On February 1, 1991, we set out for the low lying areas of Horton Plains. The first night we stayed in a guesthouse where we would start our 9 hour hike at 6am and head to the plateau of Horton Plains.
The climb seemed pretty easy except for having to check for leeches constantly. There are only 2 ways you can remove these guys. One, by using a lighter and burn them off, or two, use Vaseline to make them slide off. If the leech already had his head inside your skin, then you got a different story. You might need some tweezers as well. By the time we crossed our first river, most of us had an encounter with one of these guys.
When we finally reached the top of the plateau, it was as if we arrived in another land. The sun came out as if it came to welcome us.
We arrived at the next guesthouse exhausted. As night started to fall, it became very cold like it does in the mountains.
The next morning we set out for the famous Worlds End (AKA Lovers Leap). The walk along the dirt trail to Worlds End was also mysterious. As the fog started to lift we noticed there was no one in sight except for us. It was so quiet that it felt like an alien was going to jump out at us at any moment. Sure enough, at the next hairpin turn, we came to Worlds End. It’s not every day that you get a view like this.
As soon as you reach the plateau heading up from Nuwara Eliya which is about a 1.5 hours drive, one can see breathtaking views of the Knuckles Mountain Range. Horton Plains looks like you have just stepped onto an uninhabited planet. Not much happens here and it is always peaceful. The last time I was here was in 1991 when I went on a field trip from my high school. Please visit my memoir Beautiful Eye to hear more about this story.
As we drove to the trail head where you can hike to see World’s End and Baker’s Falls, I noticed Farr Inn which was a guesthouse my family and I stayed in about 3 times. It is now a museum and research facility. A friendly deer came out to welcome us.
Me Sitting at the Edge of Worlds End in 1991
1. Climb Sri Pada, to see where Buddha left his footprint
2. Remote beaches
Fisherman at Bentota Beach in 1991
3. Safari’s with elephant sightings
4. Join the Perahera. A parade of a hundred elephants
Colombo Perahera in 1992
5. Feed the baby elephants in a daily ritual at the elephant orphanage
Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage in 1988
6. Visit 5th century temples
7. Visit World’s End where you can view the southern coast on a clear day. The cliff height is about 270 meters straight down
View from the top of Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada), 1992
8. Best tea in the world
9. It’s always summer except in the hill country where you can breathe fresh, clean air
10.Some of the friendliest people on earth
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.
Click here to see the complete report.
On December 17, 1988 when school had just ended for the summer vacation, we decided to do a road trip of the Cultural Triangle. This trip was quite risky as the LTTE has just bombed some buses close to the areas we would be visiting. With my dad as the driver and my mom as the tour guide, my sister and I sat in the back seat and relaxed. My mom did not want to miss this opportunity to see 1st century Buddhist temples.
Map of the Cultural Triangle
The first stop on this trip was the Dambulla Cave Temple.
Mahaweli and USAID hosted the culture exchange sports day which was held every year so that USAID and Mahaweli could have a cultural exchange between American and Sri Lankan families. It was called the Sri Lanka America Society. At the time, Sri Lanka had 5 five star hotels to try to keep tourism going in the midst of war. Tourism is one of the main moneymakers for Sri Lanka. The InterContinental (now the Kingsbury) and the Colombo Hilton were two of them.
At the Start of the Run
Dulip and his Band Somewhere between 1988 and 1993
Since so many of my high school friends have gone back to Sri Lanka for a visit this year, I decided to post some then and now photos of our school. I graduated from the Overseas School Colombo in 1993. Here are some of the photos I took back then and on my most recent trip in November 2013 almost 20 years later.
My High School in Nov 2013
Diantha and Robyn in the Cafeteria Somewhere between 1988 and 1993
The Cafeteria in Nov 2013
Me Receiving 1st Place for Javelin Somewhere between 1988 and 1993 on the Field
The Same Field in Nov 2013
Theater in the Courtyard in 1993
The Same Courtyard in Nov 2013.
Note the same tree is there
Michele and Robyn Playing Basketball Somewhere between 1988 and 1993
The Same Basketball Goal in Nov 2013
Watching a Sports Meet
Somewhere between 1988 and 1993
I will be live on Korean radio on March 27 from 11:30am to 12pm Korea time to talk about my travels around the world as well as my first book Beautiful Eye. Please download the software at TBS eFM to listen in live from anywhere in the world! I look forward to your comments below.
The Colombo Swimming Club was not only my favorite hangout, but was the hangout of many of my friends. Every Friday afternoon at my school we would gather around and ask each other “where to tonight”? It was always the same answer. The Colombo Swimming Club of course. The Colombo Swimming Club was our place to relax and get away from the parents. We could drink a coke by the swimming pool and get burned in the sun. Occasionally we would use the library but it was usually a hideaway for meeting that boy or girl. The famous snooker table is still here where the “elders” would constantly get in trouble for smoking over the table. It was so dark in here that you could sneak in a few kisses with that boy or girl. In the outdoor dinning area our favorite food was chips (french fries) with salt and vinegar. We constantly had to swat the crows to keep them from eating our food. Those were the days.
Outdoor Dinning Area
The Main Building
The Snooker Table
Stairway to the Guestrooms
The Dinning Area
Entrance to the Club
New Badminton Court
Some of my posts on this blog will soon be moved to Doria Travels. Doria Travels will be my blog where I will be giving you first hand experience from all of my travels from around the world. Beautiful Eye will be just snippets of the book that will be published. Please follow Doria Travels for the latest and greatest tips on different countries.
Sri Lanka – 012 – Market street around Fort Stn & Harbour (Photo credit: mckaysavage)
Right now we are having tea in a building that was built in 1884. The Pagoda Tea Room is located in the Pettah area (old Colombo). Not much goes on here now but the tea is cheap (Rs 60.00 a cup) or US$0.46. In 1983, Duran Duran filmed their music video “Hungry Like a Wolf” here.
Pagoda Tea Rooms (Photo credit: DennisSylvesterHurd)
- Day 5 and 6: Train to Kandy (bookonsrilanka.wordpress.com)
Fishing craft on the Galle road (Photo credit: oldandsolo)
English: Colombo street scene in early 20th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This morning we left for Colombo via car and driver. The cost was US$45 which I though was quite high but there was no easier way. We have 2 very heavy backpacking backpacks and some hand carry luggage as well. Hikkaduwa is not on the express train route nor near the highway ramp. We are driving north on Galle Road so you can still capture in the rays of the sun coming off the Indian Ocean. You also get to dodge the cattle and tuk tuk drivers as well. This is also the longest route at 2 hours.
I am very much looking forward to being back in Colombo to meet more members of my 1993 graduating class. This is also an opportunity for me to talk to bookstores about selling my book. I also have an appointment with a literature translator who is interested in translating my book to Sinhala and an editor-in-chief who wants to offer me my own column. Welcome back to Colombo!
- Day 4 in Paradise (bookonsrilanka.wordpress.com)
- Hikkaduwa (bookonsrilanka.wordpress.com)
- Nothing but chilling – Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka (travelpod.com)
- Back in Sri Lanka Day 2 and Day 3 (bookonsrilanka.wordpress.com)
- Beach bumming in Sri Lanka (adventuresacrossasia.wordpress.com)