Leomi PotterJul 3, 20203 min read
Updated: Jul 5, 2020
What a crazy end to the Sri Lanka season of 2020. Covid-19 has taken the world by storm and meant Freedom closed 6 weeks early. Despite that we had a great season, meeting new faces and teaching our one true love - surfing!
Let’s take a look at what we got up to this year:
Our warm up to the season started in August 2019 where we were thinking about Vinny our VW Van and our competition winners who came and had a test of the surf tours along the south coast that we were planning.
Unfortunately circumstances changed and we decided that we would out Vinny on hold for a while but we are still thinking of launching the VW Van Tour project in the future so watch this space.
We had wonderful guests in August and were privileged enough to attend our first Sri Lankan Wedding of Benja’s beautiful sister.
During the shoulder season of September - November, we welcomed back some familiar faces from last season which was so lovely. As well as making new long lasting relationships with new customers, we had great waves and despite the unseasonal and unexpected rain that we thought would never end. A great start to the season making some great memories.
We also started our weekly beach cleans of Weligama Bay partnering up with Ocean Mimic for World Clean Up Day. We explored and created many partnerships with local businesses in the area and we are grateful for your support in helping us save our seas and keep the beaches clean. The biggest shoutout goes to Spindrift Hostel for bringing their guests and making a huge difference consistently throughout the season. We hope our partnership with Parley can also develop even more in the coming months.
From November the rain stopped and we got extremely busy being fully booked at the Surf Villa and launching into the season at rocket speed. The surf changed, the customers came and it was great! We loved the run up to Christmas buzz of having families staying here as well as our brand new dorm room full with solo excited backpackers sharing travel stories and partying hard!
Thanks to The Doctors House for some wonderful surf camp nights.
2020 got off to a great start, we were joined again by Tamas and Niki from Hungary for their second season and we just loved having them in the house as part of the family. We were fully booked at the beach with surf lessons and even though our staff were tired and working hard we had a lot of laughs and fun meeting all of our new guests and surfers from all around the world. At one point we had guests from Singapore, USA, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands and The Bahamas all in the Villa at the same time - what an awesome mix of nationalities.
Giulia the Instagram goddess arrived at the end of January and continued our party vibe by social hosting and taking beautiful photos, as well as livening up Weligama Bay beach with her laugh and smile. We had many great nights at Moochies playing and sponsoring the Tuesday night Bingo - our favourite was Christine’s birthday when the American star compered and made us all laugh.
February we continued with non stop surf lessons keeping the staff very busy - it’s amazing how much people can progress in a short time when they put their mind to it. We attended and sponsored a local surf competition Midigama Open at Lazy Left, which was a great day out on a stunning beach.
Then March hit with full curfew and impending lockdown of the Corona pandemic around the world. And what a strange and scary time it has been for everyone around the world. We really enjoyed our curfew time spent with lovely guests from Germany, South Africa, Italy and America at the Villa for the first 6 weeks - celebrating Easter with easter egg hunts and quizzes!
Freedom is grateful that we had a busy season and even though our ‘off-season’ came early we have funds and provisions to support our staff and their families through this time.
Looking ahead we hope we can reopen in the next few months. We are putting Corona safety measures in place at the Surf School and Surf Villa and thinking on how best we can move forward.
Is social distance surfing a thing? The new normal may say so….
Once the government let us know their plans for safely reopening the country we will be more than happy to open our doors and host another season filling our Villa with amazing people from all around the world.
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