Adams peak night hike
The last big stop of our journey throughout Sri Lanka was Hatton, which is close to the famous Adams Peak. Hatton is a small city between Ella and Kandy, with lots of tea plantations and water falls.Our hotel had its very own natural pool created by a small waterfall pouring down the hills and really comfortable rooms.
In Hatton the nights actually got quite cold and the air was really humid, so we needed some really thick blankets and had rather comfortable beds. From our room we could actually hear and see the waterfalls rushing down to the closeby lake. When we arrived there it was actually to late to go to the Adams Peak during the night, because there would not have been any busses to get back up till the morning so we decided to visit the lake nearby. It was breathtaking…
A lake nearby…
Walking along the streets through tea plantations, colored in a green that seemed too intense to be out of this world and seeing the blue green water glimmering through in the distance. We walked down through a little path across a little village to get down to the shore and we encountered some children, who seemed to have never seen people of white skin complexion before. They were staring and laughing at us, trying to shake our hands, giving us high fives and following us for a while until their parents told them to stop it.
We had so much fun. The older ones wanted to actually play football with us, but we where hurrying to see the sunset at the shoreline reflecting in the clear waters of the lake, so we sadly could not. A game of soccer with the local children would have definetely been funny though.
After the sunset we went back to the hotel and talked to some people that were also accomodated there and actually found two new good friends with whom we had dinner: Arnaud and Sadri. Arnaud went to bed quite early because we agreed with him to go the Adams Peak together the next morning but we kept talking with Sadri. He is just a unique person… a living oxymoron: A turkish open minded long-time traveler, who works as a physics and maths teacher but is on his personal conquest for the supernatural. His way of speaking and thinking influenced Flo and me even up to now and it was just nice to have met him.
But yeah due to talking with him for what felt like a little eternity we went to bed way too late.
The way to Adams peak
The next day we needed to wake up at roughly one in the morning to be just in time to see the sunrise from the top of the Adams Peak. Once we arrived there, we were stunned about how commercial the place was. We expected it to be some nature trail up to the peak but instead it was even more touristic than Ella.
Stores selling everything from tea to plush bears combined with stairs made the way up less of an trekking adventure than we expected. Add to that lots and lots of tourists and locals on their pilgrimmage to the peak and you can imagine that it was actually quite the experience (even though totally different from what we expected – namely a deserted jungle path) hiking it during the middle of the night.
On top of Adams peak
The hike itself was hard but manageable… but things got worse once we were up on the peak because there was a really harsh wind grabbing all the heat from us, chilling us to the bones… and we needed to wait there for close to three hours.
Luckily we found some really nice locals, who offered us a spare space under their blanket. I was just happy during this moment, because it was relatively warm and cozy and the hospitality of Sri Lankans showed itself once again. When we found out they were gay though we needed to laugh about the situation.
Here we were: Dog tired, in sweaty clothes, physically exhausted, snuggling with a really friendly gay triplett on the top of a mountain, waiting for the sun to rise. We were truly happy though… It felt like adventure. We even met Louise once again (we actually knew that she would be on the Adams Peak this day too but did not hope to find her in the mass of people).
What we came for…
When the first light of the day started to illuminate the sky all the people started moving and the crowd blocked most of the way.
Somehow I managed to get down the path a bit and put down my tripod to take some photographies of the rising sun. Seeing the colors of the sky change in mere seconds was just wonderful and worth all the hassle. It is something I will not forget for my entire life.
After the sunrise was over there were misty clouds in all the valleys, hiding the jungle beneath them. The landscape once again just looked like it came straight out of a fairytale.
After we went back down the Adams peak and got something small to eat, we went back to the hotel taking a bath in the cold and refreshing water of the natural pool and afterwards a warm shower and a short nap. We woke up just in time to get some curry and rice for dinner and talked with Sadri and Arnaud again and than had a really bad argument with the hotel owner because they tried to charge us extra prices for everything.
We told them that we will not pay that price but the lower one that was listed in the menu but all he understood was, that we do not want to pay. Things were pretty close to escalating and I do not want to imagine how things would have turned out if we had not had the cover from our two new adult friends. It could have ended badly because even with them he nearly got physically violent. In the end we payed a price in between just as a compromise to stop any further escalation and roughly half an hour later the hotel owner came back.
He was really sorry for his blind rage. We could not believe it: here we were sipping free black sugary tea, talking about the past and life of a guy that some minutes earlier called us liars and troublemakers and wanted to throw us out of his hotel for no reason whatsoever. On the next day we even got a free breakfast and our promised drop off at the train station together with Sadri who was also heading to Colombo the next day to get his Indian visa.