We left Ella on a night train, our cart was high on energy. All the locals were dancing and singing and just having a grand old time. We were dropped off in the tiny village of ohiya which has a,population of 100. Everyone was very confused as to why we were headed there. our master plan was to avoid paying 20 dollars in tuk tuk fees be walking to Horton's plains national park (an 11km trip) we would leave at 230 am and be at the highlight of the park; the worlds end (a further 5 km), before the clouds and mist set in. but the sneaky Sri Lankan government thought their layout out well. There is a checkpoint 6 km into the walking route that doesn't open till 6am meaning there is no way to reach the view point before the clouds. So we made the journey for nothing as we had to backtrack to get out, but no matter the train rides are always worth it
. We sucked it up and took the tuk tuk to the start of the national park. I have been on a lot of crazy transportation rides but none as wild as this ! the alpine road twists and turns endlessly as parts crumble away, it was 530 am so the mist was impenetrable to the naked eye. We sped along as our driver turned around to talk to us meaning he almost missed a few turns. woah what a way to start the day. The national park is great. Security is very strict and nothing can be brought in that isn't biodegradable. It is unlike any another ecosystem I have ever seen. Dan compared parts of it to the moores in England and the other parts to the grass lands of Africa. The first portion of our hike was indeed through moore Land scenery, the sun was freshly risen and mist billowed across the soft hills. Birds sang their morning song and the sound track of nature started. We stopped at a view point called "mini worlds end" which gave a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and tea plantations. We continued on through a rocky escarpment to the "real" worlds end. It is bizarre. Imagine walking for 5 km without climbing up and suddenly the ground is gone. It just ends in a straight cliff 100s of meters below. The view as you can imagine is wonderful. You can see villages, tea plantations, rivers and if you look really hard you can see the east coast of the island ! We sat up there with our feet dangling off the edge of the end of the world for quite some time just listening to the natural world, feeling the sheer strength of the wind as it tries to push you off. It's a magical place. We continued on through the pseudo African grass lands, waterfalls and Brooks. It is truly one of the mist ecological sustainable and well run national parks I have ever seen. We made our way back to ohiya where we literally hopped into a mail train. The train was so full that we had to sit in the luggage compartment. It was interesting as there are no lights and one section of track goes through 14 tunnels. The doors are not so much doors as holes in the cart so we had access to amazing views. The poor people in the only other 2 carts were literally holding on to the outside of the train and even on the roof !