17th June 2015 – Ella, Sri Lanka
The journey of many miles, begins with a single step.
Even if that step is placed in the middle of a muddled street.
And the journey of the day may go on for hours, but it’s not too bad
When a perfect view and a bumpy road, decide to meet.
We left early in the morning. By early, I am talking about 5 AM early. And did not have the faintest clue that it would be 10 PM before we found a place to sleep.
There was a train booked from Colombo to Badulla first, which was a total of 10 hours. I slept through the first portion of the trip, only to wake up to a faint smell of tea. Well, I lie. There was no smell, but I wished there was. Because all I could see was miles and miles of tea plantations. We were in the hill country, passing through Ella. And it was beyond words. It was simply majestic.
There were a bunch of young tourists on the train till Ella, who tried their best to spoil the serenity with their loud noises and attempts to take selfies while hanging on to the train doors. I do not want to appear judgemental, so will refrain from naming their nationality. But thankfully, they got off in Ella. And I was finally able to take the pictures of the tea plantations without fear of knocking some dude out of the train.
We finally reached Badulla by 4 PM, and looked for a bus to Arugam Bay. Or Pottuvil, which was the nearest town to Arugam bay. But there was none. There was one bus which left at 5 PM, towards Monaragale, which was halfway there, around 30 KMs from Badulla. So, we decided to take bus, and then look for a connection to Pottuvil.
Which, as you would guess from my often-occuring misadventures, never happened. First of all, the bus ride took to Monaragale took about 3 hours and we reached around 7 PM! And yes, the last bus to Pottuvil had already left. So, we were stuck with 3 options. 1) Stay overnight in Monaragale, where there was nothing much to do, and catch the bus the next day. 2) Take a bus to some random place which was midway, and hope there was a bus connection from there. 3) Take a rickshaw (Tuk-Tuk) from Monaragale to Arugam bay, which would cost 2500 LKR (roughly 20 Euros) and take 2 hours of Tuk-Tuk ride through the heavy forest.
When I say that we bit the bait, you will know that we took the 3rd option.