Once we reached Hatton we got into a tuk tuk and went to our hotel. The train journey to Hatton was beautiful, driving through the hills and tea plantations of Sri Lanka. We managed to get a ticket for a 2nd class carriage and it suited us well. When we got to our hotel we asked for them to call us another tuk tuk driver who would take us around Hatton and to go and see a tea plantation. Our tuk tuk driver, Rohan, was lovely. If you are ever in the area and in need of one let us know, we are more than happy to give his details, he was a great tour guide and when we asked to be taken to a local Sri Lankan restaurant, took us for some of the best food we have had. We were taken to a tea factory and given a tour around. When in Sri Lanka and around the area we definitely recommend visiting one.
On our way back we came by a temple and decided to take a look.
It is a lovely little temple hidden away down steps at the side of the road and surrounded by trees.
The next day we were on a mission to climb Adam’s Peak (well, one of us was more excited than the other as one of us had read: ‘Black Orchids’ by Gillian Slovo whose descriptions of Adam’s Peak were extremely descriptive and created wonderful images in one’s mind). Most people climb Adam’s Peak through the night so that they arrive at the top for sunrise…Very clever idea. We did not. As we only had limited time travelling around Sri Lanka we packed our days full and did not have any energy to start a hike at 2am and instead started our walk at 8am. We must be the slowest people to have ever climbed it. The start of the hike was very easy going, but as it got warmer during our hike and as we were ascending more and more steps it got harder and harder. So much so that the chick with a suitcase that hadn’t read the book started thinking that this was an absolutely terrible idea. We would like to warn that climbing up to Adam’s Peak is around 5,500 steps one way. Adam’s Peak is a sacred mountain Sri Lanka’s and houses the Buddha’s footprint.
All of this might sound like we would discourage anyone from climbing the peak, but ABSOLUTELY NOT! The people you meet on your way up are worth it. And the sense of achievement once you have made it back down again as well as the views while walking up or down. We would recommend though not walking during the midday sun (like we did), as the heat makes the hike even harder. Take enough water and some snacks. Most everyone on this hike probably feels the same exhaustion, but everyone we met was happy and started chatting to us. Our favourite was a group of local ladies. Unfortunately for us, once we got up there, it was cloudy.
Even though it was cloudy, the views while walking up and down were gorgeous and worthwhile. As afore mentioned, we are most likely the slowest people to have climbed Adam’s Peak (though we would like to blame the extreme weather conditions for it), it took us about 7hrs return to do this trip. That night we slept very well.
The next morning, we were picked up by a car to take us down to the beach area in the south, for our final stop in Sri Lanka. We were heading for Mirissa. On our way there, we asked our driver to stop for a safari. We stopped at the Udawalawe National Park and did a private safari tour (about $60 p.p).
On our way to the National Park we passed a Sri Lankan marathon.
During the safari we saw many lovely elephants and buffalos enjoying the sunshine. Sri Lanka truly is the land of the elephants.
For us this is one of the best pictures of the trip, the way the elephant wades through the water towards the buffalo!
Once we finished our 4hr safari we were back on the road again to continue our drive towards Mirissa. We had not booked a hotel in Mirissa and took the recommendation of our driver. He recommended the Peacock Wings Guest House (http://www.mirissapeacockwings.com/index.php) which we would also recommend after having stayed there ($40 per room). It is a two-minute walk to the beach, which has many restaurants/bars. And the breakfast they made for us, the Sri Lankan hoppers, and brought to our room every morning for us to enjoy on the balcony with view of the ocean was delicious. We could have stayed for months! And the sunsets we experienced while being in Mirissa were stunning.
As one of the chicks with suitcases is an avid cook, we decided a Sri Lankan cooking course would be a great thing to indulge in, especially as we have fallen in love with Sri Lankan food during our trip. The recommendation for where to do the cooking course was given to us by a lady who lives in Mirissa who then invited us for dinner with her and her husband. Want to try one of our Sri Lankan curry recipes or want to find the lady with the recommendations? Let us know. We thoroughly enjoyed giving Sri Lankan cooking a go and are happy with the many curry recipes we received.
Then it was time for us to say good bye to Sri Lanka. It was an absolute pleasure and we hope to be back again. Sri Lanka, what an amazing country to explore!