We had an early 4.30am start before the station master from Nuwara Eliya drove us to Horton Plains National Park an hour and a half away. It was worth getting up early to see the beautiful sunrise.
The hotel had packed us some sandwiches and eggs for breakfast which we enjoyed before we set off on the walk. It was quite cold until the sun rose and we started along the 9km track through the plain. We saw a wild Elk and several bird species and we were on our own for a lot of the time and could enjoy the tranquility of the place and the beautiful views down the valley at world’s end. We had quite a hunt for our driver because when we arrived back at the carpark it was overflowing with tuk tuks and cars.

It was light on the return journey and the hills were a patchwork of vegetables – potatoes, carrots and leeks.

We had a bit of a rest and then Ravi took us to see the very British Raj looking “Grand Hotel” and “Hill Club” with their manicured gardens and period decor. Very Pukka!
The Grand Hotel had a very good Indian vegetarian restaurant at the bottom of their driveway and it was so popular that there was a crowd of people waiting outside for people to leave. Luckily we arrived early.

Ravi drove us the following day to “Nanu Oya” where we boarded the train for the scenic ride to “Ella” through the beautiful tea plantations and mountains. Many of the hills were covered with gum trees and we saw workers burning off low scrub along the way. Two years ago the fire took hold and the train was cancelled for a week as the forest burned. I got a lot of information from “Kasun” the train guard who let me stand in his compartment for the 3hour trip. He gave me tips of what to look out for along the way and was always on the lookout along the track. He told me that he has had to deal with people who threw themselves in front of the train and also stupid passengers who sat on the edge with open doors or who lent out too far and fell off the train. He had the whitest trousers I’d ever seen.

We reached Ella which was 1000mtrs lower down the mountain and which was warmer during the day. It seemed to be a backpacker’s haven by the number of young people staggering around under their enormous packs. It was the stopping off point for those who then took buses down to the coast.
The “view” hotel high up overlooking “Little Adam’s Peak” and down the valley was a beautiful spot for guests however the driver’s quarters were sub-standard so Ravi moved hotels after the first night.

We walked up through the tea gardens and climbed the Peak in the morning to have beautiful views all around Ella. A dog was posing for us on the edge of the rock and didn’t move from there for as long as we were there. We met a nice Irish couple at the top so stopped and chatted to them for a while. In the afternoon we drove down the mountain to see Ravana Falls where locals and tourists were enjoying a dip below the waterfall.

It was full moon on the 22nd March (Poya)so no alcohol was being served. We walked down into town to “Down Town Rotti” and had a good “Rotti Kotthu” a Sri Lankan speciality which was very tasty.
I then had a coffee and Maurice a hot chocolate and that cost as much as the two meals and two lime sodas combined.

Ravi told us that unlike southern India the marriages are no longer arranged ones except in the small villages and different generations tend not to live under the same roof especially in the cities. The younger generation all want their own space.

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