After a week of non-stop traveling and adventures, this was a day to do the opposite. Our only mission was to find clothes for me for the upcoming wedding of Kim’s friend Sarmi (since I didn’t bring any wedding attire with me), and we barely managed to pull that off.
The first screw up was a fortuitous one. Apparently Kim had not paid attention the previous day when negotiating the price of our accommodation. When it came to pay the next day, she was convinced the agreed price was 1500, despite it actually being 1800. I wasn’t around to correct her, so she ended up furiously negotiating a saving of 300 rupees for us.
There’s a well known TED talk about 4am, which in short says that 4am is the asshole of the day where only the strange, unusual, and generally undesired happens. Well not too much later than 4am, at 4:25, Kim and I woke up to go on safari at Yala National Park.
After a quick (45 min each way) morning walk to the Nine Arches Bridge in Ella (nothing too impressive, though if you’re the type who wants to see the source of the post card picture in real life, you may like it), we headed to our next destination, Tissa.
After a fantastic breakfast made by Buddhi’s mom at our Mountain View Guesthouse, Kim and I headed out to hike to the top of Ella Rock. Repeating past experiences, we took a couple of wrong turns that, umm, enhanced the difficulty level and adventure of the hike, but eventually made it up to the top. The view was not as nice as Lipton’s Seat, but it’s always a good feeling to get to the peak of a hill/mountain and look down upon the heights you’ve conquered.Looking down and in the opposite direction of Ella, we spotted a waterfall up in the hills in the distance. With the luxury of not having to move on to another city later in the day, and not wanting to backtrack on the way we came up the hill, Kim and I made it our mission to get to those falls. And a mission it was.
Yet another early wake up call had us on the bus from the White Home down to Haputale center (us not wishing to take the “10 minute” walk down) in order to get to the famed views of Lipton’s Seat before the late morning clouds rolled in.
With an early train from Kandy to Haputale to catch, we were forced to quickly adjust to Sri Lankan time: waking up early and subsequently doing everything else, from eating to sleeping, earlier too. This was no hardship to me, as it makes so much more sense to do so than follow the typical North American or European schedule of waking up well after sunrise and sleeping well after sunset. It’s more natural to live with the sun. Just think what happens to your sleep pattern when you go camping. And don’t even get me started the ridiculous habits of Argentinians and the like, with their midnight dinners. I digress. Back to Sri Lanka:
The total trip time was 37hrs and going in I was worried that it would be exhausting. It turned out being not so bad. Right from the get-go I got into a sort of meditative travel state, put my brain in cruise control and worked, read, watched two movies, ate, and slept a bit. Next thing I knew, I was in Sri Lanka. Trip highlights were: