Thursday 12 February 2015

Sri Lanka Travel Pt 6: Stilt Fisherman - One Better Than None

Browsing through the attractions of Sri Lanka,  I came across something that really caught my attention. It was a picture of fishermen sitting on slim stilts fishing in the open sea. I have never seen anything like this before and thought this is a 'must-see' when I visit Sri Lanka.
Stilt fishing is a technique unique to Sri Lanka and are found along the beaches of Ahangama. It is believed to have been innovated around World War II when food was scarce and fishing spots became overcrowded. Wooden stilts are embedded in the seabeds  and fishermen would sit motionless waiting for fishes to bite onto the baits from their fishing rods. I specifically told my day tour driver that this itinerary is my top priority. 
After a long drive we finally reached the place. I was struck speechless with disappointment as there were a few hundred stilts but not a single fisherman and to think that I'd come so far for something that fell short of my expectation was despairing indeed.
Out of the blue, a man in red appeared. He is a stilt fisherman and he knew what we came for. He walked to a boat docked by the beach, took out his fishing rod and walked to the nearest stilt.

He became an actor for my sake. 
I was curious to know how it feels like to do do stilt fishing. "Is it hard to climb? Is it uncomfortable? How long do you think you can last sitting motionless there?" So I got Ron to try fishing on one.
Aiseh. This moment will definitely go down my memory lane.

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