After an amazing three weeks at Pink Fox we said goodbye with a heavy heart and headed for Udawalawe. Having loved the Udawalawe safari the first time (way back in the less touristy month of May), and admittedly probably used to the free food, water and accommodation at Pink Fox, the second time was on the whole an expensive disappointment.
Luckily, our arrival the next day in the astonishing Hill Country town of Haputale lifted our spirits. Perched high up on a narrow mountain ridge, the town centre had amazing views on both sides and felt like an escape from the more ‘tourist-trap’ Udawalawe. Our accommodation was called White Monkey, and once the cold, rolling mist had cleared, the views from our room were beautiful.
Enjoying the cooler, British-like climate we went straight out for a walk to enjoy the views. Beginning at an old British colonial mansion, the walk took us through damp forest and, when the trees cleared, past amazing scenery. We were walking alongside but well above the famous Kandy to Ella railway line which felt very surreal.
And then the heavens opened! The last stretch of the walk was along the slippery railway track to the tiny nearby station of Idalgashinna, and by the time we reached it we were soaked through and, for the first time in Sri Lanka, cold!
We took a short train journey back along the tracks to Haputale where we warmed ourselves up with a local hill country cup of tea!
We loved the serenity of the walk away from the hustle and bustle of tourist Sri Lanka, and Haputale certainly felt a million miles from the hordes of school holiday safari Jeeps in Udawalawe.