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Trip Start Nov 16, 2007
27Trip End Dec 15, 2007
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Where I stayed
However, the reality is that Nuwara Eliya is less of a period piece than the locals would have you believe, with an unappealing expanse of concrete shopping arcades and traffic intersections - indeed the stress of altitude causes vehicles to belch great noxious clouds of fumes making the walk around town a largely unpleasant experience.
In other ways, this assessment may appear a little harsh. The town boasts a triumvirate of fine old colonial hotels; notably the Hill Club where in order to dine you're required to pay the temporary club membership fee, and wear a jacket and tie
The memory of England lives on, too, with the rather dilapidated racecourse (Sri Lanka's only horse-racing meetings are held here), the workaday Victoria Park and a golf course. Another touch of Britishness is the small-scale market gardening industry, one of the mainstays of the modern town's economy, meaning familiar vegetables such as leeks, turnips, swedes, marrows, cabbages and potatoes are a relatively common sight.
In late afternoon we continued onto the extremely modest village of Dalhousie (Dal-house) which serves as a base for the night time ascent of Adam's Peak. With a big climb ahead, I decided to sample the island's staple food of rice and curry (rice is considered the principle ingredient). I thought they had taken my order incorrectly when they brought out a mound of rice accompanied by seven side dishes - typically, nearly an hour later I was full to bursting and had barely eaten half the dishes. These generally include a serving of meat or fish curry plus accompaniments such as curried pineapple, potato, aubergine (brinjal) and dhal.
After sharing a small bottle of arrack with Karu - it would be our last opportunity, as he would shortly be leaving me in Kandy - I retired early in readiness for a 2.30am start.