Day 43: Haputale to Hatton, Adam’s Peak

We definitely did not want to get out of such a comfy bed knowing we had a trek ahead of us later but got up early for breakfast. It was lovely yet again but no hoppers.. Lee was not impressed! We said our goodbyes to Hashan and his mum who said she was sad to see us leave. Hashan kindly gave me a warm scarf to wear up Adam’s peak (Sri Pada) and his mum gave me a top her daughter had embroidered. It was such a lovely gesture and we both felt sorry to be leaving them, such genuinely nice people. 20140208_092631 Our arranged tuk tuk didn’t arrive (not sure the Sri Lankan tuk tuk drivers book in advance!) so we got another to the train station and hopped on back to Hatton, where we got a public bus to Dalhousie (Adam’s peak). The bus journey was rather crammed, it seemed many others had the same idea! Hashan had kindly arranged us some cheap accommodation which we spotted last minute and managed to stop the bus in time! We were told many a time to keep the price to ourselves as everyone else was being charged twice the price! Our room is basic to say the least… with a strong scent of damp but it is cheap and only for part if the night. We had a meal at a discounted price as we’d been recommended by Hashan and the food was pretty good but due to the huge footfall of tourists, unfortunately the service was pretty poor- not particularly warm or fast. From the dining table you could see the peak lit by lights all the way up to the monastery at the very top. We headed back to our room and attempted to get a little sleep in before setting off on our trek up the 5200 steps to the summit of Adam’s peak. We’ve been told by a few people that you can see the most beautiful sunrise from the peak and that it’s good to set off early so we put our alarm on for 1am… eurghhhh!! 20140208_151932 Before we knew it, it was 1am!! We sluggishly got out of bed questioning what on earth had possessed us to do this!!! So we set off about 1.20am to miss the 2am rush (everyone advised to leave at 2 for ‘normal paced’ walkers). It was fairly busy but not many foreign tourists about, just quite a few Sri Lankans. Not far from the starting point I tripped up a step and went flying… good start!! Haha! We missioned it up the steps trying to avoid all the people who seemingly decided to stop for their breaks right in the middle of the path!! We passed a few pretty awful smelling points, at one point I covered my nose with my pashmina (never did that even in India!!!). It was pretty amazing really to see so many elderly making their way up the steps, some with the help of family and others independently defiant! About 2/3’s of the way up we hit a barrier of people. Predominantly Sri Lankans… perhaps part of a pilgrimage? Not entirely sure but we patiently waited. Unfortunately, like most of the Indians we came across in a queue in India, many Sri Lankans won’t wait either. About a quarter of the people around us pushed and shoved passed, whilst others began climbing up through the bushes either side of the walls… it became pretty frustrating and at times a little infuriating!! It was gone 4am and after an hour of waiting we had moved maybe 20 steps. We both discussed the situation to some length… and eventually we came to the conclusion there was no way we’d see the sunrise and it’d be a few hours at least before we would even reach the top. So we half heartedly decided to head back down, both pretty disappointed but the scenery from Lipton’s Seat would have been pretty difficult to beat, although the sunrise would have been undoubtedly amazing. It seems in order to see it you would have had to leave at 11, 12 at the latest which seems pretty crazy, but maybe we were just unlucky tonight!! 20140209_033450

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