The lure of Dutch Bay was irresistible and the return in March came naturally. Dutch Bay Resort was the Oasis in which to lay anchor. Exquisite food in the form of Chef’s special seafood inventions kept us guessing from one meal to the other.
With no pressure of time behind us, possibilities within the precincts of the Resort itself dawned as we leisurely hiked through the expansive property set in virtually no mans land. Mini Villus (natural ponds carved in the sand due to actions of the wind over millennia) and parkland interspersed with bushes, scrub and various arid zone tree species gave the place a unique ambience disturbed only by the birdcalls. Tracks made by animals and carts were our walkways.
Slowly we meandered towards the pristine coastline with shell studded golden sand and turquoise water. We wondered in awe at the sunset. Blue Tailed Bee-Eater, Kingfishers of different types, Orange-Breasted Green Pigeon, Blue Faced Malkoha, Grey Francolin, Jungle Fowl, various kites, waders and the list could go on.
Going north up the peninsula we encounter remains of an old Dutch Church with its sturdy walls still surviving. Wild donkeys peer at us from different directions. Light blue coloured jellyfish types appear like flower arrangements in the shallow brackish waters of the waterways. A King Cobra peacefully strides past us. As the strip of land narrows we pass through the fishing community at Kirimundel with its Sub Post Office manned by a diehard Postman with his one of a kind postal delivery van in the form of a bullock cart. In this cart he delivers the occasional mail sometimes travelling ten miles to deliver just one letter. Facing West the blue Sea and facing East the Mangroves and the expansive lagoon. The land now becomes a bare sand-strip and slowly the peninsular blends itself into the sea. Beyond one can glimpse the snake like sand bars and tiny islands stretching along a dotted line for some miles.
At dawn we take the boat ride to see the Ocean Dolphins, encounter hundreds of them merrily doing their gymnastics, being reminded of Sperm Whales within touching distance seen during the previous visit. Thereafter, snorkelling at Bar Reef, one of the largest pristine reef systems in the Indian Ocean where we see the beauty of the corals and the associated fish along with an occasional shark. We end up for a packed brunch at a riverine beachhead past Gangewadiya long way up the estuary of the mighty Kala Oya, after a stop at the great Baobab tree, which elephants had just visited to venerate. We pass smiling migrant fishing families, each in their own cove carved in the mangroves and stock up with crab and prawn for Chef’s next meal. A soothing swim in the crystal clear fresh water and we are revived. Here we witness the nearby islanders coming for their regular freshwater bath in their boats. For whole families it is a picnic outing where they bathe, wash their clothes, cook a mid-day meal and stock up with drinking water before returning to their parched islands to carry on with their fishing. Back across the lagoon with its birdlife including scores of Spot Billed Pelicans literally at the border where the lagoon merges with the sea and the occasional Indo-Pacific Hump-backed Dolphin or lagoon pink dolphin, we return to our Oasis.
It was time to say goodbye. But the experience of the Dutch Bay Resort brought to the forefront by the vision of its founder Neil d’Silva had by then made us re discover the ultimate blessing in life. The blessing so beautifully expressed by the Roman poet Juvenal - Mens sana in corpore sano or Healthy mind in a healthy body.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hideaway destination is built on the historical Dutch Bay Island surrounded by its unique rich bio diversity (underwater and forest sanctuary) well recognized for Whales, Dolphins and the nature park "Wilpattu." There are 16 signature mangrove chalets, fully furnished with customized 5 star amenities to include free wi-fi, 24/7 butler service, same day laundry service, 24/7 Duty Manager, 24/7 housekeeping and front desk and maintenance, common pool and beach access.25 Minutes to Wilpattu safari park ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Dutch Bay Resorts Sri Lanka/Kalpitiya