Andrew's close encounter with a wild boar...

Trip Start May 02, 2009
Trip End Dec 03, 2009

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Saturday, May 9, 2009

To get to the train station in Kandy our guesthouse owner arranged for a tuk tuk to come up from town and collect us. When this was late he called and ordered another one. When this one was late he flagged down a passing one and then the other two turned up.. just like buses. We got in the first one and made a sharp exit leaving Mr Deen to deal with the two irate tuktuk drivers on our behalf! We left Kandy by train, which was a beautiful journey through hills, tea plantations and the most green and lush countryside we have ever seen.

Arrived at Hatton, an agricultural town which had decorated all their shops with greenery to celebrate a buddhist festival - think tropical Christmas. Got on a bus to Masekeliya and we turned out to be a great source of amusement to the school children on the bus, who all wanted to sit by us and just sat there smiling at us! We were then practically pushed off the bus to get on the passing "bus" which would take us to our destination, Dalhousie. No room for our bags, so they were launched on to the roof unsecured and we were shoved in to the 21 seater with around 50 other people! Andrew was too tall for the van so every time we went over a bump, which was most of the way, his head made a dent in the roof! Eventually we arrived and found a nice place to stay with great views of Adam's peak.

It was a strange village dedicated to pilgrimage and so had lots of flashing buddhas, insence, plastic flowers and other offerings on sale. We went for a short walk out of the village with Rob, a british guy staying in the same hotel as us, and Andrew decided it would be a good idea to run off ahead and explore, only to come face to face with an angry wild boar that grunted at him, so he quickly made an exit and then, thinking about Lost, we all decided to leg it back to the safety of the village. 

At 2am we woke up and started our walk up Adam's peak - a hike of over 5,000 steps each way. Most of these steps came up to my knees so it was more of a climb for little me! We were accompanied by "security" from our hotel - two dogs, which we named Bow and Wow. They came with us all the way to the top. Anyway we made it to the top and watched an amazing sunrise over the mountains and clouds below.

It was a hard walk down and our legs were jelly by the time we got to the bottom.

We had the most spicy curry ever for breakfast (!) - think 10 times hotter than our "I be a bitch" sauce. A bit strange but acceptable as we had already been up for 7 hours.

We then got a lift with Rob and his driver via some Waterfalls  and tea houses to Nuwara Eliya, a.k.a Little England. It was strange to see a racecourse, cow parsley, hollyhocks, roses and geraniums growing in the gardens, and the British style houses.

We visited a tea factory just outside the town to see how tea is made and it was fascinating - I never knew it was so complicated. On our way back to town we passed a Hindu festival, with men pierced with hooks through their back and legs, hanging and swinging from the hooks - it looked painful but they seemed to be enjoying it! An hour later when we passed them again they were still swinging! Went for tea in town to a restaurant recommended in the lonely planet. Ordered our food but then noticed a massive rat scurrying around so we decided not to eat (although andrew was very hungry so he managed a few mouthfuls before I told him off and reminded him about Plague!!!) So we went to the supermarket and bought crisps and chocolate, and headed to "The Pub", Andrew went in first to check it out, which turned out to be a good idea as there were only 50 drunk men in there, and so I decided it might not be the best place for a western female to be! Back to the hotel to eat our crisps...

Next day we woke at 5am for a drive to Horton Plains, a national park at high altitude. Our driver/guide was a wealth of knowledge and told us all about the various plants/animals etc.

We trekked to mini worlds end, and had fabulous yet scary views straight down into the valley below. We then went to Greater world's end, by which time, unfortunately, the mist had risen and so we were met with a wall of cloud. We thought this was great however, as we could see why people thought it was the end of the world - a sheer 800m drop, completely shrouded in mist!

On our way to Baeker's waterfall we saw some Shaggy bear monkeys up in the trees, and also lots of Sambar Deer. The waterfall was lovely, but by this time the stairs from the day before were catching up with me and I just needed to sit down!

Luckily the driver dropped us off at the train station (highest in Sri Lanka at 1891m) and we had a two hour delay before the train arrived. Good job we had that rest as when the train arrived we were crammed in like sardines, squashed between men, women, children, sacks of rice and no room for our bags! People were hanging out of the windows and doors but some nice people moved to let us put our bags under the tables and then we just clung on for dear life. Two hours later we arrived in Ella and Andrew insisted on checking out five different guesthouses up hills with our backpacks before we settled on the first one we saw! It is a lovely family place and there is a nice veranda to sit on upstairs and surrounded by jungle. Andrew counted the geckos on the roof eating the flies and would like to report that there were 19!

We have had a lovely breakfast this morning and then went to do some more walking, 6km down to a lovely waterfall. There is a Buddhist festival going on today (Celebrating Buddha's birthday and death) and the town has got together to cook a free dinner for up to 5,000 people. Our guesthouse owner invited us to go along, so we did that this afternoon - all the locals were laughing at us trying to eat rice and curry with our fingers with our noses and eyes streaming!

We then went for another walk through the tea plantations surrounding the village which are beautiful.
We're staying here tonight as well as it is a very nice and peaceful town, and tomorrow will move on to Monaragala.

Can I just take this opportunity to show you the biggest mozzie bite ever - my knee last night.
Thanks for all your comments, we will reply individually soon! xxx
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Where I stayed
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