Tuesday 23 September 2014

Day 152: Horton Plains - From the furnace to the hills

Boys selling paper flowers on
Little Adam's Peak, Ella
After a cold night (remind me why I scoffed at the idea of asking for extra blankets in a Sri Lankan hotel?) we made a 6am start in a race to beat the clouds to Horton Plain National Park.  We outpaced the cloud but not the Japanese, who joined us en masse at World's End, which was a little strange as we haven't seen Japanese tourists anywhere else on the island.

World's End is a viewpoint that we had read much about: the world drops away in front of you, stunning views reach across the plains to the east coast of the island, the forest comes to a sudden end and tumbles into the valley below, bla bla bla.  It was a nice enough spot for a picnic breakfast but essentially it was just a steep hillside with a view.  The trouble with doing so much trekking is that we have become picky about our beauty spots!

Horton Plains is an interesting place though, mostly by force of contrast.  There is a rapid transition from miles of hair pin bends and cloud forests and cold air streams (I nearly donned two fleeces when setting out to walk to World's End, but Guy veto-ed) to the coastal furnace down below.  You can imagine the British colonials retreating to Horton Plains and walking around the estate from the Scottish-style hunting lodge at the entrance, shooting all the elephants along the way (alas).  Another sterling example of our civilising influence around the world!

On the way back to the car we detoured via Baker Falls and the attractively-named Leg of Mutton Pool, then began the long windy descent by car to Ella.  Ella is another hill town, where we climbed to Little Adam's Peak for the view, then to our hotel for yet more views.  For fear of sounding like a record player got stuck, I won't detail the dinner.

The view from World's End,
Horton Plains
Baker's Falls
An elk keeps watch over the car park at Horton Plains.
Chinese-built traction
Not the Breacon Beacons but "Little Adam's Peak", Ella.

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