I love visiting new countries but sometimes it’s nice to return to a place you’ve been before, especially when you have good friends there. Rob and Jolanda have been coming to Sri Lanka nearly every year since they first met (and even longer for Rob). It’s like a second home for them. Rob says it’s his happy place. The surf and the weather are just perfect and there are so many friendly familiar faces.

Rob & Jolanda in Sri Lanka

The first time I visited Sri Lanka, four years ago, it was all about cycling and scuba for me. I had an extra week, so I thought a bit of yoga would help stretch out my sore muscles after bouncing along Sri Lanka’s bumpy roads on an old bike. That’s when I met Rob and Jolanda.

Me, zipping through tea plantations as fast as possible. Photo credit: Vladimir Ulyanov

Yoga draws a lot of people to the once sleepy village of Hikkaduwa. Much like Rob, Lyndon began coming here in the 1980s. After spending years studying yoga and Buddhism in India and the Himalayas, Lyndon decided to make Hikkaduwa his home. Perfect for a yoga practising surfer. He now leads daily yoga sessions and has some very dedicated students who return year after year.

Lyndon in Scorpion

When Jolanda joined Rob on his frequent trips to Sri Lanka, she discovered Lyndon’s yoga practice. Not being a surfer but loving yoga, Jolanda was delighted to give purpose to her trips to Sri Lanka.

Lyndon has inspired a lot of people and Jolanda is certainly one of them. She now teaches yoga back home in Melbourne and volunteers teaching special-needs kids while in Sri Lanka.

Jolanda teaching yoga to kids in Sri Lanka

It’s hard to compress three weeks of friends & yoga into a single blog post, so I’ll just share one day. After yoga class, we all decided to go to the big market in nearby Galle.

Waiting for a train to Galle
Buses waiting for passengers

Galle was once a fishing village that became a strategic Portuguese fort and Sri Lanka’s largest port in the 16th century. The Dutch took over a century later, further fortifying the city.

Fishing boats

We wandered through the streets, amazed at all the shops compared to comparatively quiet Hikkaduwa. Rob found a clay pot of curd, perhaps his favourite food in Sir Lanka. Jolanda bought guitar strings for Lyndon’s son.

Streets of Galle

I, of course, loaded up on fresh fruit and vegetables, the more unfamiliar the better.

Fruit market

Time passes quickly and we soon found ourselves on the train back to Hikkaduwa and then flights back home. I’m looking forward to the next adventure with Rob & Jolanda.

4 thoughts on “Returning to Sri Lanka

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