After spending 3 weeks of my 30 day visa in the south I had a week to smash out the middle.
Heading out of Marrissa and up through the centre or Sri Lanka I teamed up with an Aussie guy Charlie and we made the 7 hr (multiple bus) journey to Ella.
Being in the south the humidity was so high by 11am you’re sweating buckets so heading up and inland it was nice to for it to be cool during the day.
With a hostel only containing germans I set out to amuse my self I walked to the famous 9 arch bridge, here you can get this amazing shot of the train crossing the historic bridge, me being me I took a wrong turn and missed the train by about 2 minutes but could hear it in the distance..
Then taking the ‘scenic route’ up to little adams peak I quickly found myself lost you can see the full documentation on my instagram story that I saved… very hillarious but a very unamused mother.
Ella to Kandy
I now had to choose whether to go to Hatton and do Adams peak this is a huge rock with a temple on top and 5000 stairs to the top, as not much of a hiker myself I decided to skip this and buy more time in the north,
The train between Ella to Kandy is famously known to be one of the most scenic trains in the world, the secret I found was that all the backpackers travelled north to south where I was doing south to north, this meant that my train was empty and I had choice seats of all the views, when we saw the train coming the other way it was like sardines all crammed into each cabin and I knew I had made the right choice.
The 6 hour train was mainly spent with me sat in the doorway legs out of the train looking down onto the valleys, you dont get stuff like that on the london trains.
Arriving in the evening in Kandy I checked into Clock inn too, staying in the “capsule dorm” I was supprised that unlike the other hostels where they have capsules built into the rooms this was an actual concrete capsules they had left outside on the roof with a bed inside, actually really comfy and pretty much a private room providing your not claustrophobic.
Next to me was Vera a dutch girl that I would actually spend the last week of Sri Lanka with. We went out had a couple of beers but as everyone had said “don’t spend any time in Kandy stay one night to break up the train and then leave.”
2 hours north on the crazy express buses was Dambulla a chilled little town in the middle of no where, I stayed in Jungle vista hostel which was this tree house kind of hostel where all the beds were mismatched and outside so each had a mosquito net, although a bit weird there was a cool vibe and it was an awesome base to see the local stuff.
The main thing to see is Sygaria rock which is a huge rock sticking out of the plains with a temple on the top, to do this its a sunrise tour and $45 orrrr you could do the aptly named “cheap rock” which is next to it and only $5 so naturally we went with cheap rock as it actually gives you a view of Sygaria.
Setting off in the morning we got a taxi there and luckily I brought a torch as it was pitch black, the first half is mis-shapen steps heading up the side, as you approach the top it basically becomes boludering and has you on your hands and feet scrambling up the rock faces and jumping gaps to climb higher and higher.
On the last and most difficult part we manage to pull ourselves up to the top of the rock only to be greeted by a dog… baffled at how it was even up here we had made it just as surise began.
Last day in Mount Lavinia
The last day in Sri Lanka was spent in Mt Lavinia as it was an hour from the airport and on the beach so that was better than staying close to the airport and having nothing to do, finally eating some western food.. Mcdonalds ruining my vegetarianism and getting ready we had some local guys offer us out to a local festival and parade where there would be 10 elephants.
Arriving the local guys were pretty fucked up and we followed this tall Indian guy as he guided us through the festival and most of the times actually through the middle of it in between the dancers, all round this guy was a bit of a dick as he marched through determined to find the elephants and when he did he was going up and patting them during the parade which is a big no no. All in all it was good with dancers and fire spinners and hardly any tourists, I personally wasn’t a fan of the elephants as they were followed by four guys with sharp sticks on each side and they had huge chains around there ankles.
Classic Jon with these airport taxis…
So there’s an app called Pick.me in Sri lanka that is basically their local Uber, being out of money and not wanting to pay the fees to get it out I added my card to the app (you usually pay cash) so that meant I could get to the airport without getting cash again, this bloke gave me his whole life story and after telling him I was a mechanic he was determined that I would work for him and he would be the manager of the garage… nah you’re alright.
After being dropped off the hour journey in total was $15 which was not bad for a taxi, then later getting on the plane I get a message *blip* you have reached your destination, turns out the guy had left the clock on and drove around the city for two hours racking up a bill of $40 directly onto my card, f#$@ing !#$@ airport drivers, everytime no matter what country… anyway.
Next time Follow Jon Along as we head off back to bangkok and Pai where we do some volunteering at Common grounds hostel.