Sri Lanka
Mayfield

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    • Day180

      The Blue Train (Kandy to Ella)

      January 17 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Despertámos cedo para podermos chegar à estação sem correrias, sabendo, no entanto, que seria muito difícil perder o comboio uma vez que a pontualidade não é o forte neste país. Com efeito o comboio chegou meia hora depois da hora marcada.

      A expectativa desta viagem já a tinhamos controlada porque em todas as páginas de viagem do sri lanka falavam desta viagem e o quão incrivel era, das paisagens escénicas, tudo muito bonito,... e como todas as grandes atrações de cada país há que moderar as expectativas para não levar desilusões. Não tendo sido tão deslumbrante como muitos pintam também não nos desagradou para nada e tardou apenas 7h30m (que passaram voando) quando muitas pessoas falam em 9/10h e se há avarias, o que é frequente 14 e 15h. O tempo também estava nublado e isso acho que influencia bastante.

      Ao chegar à estação comprámos os únicos bilhetes que haviam, 3ª classe sem assentos reservados uma vez que os outros bilhetes já estavam esgotados à vários dias. Custou-nos 1,5€ os dois. Parece que fomos os únicos brancos que não se lembraram de comprar bilhete com antecedência. Mas não nos arrependemos porque pudemos viver como viajam os locais. Primeiro para subir ao comboio temos que nos espremer por entre as pessoas que se amontoam à entrada e não se movem um milimetro porque aí estão os melhores lugares. Como os comboios não têm portas as pessoas vão de pé ou sentadas com a cabeça de fora e com a maior sensação de liberdade e de controlo sobre toda a paisagem com se esta lhes pertencesse. Tanto os locais como os turistas é aí que querem estar. Entrámos então para dentro da carruagem e todos os lugares estavam ocupados. A Irene conseguiu um lugar sentado apertado com vistas para uma parede e eu contentei-me em ficar de pé em 3ª linha numa das portas.

      À medida que o tempo vai passando e as pessoas vão entrando e saindo, conseguimos o tão desejado lugar à porta. É bastante divertido ao príncipio e realmente as vistas são bastante bonitas mas na minha opinião faltou aquele toque de luz para colorir um pouco a cinzenta paisagem. Ao final de um tempo acabámos por ficar cansados e fomo-nos sentar agora que já não havia tanta gente dentro. É de destacar também o interesse em observar as pessoas, os seus hábitos sociais, costumes, os vendedores de comida (chamuças, fruta e doces) tudo isso para mim foi igual de interessante que a parte das vistas e é algo que imagino não se pode apreciar tão genuinamente na 1ª ou 2ªclasse.

      Quase ao terminar a viagem sentimos necessidade de ter uma anedota para contar para a posteridade. Parámos na penúltima estação antes de chegarmos mas eu ao olhar para o mapa achei que já tínhamos chegado ao nosso destino e fomos a correr a toda a pressa para buscar as nossas malas. Saí eu primeiro numa zona onde nem havia plantaforma para cima de umas ervas e o comboio começou a andar. A Irene, ainda dentro do comboio olhou para mim com cara paralizada sem saber o que fazer, sabendo que provavelmente nos tínhamos equivocados e que era a estação seguinte. O comboio foi ganhando velocidade durante estes segundos e por fim decide-se a saltar para não me abandonar. Para cúmulo tropeça e cai de rabo numas ervas. A situação é demasiado cómica ainda por cima quando estão várias pessoas a ver todo o show 😂
      Por sorte, o maquinista apercebe-se da situação e para o comboio para voltarmos a entrar e por fim chegamos a Ella passados 10min.

      Quando chegámos à estação, tínhamos já a mota à nossa espera e sentimo-nos afortunados por termos tomado esta decisão e fomos tranquilamente à nossa cabana nas montanhas.
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    • Day7

      Haputale to Kandy

      December 17, 2021 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Train to Kandy, 8:30am

      Haputale wakes up with the chants of different temples. The one next to my guesthouse was a buddhist one. The morning mist looked incredible. I went to the station, the train was running late (surprise!), so I took advantadge and had my first sweet breakkie in a cafe.

      Kandy, 4:40pm

      The train ride it's been great. The landscape kept changing as the train was going through: from misty forest to hills full of tea trees, and then to lushy jungle with coconut trees (in cas we had forgotten we were in Sri Lanka). The train ride was accompanied by the singings of different groups of yongsters.

      On the train I met Musheen, a worker from a hotel in Anuradhapura who was going to Colombo. He wasn't super talkative but gave me some tips for my trip. During the ride to Kandy I couldn't help thinking of colonialism, past and present. The railway system was built to bring all the tea from the plantations to the sea ports. The British-style stations where still remains of that colonial era. But the feeling of the workers' present-day situation -still living in hardly bearable conditions- was quite disturbing. The way big Western corporations operate in third-world countries made me feel ashamed of my privileged situation.
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    • Day8

      Sri Lanka Railway Part 3

      March 31, 2019 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Nachdem sich unsere Muskeln erholt und wir einige Stunden Schlaf nachgeholt hatten, fuhren wir heute noch tiefer in das Hochland Sri Lankas.

      Von Hatton aus fuhr unsere Bahn nach Nanu Oya, einem kleinen Ort inmitten tiefer Teeplantagen und Farmen.
      Das Leben ist hier gänzlich dem Teeanbau und der Teeverarbeitung gewidmet.

      Aber bevor es morgen mit einer weiteren langen Wanderung und der Besichtigung einer Teeplantange weitergehen kann, gönnten wir uns heute ein typisch sri-lankisches Essen. Zur Auswahl gab es Rice and Curry und Kottu Roti.

      Das was wir uns unter Rice and Curry vorstellten, traf nicht im Ansatz das was wir serviert bekamen. Der Reis wurde mit vielen verschiedenen Soßen und Gemüse gereicht, in dem ganze Curryblätter, nicht aber das bei uns bekannte Instant Curry-Pulver, verarbeitet waren.

      Kottu ist eine der Hauptspeisen hier auf Sri Lanka. Es wird aus gehacktem Roti (ungesäuertes Fladenbrot) mit allerlei Gemüse, Curryblättern und anderen frischen Gewürzen kurz angebraten und warm serviert.
      Zwei wirklich super leckere und frische Gerichte.
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      489days Reise um die Welt

      Eure Reise hört sich richtig spannend an,....und ihr macht coole Fotos. Weiterhin viel Spaß.😊😊

      3/31/19Reply
       
    • Day7

      Adam's Peak

      March 6, 2018 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

      Bereits um 01:15 klingelte heute der Wecker. Unser Ziel war es, den Sonnenaufgang vom Gipfel des Adam’s Peaks zu beobachten. Um 01:45 starteten wir den Aufstieg zum Adam’s Peak, den mit 2243 m zweithöchsten Berg Sri Lankas. Der Adam’s Peak ist bekannt für seine Vertiefung in einem Felsen nahe des Gipfels, der als Fußabdruck von gleich vier Religionen verehrt wird. Buddhisten sehen dort den Abdruck Buddhas, Hindus den von Shiva, Christen erkennen hier den Fußabdruck des Heiligen Thomas und für Moslems ist es der Fleck, an dem Adam das erste Mal die Erde betreten hat. Der Berg ist somit ein beliebtes Ziel bei Pilgern und Touristen. Die Atmosphäre vor Ort ist aber eindeutig vom Buddhismus dominiert. Es heißt, dass jeder Buddhist mindestens einmal im Leben den Berg besteigen soll. Beindruckend war, dass auch sehr viele alte Menschen den Berg bestiegen, viele Barfuß, der Rest in Flip-Flops. Wir hatten unsere Trecking-Schuhe an und waren auch froh darüber.
      Der Weg zum Gipfel führt 7 km lang über insgesamt 5200 Stufen und hat uns 3 Stunden gekostet. Insgesamt legten wir 1000 Höhenmeter zurück. Der Aufstieg war wirklich sehr sehr anstrengend und die Frequenz zwischen den Pausen wurde immer kürzer. Durch die Höhe wurde es auch zunehmend kühler. Um ca. 4:30 war es dann geschafft, wir waren oben angekommen. Sie Sonne sollte um 05:30 aufgehen, also mussten wir noch eine Stunde überbrücken. Um einen möglichst guten Platz mit Blick in Richtung Osten zu bekommen, blieben wir diese Stunde oben am Gipfel, obwohl es hier durch den Wind und einer Temperatur von ca. 10°C eisig kalt war. Als die Sonne begann aufzugehen, färbte sich der Himmel in den vielfältigsten Rot- und Orangetönen, die Wolken hingen auf halber Höhe des Berges. Der Ausblick war wirklich beeindruckend. Als die Sonne aufgegangen war, traten wir um 06:30 den Weg nach unten an. Um ca. 9 Uhr waren wir wieder in unserer Unterkunft. Nach kurzem Packen und Frischmachen ließen wir uns anschließend mit den Tuk-Tuk zurück zum Bahnhof fahren, um eine erneute Übelkeit im Bus zu vermeiden. Leider haben wir den Zug nach Nuwara Eliya um 5 Minuten verpasst und mussten somit 2 Stunden am Bahnhof auf den nächsten Zug warten. Mit dem Zug ging es dann durch die hügelige Landschaft, die durch die Teeplantagen in sattem Grün leuchteten. Wirklich schön. In Nuwara Eliya wollten wir abends nur noch schnell etwas Essen und danach gleich ins Bett. Dieser Tag war wirklich lang, der nächtliche Aufstieg auf den Berg aber wirklich ein tolles Erlebnis.
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    • Day6

      Ab in kühlere Gebiete

      March 5, 2018 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

      Heute geht es mal wieder früh am Morgen los, wir verlassen Dambulla und fahren mit dem Bus zurück nach Kandy, um von hier aus die angeblich schönste Zugfahrt von Kandy nach Ella in mehreren Etappen anzutreten. Da wir die wichtigsten Dinge in Kandy schon gesehen haben und somit kein weiterer Aufenthalt nötig ist, wollten wir heute bereits das erste Stück von Kandy nach Hatton zurücklegen. Der letzte Zug startet allerdings bereits kurz nach 11 Uhr. Daher mussten wir früh los, um nach der 3-stündigen Busfahrt rechtzeitig am Bahnhof zu sein. Hat gut geklappt  Für diese Zugfahrt gönnten wir uns auch zum ersten Mal Tickets der 2. Klasse, da es im Reiseführer hieß, dass diese nicht so überfüllt sein soll. Letztendlich waren so viele Touristen am Bahnsteig, die vermutlich genau dasselbe gelesen haben, dass man an den Türen der 2. Klasse gar nicht mehr einsteigen konnte. Um nicht an Bahnsteig stehen gelassen zu werden, stiegen wir in der 3. Klasse ein. Und siehe da: hier war viel weniger los als in der 2. Klasse, sodass wir beide nach kurzer Fahrt sogar Sitzplätze bekamen. In Hatton angekommen, nahmen wir den Bus zu unserer Unterkunft, die in einem Bergdorf liegt, das als Ausgangspunkt für die Besteigung des Adam’s Peaks dient. Diese Busfahrt war die mit Abstand schlimmste unseres Lebens. Der Bus war viel zu voll, sodass wir mit vielen anderen im Gang standen. Die Strecke führte dann über unzählige Kurven 1 Stunde lang den Berg hinauf. Da unserer Busfahrer wohl einen neuen Geschwindigkeitsrekord aufstellen wollte, hetzte er den Bus die Serpentinen nach oben. Beim Bremsen hatten wir Mühe nicht umzufallen. Uns war danach so dermaßen schlecht, das wir hier schon beschlossen, beim der Fahrt nach unten ein Tuk-Tuk zu nehmen. Landschaftlich ist die zurückgelegte Strecke eigentlich sehr sehenswert, es geht durch Teeplantagen und sonstiges sattes Grün mit gelegentlichen Stauseen in den Tälern. Genießen konnten wir diesen Ausblick jedoch nicht. In unserer Unterkunft angekommen, ging ein langer Reisetag zu Ende, auf den nun eine kurze Nacht folgen sollte.Read more

    • Day16

      Adams Peak Climb —> Hatton

      January 21, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Our 2am alarms woke us both us but Tom had not had a great sleep at all...maybe 2 hours so he felt shattered. Today was the day we were going to climb Adams peak, a mountain that’s summit was 2,243 metres above sea leave as is well known for having the Sri Pada, or the sacred footprint of Buddha at the top that Buddhists come from all over the world to worship. Tom has been periodically checking the weather outside throughout the night to see if we could see Adams peak from our hotel room window or if it had been covered by clouds as it was when we arrived to Nallathanniya. The weather looked great, clear skies and dry and you could see the temple on Adams peak lit by hundreds of painfully bright white lights. We got our clothes on, long trousers and a thermal for Tom as it was quite chilly out, but I braved it wearing shorts the whole way, even with the threat of leeches.

      We made our way through the streets of Nallathanniya with the Buddhist prayer music blasting out (despite it not even being 2:30 yet) and the blinding white lights guiding us to the start of the Adams peak track. We arrived at the entrance and were welcomed by 2 monks asking for donations by asking us to sign our names in along with a donation amount and you would then put you money into a perspex box so they could see exactly how much you had donated. George and I filled the book and wrote we would be donating 100 rupee each but when it come to it I couldn’t find my wallet and Tom hadn’t bought his with him...so we said we would come back later to pay (like that was ever going to happen). We started the walk along the track and as the lights become less insulting we could properly see the night sky, and as it was such a clear night we could see thousands of stars in the night sky and could even see the dark part of the moon. The walk up Adams peak was challenging, but not at all as hard as we thought it would be after all we had heard about it, maybe we weren’t as unfit as we thought we were. It was mostly Buddhist people climbing to worship the Sri Pada with a small percentage of tourists mainly there for the awesome sunrise. A lot of the locals were actually elderly people in their 80s or even in their 90s! We got up in pretty good time so we thought we would check out the Buddhas footprint, which was officially at the summit of the mountain on top of a huge boulder. It was pretty cool, but for some reason was covered in giant moths! We both then rang the bell to symbolise this was the one and only time we had reached the summit and then went to find a spot to sit for the next 2 hours waiting for the sunrise. We seemed to be some of the first people up so had a choice of where we wanted to go, we decided to sit at the top step infront of the office building as it had a really cool view over the lake to the right and the mountains the the left. We waited there for an hour and a half as it got busier and busier but no where near as busy as we had heard it could get, and to our disgust some guy sat around us kept letting out deadly and toxic farts!

      All of a sudden at around 5:30 the sun started to let some light through and changed the colour of the sky, and gradually the sun rose over the horizon. It was an incredible sunrise. When the sun had risen some Buddhist procession begun which we watch for a while before making the descent. The way down seemed much busier than the ascent due to the bottleneck of the older people taking their time to go down the steps. We both kept hopping over the barriers to get down quickly as the sun was blazing in the sky now it was actually getting quite warm. We were both talking about the amazing sunrise we had just seen and then all of a sudden Tom felt the sudden desire to go to the toilet, and not for a wee...this lead to us practically sprinting down the mountain and as we didn’t have a wallet with us, Tom couldn’t go to any of the toilets on the trail so would have to make it to the room...still 3 kilometres away. Near he bottom Tom had to throw in the towel and ran to a toilet near a large white pagoda as I scrambled around for 30 rupees...I magically found my wallet in the depths of my bag so saved Tom from the stress. The toilet was being manned by an old guy who seemed to live in the outhouse next to the toilet as he demanded the 30 rupees. Tom paid up and did his business in the squat toilet, to his horror...again, no bloody toilet paper!!! Safe to say the rest of the walk was much more enjoyable! We got back to our room just before 8 and Tom went back to sleep for just over an hour whilst I watched the film that I fell asleep to last night.

      When Tom woke up we packed our stuff up and check out and drove to Laxapana falls, a waterfall we saw en route to Hatton, the town we would be sleeping in tonight. We drove a few kilometres out of our way to get there, parked up at the start of a sketchy walkway and tried to follow the sound of water...problem was we couldn’t hear any? We were both thinking that we had wasted our time getting here, but we might as well go and check it out as we hade come this way. We reached the end of the trail and saw a huge expanse of flat rock with various streams of water leading what we assumed was the waterfall...this was looking up! We walked in direction of the waterfall, I gave Tom a geography lesson from what I could remember from A-Levels, showing Tom the eddies that had formed in the rock, we ventured closer to the edge and were absolutely blown away by the waterfall that these various streams lead to. It was enormous, with absolutely incredible views. Of course the drop was sheer, 126 metres down and it gave us both jelly legs, but the adrenaline kicked in and we wanted to get as close to the edge as possible to see the full extent of the falls. Tom stood in one of the eddies that allowed him to look down the entire falls and I just lay on the floor with his head over the edge and we were both completely in awe of this place, better still, we had the whole place to ourselves. This was possibly one of the most amazing waterfalls we’d ever seen and definitely a travelling highlight.

      On the way back to the TukTuk, I almost kicked a viper - one of the most venomous snakes in Sri Lanka...Tom saw it slither away as I passed, inches away from the snake! Tom took over the driving and got us to our guesthouse in Hatton a working town with very friendly people and cheap food! Our room had a balcony that looked out onto tea plantations which was nice, but funny as we were joking on the way here that we would be happy to never see tea plantations again! We met the German girls staying next door and had a quick chat with them before heading out into Hatton, it appeared that we were the only white people walking around and we got a complete mix of reactions; some people happy to see us, some confused and others perhaps not best pleased to see white people walking around. We got a 5L from Cargills and got a Kottu from a place called ‘Kevin’s food corner’ for 150 rupee. When we got back we sorted out some accommodation for the next few days before going to sleep super early because of the early start this morning. Tomorrow we would head to Kandy
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    • Day12

      United Kingdom

      October 11, 2016 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      Num comboio que atravessa as montanhas na escuridão do Sri Lanka, com dezenas de homens provavelmente alcoolizados, tendo em conta o cheiro, a olharem para nós como se fossemos macacos no jardim zoológico, a apontarem para nós, a rir e a comentar numa língua que não entendo. A minha irmã dorme enquanto tendo escrever estas palavras num caderno, neste comboio em movimento até quase parece um barco em alto mar.
      Quando os homens saíram do comboio um senhor veio me dizer que o que eles estavam a dizer não era de todo agradável, que este comboio não era seguro e que foi ele mesmo que disse aos senhores para se irem embora.
      Podiamos ter ido de autocarro, mas eu própria queria fazer este percurso lindíssimo, para o qual aproveitei um quarto da viagem ainda com luz, ou melhor com o pôr do sol.
      Sinto me segura!
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      Traveler

      Segura!!!

      10/15/16Reply
       
    • Day13

      Hatton, Sri Lanka

      October 12, 2016 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

      Em vez de nos levar diretamente para o hotel, o motorista quis nos mostrar a beleza da região. Eu de qualquer forma não estava a conseguir dormir na carrinha ao contrário da minha irmã.
      Toda essa zona é duma beleza incrível, como se tivesse sido desenhada para um parque de fantasia.

      A viagem para Arugambay durou 9h. Paravamos mil vezes ou porque o motorista estava preocupado com a carrinha que vertia óleo, ou porque ele queria comprar chã, ou queria comprar fruta, ou pastéis, ou queria nos mostrar uma cascata.
      Sei lá, nunca parei tanto numa viagem. A minha irmã dormiu a maior parte mas eu não consegui. O motorista trouxe um amigo para estar na conversa para não se deixar dormir e não se calou.
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