The observation car has nice big windows that allow for a panoramic view of the passing countryside, cosy reclining seats and ceiling fans
. Personally I still prefer hanging out the door. The train slowly winds its way up the mountain countryside passing rice paddies, thick forests, pine trees and sheer cliffs. When they say that its the journey that counts, not the destination, I think this is what there talking about. Part way through the journey Alex joins me at the doorway and we hang out watching the lush green vistas of Sri Lanka pass by, accompanied by the clanking and rocking of the old train cars.
A few hours later we arrive at Dalhousie and a car is waiting to take us to our guest house, Slightly Chilled. Once there we unpack our bags and enjoy dinner with views of Adams Peak from the dining room. As the sky turns from blue to pink to black, a string of lights tracing the path up the mountain becomes visible in the distance. The top seems a very, very long way away. Dinner complete we retire to bed early in preparation for our 2:30 am start, when we too will begin our pilgrimage to the top.
Today is a transit day as we make our way from Kandy further into the hill country. More specifically Dalhousie, home to Adam's peak. From the hotel we take a cab to the train station and wait for our hour late train. When the train finally arrives we follow all the white folk to the car at the front of the train. The only problem is that we have tickets on the observation car which is at the opposite end! Once we discover this we jump off the train and make a mad dash down the platform with our packs as the train starts pulling away. Hollering and screaming to anyone that will listen we call for someone, anyone, to stop the train. We finally reach the observation car and pile aboard while the train is still leaving the station and we just barely make it aboard.