‘Barging’ along kosgoda lagaoon
Taking a ride on a barge is an awesome experience. You also might
tend to relax to the point of getting a false sense of total confidence.
So if you do get a chance, take the plunge, and heed to the bargeman’s
advice and instructions as far as possible.
For me it was a nice evening at the Kosgoda lagoon. When I was
reaching the barging point with my companions, I saw the bargeman whom I
later came to know as Richmond de Soysa sitting on the bench near the
Soysa had ridden the barge on this lagoon since 1984. Only five
people can go on it on a single journey.
Kosgoda is 80 km from Colombo just past Beruwala.
My ride was calm. Soysa used his oar expertly and gently passed the
few steps to enter the Kosgoda lagoon. First he rode under the rail and
road bridges. Please remember to duck as you approach the low bridges!
The best time to visit Kosgoda lagoon is either early in the morning
or evening. The spectacle of a tropical dawn, watching a wetland come to
life with colour seeping into everything around with each passing
minute, and the sounds of all the life, is an experience you won’t
forget in a hurry.
The barge floated very slowly. So I could easily capture the animals
and trees on the lagoon on lens. Many species of fish and crabs spent a
part of their life in the shelter of mangroves and they support a multi
million fisheries industry in the lagoon and along the coast. Both the
marsh and the lagoon house numerous plant and animal species, of which
many are rare or endemic.
The migratory birds come here for resting and feeding, and the area
is known for its eagles, parrots, cormorants, purple stock, egrets,
Crane and water hands. It was an attractive assortment.
Late afternoon rides are rewarded with sightings of birds nestling
into their roosts.
The sun sinking over the edge of the lagoon is a fitting end to an
evening’s visit to Kosgoda.
Sandals, shorts and T-shirts are a good choice of clothing; earthy
colours, as well not white or bright.
Try and avoid late mornings and early afternoons as it can be too hot
and sunny. The animal and bird life can be disappointing at this time,
giving a poor impression of Kosgoda lagoon.
Filling of the marsh, cutting of mangroves, and the unlawful blocking
out and distribution of land, are major threats to this eco-system.
Kosgoda lagoon bears a staggering species of flora and fauna. Some
indigenous flora and fauna have also been found in Kosgoda lagoon.
Visitors may see water birds such as herons, egrets in abundance in
the lagoon and the marsh. On my way I saw what the bargeman called as
jimpol, peththan, sooriya, kanduru and kottamba trees also.
Really it was a memorable one hour’s barge journey from Kosgoda to
Pitiwella. Remember, the litter can be stored on board and disposed of
when back on land!
Kosgoda Beach Resort
Where the lagoon meets the sea
Located 80km from Colombo the Kosgoda Beach Resort is an ideal place
to relax. One of the main attractions offered by Kosgoda Beach Resort
are turtles which regularly come ashore to lay their eggs. People who
visit this resort can see these turtles come to the sea shore at
midnight. It is this uniqueness that is a drawcard of this hotel
comparing with others.
The hotel has 42 rooms that classify into four main types that
include singular villa, the Duplex villa, doubles and suites. Each room
features spectacular views of both the sea and the lagoon. The hotel
convinces guests to become their natural self.
The open air main restaurant called, “kalapuwa” situated in front of
the curving swimming pool is picturesque where guests can enjoy meals in
Eastern or western cuisine. There is also a fine dining restaurant and
A/C restaurant overlooking its swimming pool.
The hotel offers a number of amenities and services to add
convenience. Games such as pool, billiards, board games, table tennis,
volleyball and cricket are provided. “We are the first in the hotel
industry which started the open roof bathroom concept.
We have very good demand from foreigners as well as Sri Lankans too.
We have special packages for Sri Lankans. This hotel was inaugurated in
1984 owned by Sommer Ville Company Ltd. Arjuna Dias is the Chairman and
Sanath Kumarasinghe the Managing Agent of this place,” said General
Manager of Kosgoda Beach Resort Gamunu Karunaratne.
The atmosphere of the Kosgoda Beach Resort provides a conducive
setting for productive conferences and boardroom meetings for 40 pax. It
is also especially renowned for its ayurvedic centre.
Kosgoda is well-known for its sea turtle hatchery. One of the main
attractions offered by Kosgoda Beach Resort is a visit to the “Turtle
Hatchery” which is in close proximity to the resort that we have written
before in the Daily News Travel.
You can select your room which stands on the sea view or the lagoon
view according to your wish . Mine was the villa type, situated in front
of the beach providing space to unwind. Really it was a nice experience
as the lagoon meets the sea at Kosgoda. (GP)
New menu at St Andrew’s
Jetwing St Andrew’s, Nuwara Eliya will be launching a new a la carte
menu in September targeting the very diverse needs of the guests who
patronise the very historic property dating back to 1875.
The menu is unique as it incorporates many modern fusion cuisine to
the “Go Sri Lankan” concept that all Jetwing Hotels have begun.
“Chinese” at Cinnamon Grand
The Cinnamon Grand’s latest culinary foray, the Chinese Food
Promotion, will run from the 21st - 31st of August from 7 pm to 11 pm at
the Atrium Café with a selection of 69 Chinese dishes.
Reflecting the eight main regional cuisines amongst the different
regions of China, these dishes are global favourites.
Ramazan buffets at Galadari
Ramazan Breakfast buffet at the Galadari Hotel will be held from
September 1-30, from 6pm to 10pm at the Arabic Restaurant and Ramazan
Specials from September 1-30, from 4pm onwards at cafe 64.