Sri Lanka 18: Nuwara Eliya to Dalhousie

Glad we took a chance on the train.

There had been some debate this trip, with the idea of being on a standing-room only train for a few hours, of whether or not we should take the train.  It’s been noted as one of the highlights of Sri Lanka, but the idea of hours on hours of standing room only wasn’t one we were really hyped on.  With Adam’s Peak on the horizon, we wanted to make sure we got to Dalhousie relatively rested.  Still, the train ride from Nanu Oya (nearest stop to Nuwara Eliya) and Hatton (nearest stop to Dalhousie) was only an hour and twenty minutes, so if we were to be crowded, this was the one to be on.

We got to the train station around half an hour early for the noon train and, lo and behold, the man at the ticket window was able to find us a couple of third class seats.  The keyword for us was “seats”, so off we went!

We stood around the train platform for a bit, trying to figure out where the third class compartment would stop.  Eventually, a man in a uniform and a hat came over, looked at our ticket, and directed us where to stand.  Within a few minutes, the train rolled in, we found our seats, and we were rolling.

Absolutely breathtaking, and would have been worth the stand as well!

You’re rolling hundreds of metres above valleys, waterfalls, tea fields, dams and reservoirs and small towns.  Every once in a while, things level out and you take in scenes of everyday Sri Lankan life, be it people working in tea fields to people hanging laundry to people excitedly watching the train go by!    It’s absolutely stunning and you have to do it if you’re in Sri Lanka.  Daina and I were so impressed that we’re going to try and get seats on the Hatton to Ella train in a few days.  If this was our only train experience, though, still worth it.

We were met in Hatton by a driver we had hired to take us to our guest house (again, not usually what we’d do, but we didn’t know how things would be after the train), and we embarked on an hour long drive through what was basically the BC interior.  Tall pines, lakes, mist, streams.  Subtract the tea plantations and you’d think you’re our in Western Canada.

Also, and throwing this out there, after being in tuk tuks for our past few trips, being in a CAR was kind of nice again.

Little luxuries like seats on trains and driving in a car.  We are the 1%.

Now, the next post will technically be about tomorrow, even though the sun will not have broken yet.  Dalhousie is the staging point for almost all hikes to Adam’s Peak, and to get there before sunrise, you leave your guest house around 2 am.

So, we will be wandering to the Peak at around 2 am.

Wish us luck!

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