Ending our time in Sri Lanka with three days at the beach in Mirissa was the cherry on top of an already wildly decadent and delicious hot fudge sundae. The beaches are gorgeous, the sand is baby powder soft, the water is that perfect dreamy blue-green and the temperature is warm as toast. There’s none of the gasp as when your toes hit the surf of the North Atlantic.
The view from the balcony of our hotel was divine. And the sound of the waves lulled us to sleep at night.
What I couldn’t quite get out of my head was the fact that on December 26, 2001, a 50 foot wave generated by the epic earthquake off Ache, Indonesia roared in and devastated most of Sri Lanka’s coastline, killing more than 50,000 people. Our driver told us that before that terrible morning no one in Sri Lanka had ever heard the word tsunami.
There’s almost no obvious evidence of the devastation. As I walked around town (frantically dodging homicidal buses) I noticed how many new hotels were going up – right on the beach. People had built new homes and shops to replace those that had been destroyed – in virtually the same place where the old ones had been washed away. I began to look for any remaining evidence of the tidal wave. While I don’t know the real story of what happened to this house, my imagination painted a full-color picture.