Project 365: Day 351 – Through Srilanka’s hill country


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.

The view of the hills at Ella, Sri Lanka

The view alone made up for the length of the journey – Ella, Sri Lanka

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.

 
       
Click here for the previous day’s post. Or you can follow this project from Day 0, by clicking here
 

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About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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