Paul Harris Asia 2006 travel blog

Up at 3am

Damn Steps

Tea Break

Sunrise. Sort Of

View From the Top

What Shall I Climb Now?

Sri Lankan Golf Course

Up The Peak

Awake at 2 and on our way just before 3 the journey starts off gently but gradually gets steeper and steeper. There seem to be more people coming down than going up at that time which means that we are going against the tide somewhat. Rather uniquely in my limited walking experience the whole route is lit up and there are shops and places to stop and drink tea along the way right to the top. I try some dark sweet stuff that looks like chocolate but has more of a jelly texture. I hope it's the local equivalent Kendal mintcake and will give me enough energy to get up.

With a couple of well-timed teabreaks it isn't such a tough climb and my recently unexercised legs seem to be up to the challenge. There are a lot more people going up near the top including elderly women virtually being pushed up by younger members of their family. I get to the top at 6 but unfortunately it is rather cloudy and I'm not too optimistic about the sunrise or our chances of seeing the famous "shadow of the mountain" which should appear on the other side. Somehow my camera makes the sunrise look better than it was. Sunrise over everyone charges down.

After a fairly substantial breakfast I take several crowded buses (hopes of taking a train falter as although the strike is over the train service has not yet recovered) to the slightly English looking Nuwara Eliya. This has a golf course in the middle and bungalows and hedgerows. It is also a good deal cooler than most places I've stayed in so far. The talk of sleeping with your clothes on and three blankets is rather exaggerated though as it's no more cold than back home.

After this morning's exertions I, like any right thinking Englishman, head to the local pub for a beer. Unfortunately it is shut due to local elections. Doh.

I am back in a more expensive place again which although more comfortable seems to lack the charm and friendliness of The Green House. I catch the end of "The Day After Tomorrow" on tv in the lounge. It is rubbish. I have dinner with an English couple (and surfers) and spend a small fortune on a pseudo-Chinese meal (actually not too bad). I'm happy to find out that they also server beer.

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