Sri Lanka Stories: Day 5 - Horton's Plain: Where the World Ends
As beautiful as Nuwara Eliya is, having done a tea plantation and incorporated a couple of waterfalls into our journey, there didn’t seem like an awful lot going on. It seemed like most people only stay here for a short time and a significant proportion of which use it as their base to hike through Horton’s Plain National Park, to ‘The World’s End’ where the land suddenly stops, leaving way to a 880m vertical drop.
It's easy to see why. At over 2000m above sea level, stunning views are on offer: as far as the sea (81km away) and everything in between. However to get the benefit of these stunning views, you need to start early, as the clouds usually roll in by 10AM and fill the valley, obscuring the view.
From Nuwara Eliya, we had to leave at 5AM to make the 35KM drive to the park for opening time. I expected it to be chilly in the hill region at this time, but it was colder than I had expected. Shorts, t-shirt, hoody and a rain jacket were just enough to prevent me from going hypothermic, but it didn't take long after the sun rising for me to appreciate the decision to wear shorts.
Despite doing my research, we still managed to take the wrong turn where the circular hike splits. I knew the popular choice was to go left, and that’s what I intended to do, but with tiredness fogging my mind, for some reason I thought we had already made the left turn and I accidentally went right at the crucial point. The positive thing was that this apparently makes for a less busy hike; the downside, you pass a waterfall (Baker’s Falls) on the way there, which I didn’t want to waste time with, given the risk of cloud rolling in the later we arrived at the The World’s End. We opted to do an out-and-back route in the end and see the waterfall on the way back, forfeiting ‘The Mini World’s End’ - logic being we had seen the real deal, why bother with the mini after when there’s a waterfall on offer. Ideally, I would have gone this way first to see all the sights on offer.
When we reached The World’s End, we were unlucky. Although you could see to the bottom of the valley, it was already a tad cloudy, preventing us from even seeing the nearest village. We stopped for our breakfast and headed back via the waterfall. Despite The World's End lookout not being optimal, the views on route and Baker's Fall made it well worthwhile.
We got back to the hotel around midday and just crashed. After a short nap and the afternoon relaxing on the balcony in the pleasant afternoon sun, we took the 10 minute walk to the nearby Indian restaurant - given that we’d been really lazy the night before and ordered a takeaway (Pizza Hut), we thought we should try something more authentic.
The restaurant, Indian Summer, was ok. The food was nice, but the place was ridden with flies and didn’t serve alcohol, which were slight downsides; also, it might be a coincidence, but we both had funny stomachs from this point on!
The plan was to get a tuk tuk back to where we were staying - if nothing else, just for the experience - but as it happened the tuk tuk driver we approached didn’t even know the location of the place we were staying, so that went out the window.
Read the rest of my Sri Lanka Stories, here.