Pot holes, Monkeys and Leopards

Trip Start Jan 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Victoria Inn

Flag of Sri Lanka  , Central,
Friday, January 7, 2011

Our alarms went off at 4.45am and we met our tuk tuk driver outside the guest house to take us to Horton Plains National Park and World's End. This was a long 1.5 hour bumpy journey to the park through thick cloud and pot holes the size of tuk tuks!

In Sri Lanka, the entrance fees to national parks are expensive and we paid the equivalent of 30 quid to enter. This was a whole days budget for us but luckily over the previous 4 days we had saved this. A return tuk tuk cost us 3500 rupees (around 20 quid), this was the cheapest option from Nuwara Eliya.

Entering Horton Plains was like entering Jurassic Park. It was very misty and quiet and knowing that there were leopards nearby as we walked through the forest trail was exciting yet daunting. Horton Plains is the only national park in Sri Lanka where you are not permitted to have a guide with you, so we opted to explore by ourselves. There were lots of birds and we heard monkeys calling. We were lucky enough to spot 2 or more dart from the trees! Quite a rare opportunity it turned out as everyone else we met hadn't seen any.

We got to Mini World's End and the view was obscured by cloud but it started to shift revealing the hill country below. The track then opened up onto the plains where we spotted Samba Deer in the long grass, prime prey for leopards. We got to World's End and the views were spectacular. We stood on top of an 880m cliff. After taking pictures the clouds rolled up the hills and the view was gone within seconds. This is when most people turned up so they missed out! We left quickly to leave the others behind and have the quiet trails to ourselves again. We crossed a bridge at the bottom of the plains valley and came across fresh Leopard prints. As the plains heated up, wildlife became scarce although we saw 2 birds of prey that may have been Mountain Hawk Eagles.

Another bumpy 1 hour journey back to Nuwara Eliya and we fell asleep at our guest house.

Total Horton Plains 50 quid.
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Cousin Oli on

Just wanted to say to you guys that I'm so proud of you for embarking on this trip. I am going to follow you every step of the way, I would never have had the balls to do what you are doing (and I consider myself quite a tough guy......it's luxury hotels and saunas for me I'm afraid). Jamie, your photos are amazing ....I've always been one for a good camera and i'm glad you have been able to do all this as I could only have dreamed of doing it. One of my friends died over Christmas and it just makes me think that we should make the most of the time we have here.........and boy are you doing it!
I'm going to log in every day and look forward to your blogs and maybe Gem and I could meet up with you somewhere along your travels. I'll keep in touch with your mum and dad and find out where you are planning on going over the next year or two.
Have fun guys, but most of all, be safe!
Best wishes,

appleandparsnip on

Hey matey, thanks for the message. Really sorry to hear about your friend, its hard losing someone close. You and Gem are welcome anytime to come and see us, it doesn't take balls, just an open mind! The pictures are good aren't they? Lara is to thank for most of them! There is a rough itinerary on our profile page, otherwise the idea is that we will be in Cambodia till mid feb, then Vietnam till early march, then China and Laos till Easter, when we meet my old man and brother josh in Thailand to travel around the islands,do a bit of rock climbing, snorkeling and chilling! then indonesia till end of may then we are off to NZ for a year.

Take your pick!
Happy New Year
J and L XX

cousin oli on

send me your email so i can send you the pics that Gem has taken in Berlin with Patrick

appleandparsnip on


Bawantha on

hello,am from Sri Lanka.....
i think u guys have been cheated or something 'cos for us its not even half a pound per person to enter horton plains.i thot the average cost for foreign person is about rs.1000 (maxm) that is about 7 pounds.......so i think u guys have paid double (or more) the amount in this issue

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