Thursday 9th April
After learning that the tickets for the not to be missed train journey from Kandy to Ella were all sold out til 22nd April we embarked on a magical mini bus tour with Vijay, a 50 something year old Sri Lankan guy with no front teeth. We would later come to realise that tickets were in fact available for the train if you buy half an hour before departure, lesson 2: only your primary question is answered. Although we feared we’d missed the chance to experience the once in a life time train journey, we were pleasantly surprised with Vijay, who provided barely understandable commentary, allowed us to stop off at fab viewing points for photo opportunities and took us on a tea factory tour! We wrote a thank you message in his guest book though I’m sure we weren’t the only ones to feel it wasn’t optional, paid our $30 and made our way to Hatton via our first local bus!
The bus cost just 110 rupees each, a little over 50p, and managed to squeeze on more people than seats – including a family of 8 on the back 4 seats. We quickly snapped a selfie and we were on our way, it was actually quite a pleasant ride and we made it to Hatton in one piece, hooray!
From here, we picked up some street food – cotti – as well as a quick exchange with a guy from Tennessee, girl from Sheffield and 3 others who had just come from Adams Peak and were all headed to the train station and onto Nuwara Eliyah – the reverse of our own journey. It was through them that we found hope in getting on the train from Hatton to Ella, faith in the system restored!
Before jumping on our next bus to Dalhousie we enjoyed our Cotti, taking shelter in the train station after the heavens opened and rain poured down on our unprotected backpacks…
Ps…cotti was awesome and resembled something like egg fried rice with more stodge and no rice.