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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Project Lanka 101

We are back ! The trip was a total success and what a relief. The main concern was that J would design a house we hate. Even though he has not drawn up any plans, through the many discussions, I am confident that our ideas are similar and that he is the right person for us.

T, our friend was the perfect host, and through him we met some very interesting individuals there. There is Dawn, a woman of much drive, who left the UK in 2004 and bought a slice of paradise on the beach. She then spent the last two years building and created a 7 bedroom hotel with an adjoining bar and restaurant. Her boutique hotel will open its doors end October and so far, it looks amazing.

There is Judd who is an interior designer who renovated an old local cottage into a 6000 sq feet luxury house. Her property lies inland with wide expansive views of padi fields with the occasional mud chewing buffalo.

The two ladies and others were very generous in offering advice about contractors and the tribulations faced during their projects. The road ahead is going to be tough and T and I have agreed to spend all holidays in SL in 2010 to make this work.

On our second day there, we spent a night in Tangalle where our land is. J wanted to visit the site as many times to experience the different light. We went during sunrise and sunset and once he even went on his own.

At Tangalle, an Australian lady has set up a retreat, Talalla. This hotel had 8 villas and 33 rooms with a large communal dining hall and a yoga room. The hotel is about 4 years old and though it looks basic, the amenities were very good. The outdoor showers and toilets had marble floors. At USD 50 a night, I think it is really good.

At Talalla, you can swim, have a massage, or as you can see against that wall, strum a few tunes on their guitar or play a game of carram. T and I found a pair of rackets and had a game of badminton on their lawn.

As it was low season, we were the only ones there. We were shown our rooms that were completely opened to the elements. You can see the mosquito net that is over the bed. I spent some dangling my feet over the open balcony and listening to the ocean that was only about 300m away.

Great that so many projects here are spearheaded by women. I could have stayed longer if time permitted.

Our land sits in the southern tip of SL, perched on a cliff that leads directly to a private beach! I wandered down to the beach while T and J discussed ideas and I would be lying if I didn't say it was heartbreakingly stunning.

I picked some gorgeous coral that had been washed up on our beach!

The land used to belong to a fisherman and he had a little cottage. The house is very old and quite decrepit but very sweet looking.

We are contemplating removing it completely or renovating it to incorporate it to the new house. So I took some photos to remind us of its past.

The outhouse though, that has to go. :)

The fisherman had another house but that has been broken long time ago. We are not sure what to do with that yet.

A greenhouse / herb garden and open kitchen maybe?

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