It seems like yesterday that I posted some pensive thoughts about ushering in 2010 away from the maddening crowds and in the wilds of Yala and yet here I am, almost a week into 2011. The one thing I really do miss about 2010 was the way we ended the year, relaxing in hammocks, a cool lagoon breeze, sumptuous food and people who are important to me. Total and utter relaxation instead of the loud music, cramped chairs and tables and drunken moronity of the hotel scene. It was the perfect way to see out what has been an absolutely fabulous year after the initial shock of adjusting to being back in this crazy LSD trip that is Sri Lanka.
Starting the year with leopards in Yala seems to have been a good omen, for 2010 was the year of travel, adventure and new beginnings. Gal Oya and Yala were on the menu again for January with the former providing a hair raising experience of rain, rising rivers and constant mud. Diving season started with some rookie mistakes but progressed into marginal competency and early February was when I was deemed fit enough to dive the Cargo Wreck, deep blue waters, an immense ship at 30m and swimming through shoals of fish. What else could one ask for? My constant gabbing about diving had an unexpected benefit as well.
The next few months was all about diving with a break to Mirissa to see the whales and enjoy an absolutely fabulous BBQ on the beach. The year starts to blur around then but there was a trip to Batticaloa, Trincomalee to snorkel with a shark pack, Kandy for the Bradby, my first trip to Wilpattu ever followed by another one, Kalpitiya to watch dolphins, Sinharaja to get mauled by a diya bariya, a couple of Unawatune trips, a marathon down south road trip to Ussangoda and diving in Hikkaduwa and yet more diving, including notching up my 100th dive on the last day of the year.
Of course on top of this was watching the sibling get hitched in Utah. Despite the empty bank balance and despite the cheesiness, it would not be a cliché to say that I am a much richer person now than that last day of 2009. I hope everyone else has had a brilliant start to the year and a great year to look forward to!