Sri Lanka – famous train, swings & surfing

It was time to say goodbye to my sister and to start a new adventure with one of my best friends from Germany. The initial idea was to go to Bali, but at a spontaneous moment we changed our flights and plans – Sri Lanka it is!

Colombo 

There isn’t much to say about Colombo, because we haven’t been there. We spend a night closer to the airport in Negombo and watched the opening game of new Bundesliga season. Next morning we had a nice Sri Lankan breakfast and around 10:30am we jumped onto a train to Colombo to catch our next train to Galle – our first stop.

 

Galle – Unawatuna 

I loved catching trains so it wasn’t a big deal spending couple of hours in the train. Besides the fact that the train was going along the coast, could have been worse. Instead of Galle We decided to stay in Unawatuna. It was 10 minutes away from Galle by Tuk Tuk.
Next day we explored Galle Fort, an old historical area, went to the Jungle Beach and in the afternoon to Mihiripena, Wijaya and Dalawella Beach to have some fun with swings and to enjoy the sunset. It wasn’t a high season in the south, for that reason there weren’t a lot of people on the beach. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset almost to ourselves. If you like to have some good vegetarian food, go to Pink Elephant. I’ve had my second best curry in there on this journey so far.

After two days we were catching a night bus to Ella via Wellawaya. At this point I must add the busses in Sri Lanka ain’t uncomfortable, however they are crowded as hell. Most of the time two people fits into a three seater row.

 

Ella 

To start with, I was very excited to see the Nine Arch Bridge and to catch the train from Ella to Kandy. It was totally worth a visit to Ella.

On our first day we hiked up to the Nine Arch Bridge to see the blue train passing by. We’ve got the train times from our hostel owner as in everyday at 2:30, 3:30 and 5:30pm. So we went up to see the train at 2:30pm. Long story short, the train passed by 10 past 4 and for sure they are not as often as the hostel owner said. There is a cool spot to see the bridge and the train passing by from above. Ashanka Café and the owner of it is really cool. So we stayed there to see the blue train and after that I went down again to the railway. All of a sudden a guy was yelling at me … Tobiiii … oh my god … it was Zorro, my dear Columbian friend We crossed our path twice before! We kept meeting Zorro a couple of times more in the later days at different places.

We stayed at The Ganz hostel, located a bit out of town, but if you want to see the Nine Arch Bridge and climb up the Little Adam’s Peak, it is a good spot to stay. After a short nap, we climbed up the little Adam’s Peak for sunset. On top of it you’ve a great view of Ella Rock and Ella itself. Ella is a nice place and we could have easily stayed there a couple of more days, but it was time to start the first part of train journey and to go to Hatton.

 

Train part 1 

So far almost every day we had an early wake up call. That morning it was to catch the train from Ella to Hatton. There was no way to get a 1st class ticket, since they all booked out 2-3 weeks in advance. Someone suggested to catch the morning 6:39 train, as in this train is not supposed to be very busy. So we did. What should I say, if this one isn’t supposed to be that crowded, I can’t even imagine how crowded the train at 9:23 would be. Besides that, it was an amazing journey. I have no word to express my feelings. I’m still in love with that train journey. Everything was perfect. The company we had on this journey, thanks to Grace and the stunning nature.

As mentioned earlier, there were no way to get a 1st class ticket. So we bought a 2nd class ticket and with this ticket you supposed to have a 2nd class seats, but there were none available. Some how that was the best thing that could have happened to us. Of course because of the great company and all those chats. Also we were sitting on the open door with our legs hanging out of the train. Literally loved it! It was a different kinda freedom and I felt even closer to the nature instead of sitting on a comfortable seat. Thank you for this great experience.

 

Hatton 

Once we arrived in Hatton, we organized everything with our lovely guests owner and grabbed some food. We prepared everything for the next morning climb, at 1am to Adam’s peak and tried to go to bed earlier but eventually made it by 10pm 😉

We left at 1:30am and drove more than an hour to Delhouse where we started our climb at 3am. After an hour and 45 minutes and over 5000 steps we got to the top. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best time and was clouded. We knew it but still wanted to do it and I would say it was still a good experience. Around 6:30am a little after sunrise we descend down to Delhouse and took a Tuk Tuk back to Hatton. We had a nice breakfast and took a short nap before catching the next train at 10:37am from Hatton to Kandy. And I was so fu***** excited about it, as you can imagine.

 

Train part 2 

To be honest it wasn’t as good as the first journey, but still beautiful. Sitting on the train door and seeing the nature felt so good and I really needed it after waking up so early.
Many people told us that we can skip Kandy. So we did, and took another bus right away to Dambulla. This was the only AC bus we drove with. One more local public bus from Dambulla and we finally arrived in Sigiriya.

We stayed at Anushka Nera Nature House with our host Nera, him and his friends were unbelievably lovely. They cook every night different types of curry and awesome vegetable side dishes. If you are staying there then you’ll get it all for 500 rupees. Also you can cook with them if you like and of course we did! Another unique experience about this place was sleeping in a tree house. The 2nd night we even got an upgrade to our own tree house for free. Anushka Nera Nature House was our 2nd best stay we had in Sri Lanka. Sorry but nothing can beat Watermusic, but more about that later.

 

Sigiriya 

It was a very long day, got up at 1am, climbed up Adam’s Peak, took a train and two busses and got to Sigiriya all in one day. But something inside me was telling me that I should climb up the Pidurangala Peak for sunset. “Once a sunset lover, always a sunset lover” – so I did! One word to memories it all priceless!

Chris was tired so he decided to stay at the guest house for a little nap. But I guess once he saw the lovely place he decided to cook with them. The way they prepared the food and all the spices they put in the curries were really special. What a dinner! Thanks Chris for preparing the food with Nera and his friends.

The next day we went on a Safari in Kaudulla National Park. I felt like it wasn’t worth it. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it, but somehow it wasn’t what I expected. I mean we saw one elephant really close and saw a family on the way back to Sigiriya right next to the street, but I wanted to see a tribe playing around and see how they interact with each other and unfortunately that wasn’t possible. Maybe too high expectations!

On our last morning in Sigiriya we climbed up Pidurangala Peak for sunrise. Wooooow what a sunrise and what a feeling! Pictures wont do any justice of the beauty we saw; you have to experience it yourself. At noon it was time to say goodbye to Sigiriya, Nera and his family.

 

Trincomalee 

Couple of hours later we finally got to the beach. Actually, I don’t want to say much about Trinco. Some travellers and locals we met told us Trinco is nicer than Arugam Bay – I doubt that! We did the dolphin/whale watching tour (they said you will see a whale shark if you are lucky, but we weren’t lucky). It was fun to see all those dolphins jumping and playing around.

Besides that we went snorkeling to Pigeon Island. To be honest, it’s not even worth a penny. It’s literally wasting time and money. The corals are dead and it’s pretty crowded. At least we got lucky and saw a black tip reef shark, actually a big one, other than that I wouldn’t recommend to go there at all! The suburb itself, Uppuveli, wasn’t that nice. We found two good places we really liked; Aqua Inn, Fernando’s Bar (during night) and ubay guest house and restaurant (awesome food). After two days we felt like wasting time and were even more excited about going to Arugam Bay. So let’s head to Arugam Bay.

 

Arugam Bay 

What a place! Literally what a fu***** awesome place (Zorro that’s just for you). Ah by the way we met Zorro again and it was a pleasure to spend some time with you for the 3rd time in another country. We booked a bit more expensive place and what should I say thanks to Chris for convincing me to spend our last days in a much nicer place. It was so good. From the moment we arrived at Watermusic we felt in love with that place.

Having breakfast while sitting in a hammock was just the beginning of a fairytale. After being in the hammock for another 2 hours time has come. We went to Bay Vista for late lunch and had our first Smoothie Bowl in Sri Lanka – soooo delicious and the view was so unique. One the same day Zorro and I walked along the beach for an hour to go and see the sunset at Elephants Rock. We started so late and it wasn’t possible to be there on time that’s why we decided to see the sunset from a Little Rock 30 minutes before Elephants Rock. I quote Zorro: “I’m traveling for 9 months and that is definitely on the top 5 sunsets”. I couldn’t agree more. On the way back we saw so many planktons. I have never seen so many in one place. We came back pretty late so we decided to have dinner at a buffet – Mamas place. Really good food for just 400 rupees which is really rare in Arugam Bay.

Day 2 was all about enjoying the beach and doing nothing. Ok, I wouldn’t say nothing. We went to Bay Vista for sunset yoga. It was Chris’s first yoga class ever and he loved it. So did I.

On the next day it was time to catch our first wave in Sri Lanka. A good place to do so is Elephant Rock. It was Chris’s first time surfing and surviving on a surfboard. Chris took a lesson for 1 and half hours and he did better than I thought. It felt so good to be back in the water standing on a surfboard. I really missed it. We spend the entire day at the beach. The icing of the cake was the beautiful sunset later the day. We enjoyed the sunset from the top of Elephant Rock. It was Friday night which means time for Whiskey Point and some kind of dancing stuff. We had a lot of fun and stayed until sunrise.

It was almost time to say goodbye to Arugam Bay. I went to another sunset yoga class and after that the three of us went to a “goodbye dinner” at Burgers, the food that we needed after a hangover. It was also a moment of saying goodbye to my dear Colombian friend Zorro (he took a night bus to Colombo). Brother I’m pretty sure we will meet again the 4th time and maybe it might be Sri Lanka again. Enjoy India! Chris and I grabbed a Mojito on our last night at Emma’s Place right at the beach and enjoyed Arugam Bay for one last time.

Both of us woke up on our last morning and we both wished we could have stayed here longer. We felt home. Thanks Arugam Bay for those amazing days. And of course, special thanks goes to Chris and Don Zorro!

 

Conclusion 

I visited different countries and spend time in different places, but Arugam Bay is definitely on top of my list. I loved all the places, beaches, the healthy Smoothie Bowls, the yoga classes and the main street with all its little restaurants. I loved those vibes and positive energy. It was really hard to say goodbye and to leave this place. I can feel the tears scrolling down my cheek while writing these lines, but those are happy tears. I do know that I can always come back and I’ll. Big big thank you to Chris for making the effort to come and see me somewhere in this beautiful world and spend some time with me on my trip in Sri Lanka. It means a lot to me!

Now I’m leaving this beautiful country with mixed feelings – I’m going to Indonesia and I’m so excited to go there, but I’m going to miss this country.

0 comments on “Sri Lanka – famous train, swings & surfing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *