A short walk, - sometimes of not more than 2-3minutes - especially after a tropic rainfall on the sandy, humid beach of Bentota or Beruwela may result in 100s of "mosquito"-bites, before you realize it !
In Beruwela - especially near to Bentota-river - Sandflies are common and dangerous to your wellbeing!
Sand flies are small (with a body size of less than 3mm in length), making them very hard to detect. Their bite is sometimes not felt and leaves a small round, reddish bump that starts itching hours or days later.Fortunately they seem not to spread any diseases in that area (Leishmaniosis), like in more northern areas of Asia and the Mediterranean.
Female sand flies suck blood from many warm-blooded animals because the blood helps to create eggs. Only female sand flies bite, and use their mouthparts to create a pool of blood, which is then sucked up. They inject histamine to prevent blood clotting, similar to the feeding habits of a female mosquito.
Use of insect repellent is strongly recommended in areas where sand flies are present. (DEET, "No Bite")
To treat the sometimes severe itching, use Lemonoil , available at the local pharmacy or antihistamine-trabletts
Ranga-Wine Stores is certainly one of the most modern and well-assorted on Sri lanka's westcoast. Liquors of local origin, some imported brands and a small assortment of wines are waiting for the well-off customer.
Unfortunately not all of the shop-employees are meeting those high standards:
it happened to me and some other guests frequently,(easily to be classified as tourists), who tried to buy the excellent local Arrak, that an overcharge of somewhat more than 100% has been (or has been tried to be ) applied.
(Mendis 3 years Arrak sells countrywide for SL-Rupees 900,-the price charged was yet SLR 1875,-)
At Least Do This: 1. Do not enter the shop with your taxi - or 3-wheel-driver; he seems to participating at your buy.
2. Before buying any liquor, consult the barman of your hotel; he usually will be well informed about the valid prices!
3. Do NOT go into a discussion with the shop's employees, they will suddenly claim to speak only the local language/dialect
Alternative: Ask the barman of your hotel or your host where to buy. AVOID this shop, just to stay on the safe side !
4. Call the local, helpful tourist-police (below)
DO NOT swim outside the reef which includes either end of the reef. The currents are very dangerous - there are eddies and whirlpools. A tourist was drowned while we were there and we were told it is a common occurrence. The part inside the reef is OK when the tide is out, but at other times, use the pool.