bars and restaurants. Both of them are nice in their own way and great for running and relaxation.
Waking up in our cabana is lovely, we hear birds singing and the sound of the nearby ocean. We put on our running shoes and go running on the beach – we have the entire beach cove to ourselves for the 4km run. Shortly thereafter we have breakfast – quite red faced still from running which doesn’t go unnoticed by our German friends and the waiter – asking if we are a bit hot!
We pack up, and head off to Unawatuna on a local bus… a longer and less comfortable journey – it’s a bumpy ride, and Rich has a guy practically cuddling up to him on the back seat (this seems to be standard travelling practise out in Sri Lanka).
Our hotel in Unawatuna is nice, it’s quite a newly built eco-lodge type hotel (Dunes Unawatuna Hotel) just five minutes walk from the beach. This is our cheapest accommodation so far, costing just ~$22 or so, but much nicer than places we’d paid double this amount for previously.
After having a quick lunch and a short chat with the owner of the hotel, we set off for a walk to the beach. It’s a more developed beach than in Tangalle with many nice restaurants and cafes. As soon as we see couple of people swimming we go back to the hotel to put our swimming gear on and almost run back to have our first dip in the Indian Ocean! The water is great, a bit wavy but it doesn’t stop us from having fun. We swim for perhaps 45-60 mins enjoying the warm ocean, then we go for a run along the beach to dry off and complete our exercise for the day.
We wash the ocean off us back at the hotel, and change into evening clothes and walk out on to the beach looking for somewhere to eat. There are many attractive looking options to choose from, we pick a popular but quiet restaurant with candle-lit tables on the beach. The food is lovely, and we have an enjoyable evening.