Journey through Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka was one of the places I didn’t think about going and the only reason I did was because it was on the way home from Dubai. I spent a whole month there and it was possibly one of the more underrated places I’ve visited. There is so much beauty in the mountains with panoramic views of the many tea plantations and waterfalls. The beaches along the whole of the south coast is perfect for surfers of all types, whether you’re a beginner or an avid surfer in search of perfect reef breaks.
My route in 28 days
Colombo > Kandy > Dambulla (Sigiriya) > Nuwara Eliya > Hatton > Makeliya > Dalhousie ( Adam’s Peak ) > Hatton > Ella> Arugam Bay > Mirissa >“ Unawatuna > Negombo
I didn’t spend much time in Colombo because it was just another busy capital, I did explore and walk around for 2 days, spending sunsets at Mt Lavinia Beach because that’s right next to the hostel I stayed in. Apart from that, it’s merely another city to me, nothing much I’d rave about.
Barefoot Cafe: 706 Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka.
ENROUTE TO CENTRAL SRI LANKA
The train rides I took across the country is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, hanging out of the side doors and feeling the wind on your face, tucking your legs in whenever the train comes too close to tall bushes on the side of the rail roads.
There was a whole bunch of touristy stuff to see in Kandy. The big Buddha, the tooth relic temple, but what I really came to see was Sigiriya, which requires a day trip to Dalhousie. I met a whole bunch of fellas from the hostel at Colombo and we were all headed the same way so it was perfect ! We had our own crew, all from different parts of the world. Always interesting to meet a group and travel together.
Let’s just say we never made it to Sigiriya because of the crazy inflated price that tourists had to pay. Instead we headed for Pidurangala, the rock next to Sigiriya.
Read more about that here : Sigiriya, the ancient what?
High in the mountains has lots of tea plantations to offer. There are several waterfalls in the area but you need to know which ones are good to see, because some tiny ones are not worth the trip there.We visited Mackwoods Plantation, where we got to walk and explore around the tea fields, stopping along the way as we got invited into a villager’s home. There are also free tea for sampling and boy were they delicious !
Took a quick stop off the bus to look at some jawdropping panoramic views of the landscape and two waterfalls. Devon Falls & St.Clair’s Waterfall. It’s a mere walking distance between two viewpoints to see these waterfalls, and you could hop back up the next bus that comes along to continue on your way. Not a bad quick stop after all!
On Poya Day itself, I climbed Adam’s Peak with Adam (ha-ha get it? ) You’d have to start at 2am in the morning from the nearest town, and the stairs were quite a challenge to climb, especially with the crowd since it was a religious holiday. Obviously we didn’t make it up to the top before sunrise due to the time wasted waiting for the massive crowd to climb up a narrow stairway. But once we got up there the view was pretty worth it. There were people offering prayers and lighting incense, the view of the sunlight passing through the clouds were spectacular. However I can’t help but notice the amount of trash that was dumped all over the sides of the peak. It was a shame, really.
BACK AT HATTON
Spent 1 night here to rest after the crazy hike up to Adam’s Peak, then took the first train out to Ella the next morning. So lucky to have been there during this one night where there was a local festival going on!?
Ella’s simply amazing, it’s a lazy small town nestled in the mountains and has so much nature to offer!
Read more about it here: Ella, Ella, Ella
Starting from the East coast at Arugam Bay, I headed towards the South coast where Mirissa, Unawatuna and more beautiful beaches await. Since it was low season at the East coast during my visit, there wasn’t much to do on the beach. But the South coast was incredibly crowded and had really nice beaches despite the inflated prices here.
Read more about that journey here: Beach hopping from Arugam Bay to the South coast
Took my last train ride along the coastline to Negombo, which was also the most crowded train ride since it was headed to the capital.I spent a night in Negombo only because it was near the airport, and there was nothing much to see or do there. All I did was shop around and then sat around by the (not so attractive) beach and watched crabs all evening !
And that marks the end of my month long journey in Sri Lanka ! I wished I would have had more time to see the north, and explore where people have less travelled to, but I simply ran out of days on my visa. But I promise I will be back for more amazing experiences in the north and along the west coast, as well as get my Kotthu, String hoppers and ginger cookies fix !