Thursday 9th April
In Dalhousie, we stayed at a hostel called The White House and half expected ‘Frank Underwood’ to be back stabbing climbers in a race to get to the top…? Instead there was a little lodge with our private room and bathroom, some dogs, a traditional Sri Lankan buffet dinner and a black gecko – which James caught out the corner of his eye and s**t his pants! Luckily it hid behind the mirror and that was the last we saw of it.
Dinner was great; Dahl curry, okra, coconut rice and of course a Lion beer. We sat with a couple from Bristol – Alice and Chris – began the usual travel chat and soon realised these would be our climbing buddies early next morning. After what seemed like a mini presentation from the very expressive hotel manager we were clued up on the route, how long it should take, when to buy tea and who not to give money to so we got ourselves to bed and set the alarm: 1:40am!
Friday 10th April
The climb took us around 3 hours, with a few short stops every now and again to catch our breath. I really enjoyed it actually and we chatted all the way up – a couple of silences when the steps were getting steep and our lack of fitness became apparent! We made it though, and there was barely a drop of sweat on me much to the annoyance of the others.
Although slightly distorted by the concrete buildings, the view from the top was incredible and the sunrise made it all worth while. What was really impressive though were the views and surroundings when making your way back down (although the legs started shaking and it seemed to go on forever) as this had all been in darkness on the way up.
Back at the hostel we showered, refuelled on eggs, avocado and toast and I waited for James to unpack and repack his bag ready to make our way to Hatton once again, determined to get ourselves a seat on the train to Ella.