Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 225 Dalhousie - Nuwara Eliya

We did not too much today: most of the day we either used some means of transport or waited for some means of transport. However those rides were not too bad. After a long late breakfast we started the bus ride from Dalhousie to Hatton. When we got here 2 days ago it was nighttime, so only now we could see how amazing the surrounding landscape was: very hilly, very green and with many artificial lakes of a beautiful blue.
In Hatton we had to wait a bit until the train was supposed to arrive - and then about 2 hours more until it really appeared. During this time we were constantly offered tuktuk-rides, but just when we had finally started to think about that option the train arrived. Even though we had bought 2nd class tickets this time there were no seats available - in the beginning even a space for standing was hard to find. In the restaurant car we could eventually occupy a little space to sit on the floor accompanied by a funny Lankan family. The mother was pretty talkative and had a very good english, the father not so much and their little daughter was a bit shy (even though Trabant did his best to try to break the ice) and very serious about keeping all our chocolate nuts which we wanted to circulate among the people around. The views from the window were awesome. I did not have anything really great in mind when I had read about the tea country before, but all the steep hills with tea plantings looked really really beautiful. The train winded higher and higher on a mountainside offering wide views across a valley. We arrived at Nanu Oya shortly before sunset and drove up to Nuwara Eliya in the hotel car through beautifully illuminated hills. Nuwara Eliya is a hill station were the English retreated from the heat. As such it doesn't feel very Sri Lankan, somehow artificial. We went to hunt for food and after being turned back at the restaurant of a very poshy hotel we ended up at a small food stall which served a very spicy but very delicious vegetable curry. After playing some music we fell asleep early - tomorrow we will have to get up before sunrise again.

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