We’re back for Sri Lanka part two. What is Sri Lanka famous for? Tea of course, so naturally couldn’t visit and not see the tea plantations. After Kandy our next stop was Hutton and Dalhousie. So we took the early morning bus into the mountains. The views were spectacular! Green, clean and beautiful (something I don’t see on a regular basis). It was also refreshingly cold. Not cold as in Dunedin cold more of about 20C cold AHHH When we arrived in Hutton we found a tuk tuk driver to take us to Dalhousie (about an hour away).
On the way Salim the tuk tuk drive let us drive. Maybe a new career option?
Loreta was a hit with the locals
The reason we traveled to Dalhousie was to scale Adams Peak. Adams Peak is a mountain that has a giant footprint like mark at the summit. Christians believe it was the first mark on earth made by Adam as he was throw out of the garden of Eden. Buddhists believe that it is the footprint of Buddha and Hindus believe it is the mark of Shiva. So what ever religion you to relate to it’s an important place. Adams peak is a 7km ascent up a steep set of steps. We originally planned to begin at 2am so we could see the sunrise but due to poor weather conditions we started in the afternoon. Of course after we had a quick tea stop.
Ready for action in ALL BLACK!
We also engaged the services of a local guide. Adam a stray dog followed as all the way up and back. He was good company and the only tip he wanted was the left over tuna and a belly rub. Note how Loreta’s socks match her flag. Very patriotic.
A Buddhist temple on the way up.
On the way I also managed to pick up an unwanted hitch hiker. LEECH!!!
I was always told that you should not try to remove the leech because when they are full they will drop off. After letting it fed on me for a while I got fed up and Loreta kindly cut it off with her pocket knife (which she managed to get through customs). I have since found out that a single fed will satisfy a leech for up to 3 months. The wound also bleed profusely because leeches secrete an anticoagulant into the wound to facilitate blood flow. Very sneaky. I now have to nice puncture wounds a lasting memory of my time in Sri Lanka.
After some hard vertical climbing we made it to the top. The view was clearly AMAZING.
We were met at the top by a security guard who knew three words in English: “Hello”, “tea” and of course “tip”. It was freezing on the top and we were required to remove our shoes because it was a holy place. In order to avoid frost bite we didn’t stay at the summit very long.
Getting down was a lot quicker than getting up but my legs didn’t forgive me for a couple of days where I generally had to avoid stairs if possible.
Our last stop in Sri Lanka was Hikkaduwa a small beach town. Here is where I had my next animal encounter.
ROSIE THE GIANT SEA TURTLE!!!!
Check her out. We both got to feed her some fresh sea weed in the morning.
We tried to get as much sun time in as possible unfortunately it is rainy season so our plans got thwarted.
Overall I really enjoyed Sri Lanka it was a refreshing escape from Chennai. The people are a lot more relaxed and friendly. They still stared but it’s a different kind of stare to what I’m used to in India. It was less conservative, cleaner and a lot less visible poverty. Sri Lanka was still at times tiring to travel in because everywhere people are trying to rip you off and we had to bargain for everything. Prices would be doubled or even tripled because we were tourists. For example we went to buy a bottle of water from a store. On the bottle it said 30Rs, when we asked the shopkeeper she first said it was 50Rs and then changed her mind and said it was 100Rs. When questioned on this dramatic price rise she said it was because the bottle had been kept in the fridge. It sounds minor but when you are facing this all the time it begins to get frustrating however we had sufficient experience in India to know how to deal with it.
So two big thank yous. First to Loreta for traveling with me. We had a lot of laughs and interesting experiences and I was lucky to have such a chilled out travel buddy. A thank you Sri Lanka for the amazing time. I honestly didn’t want to go back to Chennai.