In Kandy it is time of Perahera, the Buddhist festival. What is being celebrated, though, I couldn’t find out, really. (Something’s to do with Buddhas tooth being shown around… sammā-sambuddha would surely be amused…) Musical performances, people dancing, processions, and everything is pretty much over at around 9 p.m. when somewhere else, parties haven’t even started yet 😉
To include that which does not run so smoothly, I have to state I have a hard time finding the Homestay. Buddha shows the way… and um, well… local people with their cellies help, too 😉
Next day I rent a scooter and go northeast to visit Hunusgiriya Waterfall and explore Knuckle’s Range via Panwila-Huluganga-Bambarella. On the way, I stop several times cuz I meet friendly locals waving at me and pointing out a cemetery in the middle of tea plantations, guesthouse owners inviting me for tea and a chat. Sometimes I also decide to have a rest and snack some delicious vegetable samosas, checkout a tea factory, and enjoy the view over the hilly terrain.
At 5 p.m. I still have not reached Knuckle’s Range. It is getting dark (and chilly) soon so I make a U-Turn and go back to Kandy. On the way back I come across a ceremony at a temple in Madawala, a small village. I stop and sit down with the locals. Three monks come to chant and one of them gives a dhamma talk in Singhalese after that. A man called Bandara invites me to have dinner with his family.
When i finally arrive in Kandy, I notice how noisy it is because of Perahera. Many buses, construction sites, loud music, neon lights.
This is what Kandy looks like from the viewpoint of the White Buddha
… … …
One of the things I like about Sri Lanka, I mean… apart from the delicious food, the hospitality of the people, the diversity of the natural landscape … is the transport system. Given there is so much talk on the web about the special train ride from Kandy to Ella I decide to see for myself if all the hype is justified.
On the train from Kandy to Ella
Coming Going Coming Going Coming Going
Look, maaan, Nine Arch Bridge, right over there !!!
Ella is a beautiful place to be for a couple of days, a week even. There are opportunities to hike, e.g. Ella Rock and Little Adam’s Peak. Also, a nice walk to Nine Arch Bridge along the railway tracks. I was lucky to have an Indian friend named Vineeth at my side who knows a lot about fauna and flora (among other things). He pointed out the names of birds, butterflies and reptiles along the way and gave me the chance to hold a snake in my hand. Thanks, bro, in case you happen to read this, I had a great time with you and lookforward to meeting you in India 😅
Scootering around Horton Plains with my dear friend Vineeth singing songs with deep meaning
At Bomburu Ella Falls
Also, I have to say, I was really happy to stay at Ja’s place called “ostello”. Located on a hill with a wonderful view on Ella Rock and a sunrise to make the fresh Ceylon tea smell even more intense, this place is my base for some days. I am very grateful for being around like-minded travellers, have inspiring conversation and enjoy my breakfast which was different every day.
Yes it’s tiny, I know, but still, it’s a snake, a snake on my hand… and the snake charmer’s right ear
Having a break on our way to Ella Rock summit
View from Ella Rock!
The Dhamma is Everywhere!
A family’s potato field near Bomburu Ella Falls
Sunset as seen from Little Adam’s Peak
One morning, Vineeth and I rent a scooter and head towards Horton Plains approximately 30km west of Ella
When we return in the evening the ostello is fully booked. Nevertheless, we can stay as friends and even get breakfast for free the next morning. Oh my Buddha! Thank you, Papa Ja!
Batman in Rawana Cave, Ella