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Little Adam’s Peak at Ella

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Ella Hotels

A hike up the conical Adam’s Peak is one of the top things to do in Sri Lanka. Legions of people complete the hike daily, both pilgrims and travelers. Jürgen and I are always primed for an adventure… as long as it’s convenient. After learning that you must embark for the the summit at 2am, we immediately, instantly scratched Adam’s Peak from our list. Call us lame if you want, I won’t protest. But no way. Besides, we had just read about another hike called Little Adam’s Peak, near Ella. “Close enough!”

Ella Gap

For our ascent up Little Adam’s Peak, we left at 8am. It was a blissfully easy hike — simple directions led outside of Ella, and up through the Newbourg Tea Plantation to a dirt track with signs clearly pointing the way. The path was only slightly uphill, almost as if designed to be as effortless as possible. The other hikers we passed, on their way back down, all had big smiles on their faces. Light exercise in gorgeous nature: it’d be hard to imagine a better way to begin the day.

Little Adam’s Peak lays on the eastern edge of the Ella Gap, straight across from the (much higher) summit at Ella Rock, which we had climbed two mornings prior. The views are similar, but from Little Adam’s Peak you can see the Ruwana Falls, which border the highway headed south.

Location on our Sri Lanka Map
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Small Adams Peak Sign
Climbing in Sri Lanka
Jürgen shows off his climbing skills.
Hiking in Ella
Tea Valley
Ella Tea Fabric
98 Acres Ella
Ella Rock
Crazy Traffic in Sri Lanka
Ella Peak
Nature in Sri Lanka
Gardening Sri Lanka
Grass Harvest
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April 19, 2012 at 8:43 am Comments (6)

The Train to Haputale and Lipton’s Seat

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On the second of our three days in Ella, we hopped onto the morning train, having decided that we couldn’t pass up a visit to nearby Haputale (ha-POOT-a-lay): a town on the southern extreme of Sri Lanka’s hill country celebrated for its beautiful surroundings and tea plantations.

Best View in Sri Lanka
The finest view in Sri Lanka!

Everyone knows that “getting there is half the fun”, but the train ride to Haputale accounted for at least 80% of this day’s fun. The rusty old machine rumbled slowly through lovely mountain scenery which, after the recent days of rain, was even more lush than usual, and we spent most of the journey hanging out of the open doors.

We didn’t spend much time in Haputale, a busy town with an abnormally large number of liquor shops, and instead immediately sought out a tuk-tuk to take us to Lipton’s Seat: a viewpoint said to be as stunning as World’s End. We had been warned that a late arrival at Lipton’s Seat could mean the mountain would be covered in clouds.

Despite our hurry, we were too late; a thick layer of clouds had arrived by the time we reached the summit, completely obscuring the view. Suck. We ordered tea and lemon puffs from a shop perched on the hilltop, then sat down and, with vibrant imaginations, colorfully described to each other what the view might look like. Or… that’s what we would have done, if we were annoyingly whimsical people who see magic in everything. But really it was us just sitting there, staring dumbly at the fog and stuffing our faces with cookies. Whining about our crappy luck.

At least the walk back down the hill was enjoyable. We cut through the enormous Dambatenne Tea Plantation, founded by Thomas Lipton (oh fine: Sir Thomas Lipton). Around us, small women with red-stained teeth packed bags full of tea leaves, and posed for pictures. Near a tea-pickers’ village, a prominent sign reminded us to “Be Respectful of Others!” Thanks for the tip, Mister Plantation Owner! Meanwhile, in the ramshackle village that can only be described as a slum, your tea pickers live in squalor. But yeah, I’ll remember to respect others.

We attempted to visit the Dambatenne Factory but after fifteen minutes of waiting for someone to attend us, gave up and hopped on a bus back to Haputale. Despite our inability to see the viewpoint or tour the factory, it had been a decent day out in some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful country.

Location of Haputale on our Sri Lanka Map

Train Spotting
Train Boy
Mountain Train Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Train Express
Sneaky Heads
Haputale Train Station
Train To Haputale
Travel Girls Sri Lanka
Haputale
Lipton Seat Sri Lanka
Fantasy View Sri Lanka
Spooky Trees in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Photographer
Muster Shed Lipton
Hich Tech Tea
Picking Tea in Sri Lanka
Teach Picker Sri Lanka
Tamil Tea Picker
Tea Sacks
Sri Lanka Peace
Tea Picker Slum
Tea Plantation Ghetto
LOL Pig
Dambatenne-Tea-Plantation
Big Tea Boss
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April 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm Comment (1)

Nuwara Eliya

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Ceylon Tea

Known around Sri Lanka as “Little England”, Nuwara Eliya is the highest city on the island, at around 6128 feet above sea level. Throughout history, this mountainous patch of the country had been almost entirely unpopulated, but the British recognized the potential value of its soil and climate. In 1846, explorer Samuel Barker (who would later “discover” Africa’s Lake Albert) founded Nuwara Eliya, which quickly established itself as a favorite retreat for the ruling class, and eventually gained prominence as a center for tea cultivation.

Nuwara-Eliya-Post-Office

We arrived in Nuwara Eliya expecting to be enchanted by its quaint English charms, but were quickly disillusioned. Today, it’s a very Sri Lankan city, with the usual array of shops and smoggy, noisy traffic. Some vestiges of the privileged colonial life still remain, notably in the horse track, the grand old hotels and government buildings, but to call Nuwara Eliya “charming” would be a real stretch.

After pushing through the muck of downtown, we ascended Single Tree Hill, which cuts a beautiful path up through the fields of the Pedro Tea Estate. We passed a single Buddhist temple, and a ton of Hindu people — Nuwara Eliya is notable for having a majority Tamil population, brought over from India by the British to work at the tea plantations.

Besides the hike up Single Tree Hill, we couldn’t find much entertainment in Nuwara Eliya. There’s a park which we were done with in ten minutes, and a famous golf course. Golf’s not our thing, so we decided to spend the afternoon drinking at one of the beautiful old hotels near the course. The most storied is the Hill Club, which proved its snooty credentials by denying us entrance. No shorts allowed. The Grand Hotel, though, was less exclusive and allowed us to stretch our dirty, bared limbs on their veranda for a couple hours.

We didn’t have a great time in Nuwara Eliya, but the city’s attractions weren’t the main reason we were visiting. Horton Plains National Park is nearby, as well as a large tea plantation. As a base for excursions, Nuwara Eliya served its purpose fine, but the city itself was a disappointment.

Location on our Sri Lanka Map
Hotels in Nuwara Eliya

http://for91days.com/photos/SriLanka/Nuwara%20Eliya/Nuwara-Eliya.jpg
Britain Meets Sri Lanka
Posh House
Kind of the Castle
Posh Sri Lankan
Dusty Old Timer
Gin And Tonic Break
Horse-Track-Nuwara-Eliya
Walking-in-Nuwara-Eliya
Weird Landscape
Shaped Bushes
Trumpet Flower
Trunk Monster
Welcome-To-Nuwara-Eliya
Sri-Lanka-Antenna
Nuwara-Eliya-Market
Fresh Vanilla
Digging Dog
Playground-in-Sri-Lanka
Blue Hut
Regal Sri Lanka
Mosque-Nuwara-Eliya
Nuwara Eliya Temple
Tea Picker in Sri Lanka
Picking Tea In Sri Lanka
Harvesting Tea
Army of Pickers
Hobbit Landscape
how-to-pick-a-tea-leaf
Tausend Fuessler
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March 4, 2012 at 4:29 am Comments (5)
Little Adam's Peak at Ella A hike up the conical Adam's Peak is one of the top things to do in Sri Lanka. Legions of people complete the hike daily, both pilgrims and travelers. Jrgen and I are always primed for an adventure... as long as it's convenient. After learning that you must embark for the the summit at 2am, we immediately, instantly scratched Adam's Peak from our list. Call us lame if you want, I won't protest. But no way. Besides, we had just read about another hike called Little Adam's Peak, near Ella. "Close enough!"
For 91 Days