Greetings from the World’s End!
The Serendib Chronicles – Day 5
2nd Nov10, Kandy, Sri Lanka
At 7am in the morning, we made our way to Horton Plains National Park (2300 Rp x 4 for everything including entry, vehicle entry and other taxes). A plateau rising up to 4300m, the park is home to the Sambar deer, one of which we saw near the entrance. It is also Sri Lanka’s only cloud forest, rising high sea level, and covered in mist for most of the day.
The objective here was to make our way on foot along the 9 km round trek. The route would take us to a point aptly called World’s End. This is where the trek path suddenly opens out into a 880m vertical drop into the valley below, affording brilliant views of the surrounding area and on clear days, even the sea.
The trek was straightfoward, decent walking footwear is a must. And with stops at highlights such as Baker’s Falls, Mini World’s End (a less impressive version of the above) and the flora / fauna (not much here, we also saw birds). The highlight of course was World’s End, and we spent a bit of time looking down below till vertigo set in. Well, now I can go back telling everyone I have been to World’s End. (Cue REM’s song, ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It, And I Feel Fine’)
From Horton’s Plains, we descended and passed by the Ambiwela dairy farm, where cows are bred to graze on rolling hills for their milk. These are then made into yoghurt, cheese and other dairy products. We had our fill of fresh cow’s milk, sold behind a booth set up in the parking area leading to the dairy farm. We would have been able to visit the farm too, unfortunately the factory people were out to lunch.
However, we had much better luck with Macwoods’s tea factory. This tea making establishment has been around for the last century and owned more than a thousand acres of land. We were taken on a tour of the tea factory, including the tea picking process, and the different grades of tea (Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings!) available. A new experience, since I have been seeing tea plantations everywhere but never had the chance to actually learn how the tea was made.
Dinner was at our driver’s house, near Kandy. A had joked that she would want to eat dinner at his place, and he duly invited us over. His mom prepared dishes beforehand and we very really embarrassed at having imposed ourselves at his place. The home cooked food was excellent though.
Reached Kandy late in the evening. Found a place at Sharon’s Inn, 3000Rp for the room, with a wifi connection. Probably the best place we stayed by far, notwithstanding Nuwara Eliya’s overnight stay in cool high altitude surroundings.