After a bad episode for me yesterday at Sigiriya with the food poisoning, we are ready, packed up, checked out and ready to hit the road again. I felt much better today. After traveling for more than 8 hours yesterday, here we are in the train station again. This time, it was going to take us about 6 hours train ride to Haputale.
And we were really looking forward to this! We heard that the train ride from Kandy to Haputale is probably the most scenic train ride in the world! And they were probably right. At this point, we have no care in the world where this train would bring us... as we were too overwhelmed by the scenery. Mountains after mountains, valleys after valleys, grey stone cliff and waterfalls and rivers flash pass our windows...the breath of fresh air...
Ahhh. It was wonderful... we even forgot that we were squash with 4 ppl in a 3 seater bench with no leg room as all our bags were all over. Other times, I tried many different positions to be comfortable in an awkward position for a nap.
After we were picked up from Haputale train station, Aslam our host brought us to his home for the night. After an hour settling down, we decide to extend another 3 days because it was just perfect!
It was only 3 pm and on a weekday so I had to spend some time working. But with this view, who is complaining! I need a Redbull!
Later in the afternoon, we went for a walk and hike to the tea plantation just about 2km from our home.
After we had a good night sleep, we decide to rent a bike and ride to Ella. It took us an hour or so to reached here. It was quite smooth and scenic ride. I get to enjoy the beauty of the scenery! It is much better than the train ride! And here we are, ready to hike on Ella's Rock.
The most super awesome shot! It was an easy climb guys, relax. I am not a pro-hiker.
Since it was about 2 hours away from sunset, we decide to visit Nine Arches Bridges. Yes, it is still functioning!
It has been a really long day for us, so we decide to come back home for dinner.. can't wait!
The next day, we decide to visit Ravana Falls, widest waterfall in the country. We could have skipped this but there was nothing much to do here near Ella other than hiking.
And we were happy to just laze around and take a walk at the small town.. after a short ride, we found dream cafe, probably the best burger place in Sri Lanka! We knew that we were going to have a big dinner later at home, but the burgers were so irresistible, and we even ordered another pizza. Talk about gluttony!
This is our last evening with our host family in Haputale, a small town which is often overlooked by travelers. It is surrounded by mountains and tea plantations and the cool weather makes it the perfect stay! We have such a great time living here. Aslam and his family were so kind and helpful and treat us like family... They even made us wear their traditional clothes and we really had a great time trying them! I think we blend in well with their colorful dresses.
We truly enjoyed the real Sri Lankan food as Marifah, Aslam's mother prepared for us breakfast and dinner every day and even taught us to cook Sri Lanka's food! And the dinner was just AMAZING! Too bad we didn't take any photos. And oh, we almost forgot that we have a big super late lunch earlier. Oh, I just had to share with you this amazing story of Aslam. The son of our host family. Aslam, only 21 years old, has more than 6 years of tourism experience, from just a few rooms for rent in his family home when he started, and with the support of his family, they now have their own tourist transport, he continues to build more rooms and living space for tourist or backpackers to hang out, and because Marifah, his mom cooking is so good, they are now building their own restaurant!
Can you imagine? He started this only when he was 15 years old! The fact that he lived in a small town, and yet is so updated with current technology is just so amazing. I truly love his entrepreneurial drive and spirit. He is a great example of a young entrepreneur who started his journey from scratch and builds his businesses with all the opportunities around him. Truly inspirational!