11.02.2012 - 12.02.2012 24 °C
Day 134: Monoragalam, Sri Lanka 11/02/2012
Today was possibly the longest day in living memory. We were up at 2am for for the climb up Adam's Peak, a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site. There are more than 5,500 steps up the side of the mountain and each one burns the quads, whilst our eyes burn from the knowledge they should be sleeping.
A long way up but ultimately worth the effort. We watch the sun rise over the mountains, which results in some truly outstanding views of the surrounding landscape, enjoyed by the hundreds of other people that took the climb up during the night. The climb down feels as long, if not longer than the climb down and after being very cold at the top (after sweating our way up) it is very warm on the way down, with our jellified legs screaming at us all the way. The whole experience was incredible and is a definite highlight of our time so far in Sri Lanka.
Straight back to the room, we resist the urge to lie down and we quickly pack and leave, getting onto the bus to Hatton absolutely stinking. We feel sorry for whoever sits near us. Unsure where to go next, we decide on a town called Ella, another hill station. After making all the right bus changes, nobody is able to actually tell us how to get there so we decide to make our way to Arugam Bay on the East coast. Again, multiple buses are required and we set about taking the right ones (we think) and eventually end up at the town before Monoragalam, where we need to connect for Arugam Bay, sometime after 8pm after 36 hours on the bus (it seems - though some amazing views and scenery en route). We get off the bus to be told all other bus services have finished! Devastated. Somehow end up paying a fifteen year old tuk-tuk driver less than a fiver for the 20km trip to Monoragalam. We arrive, find a room and have a great dinner with a much needed beer. Eventually get to bed about 21 hours after we awoke to walk up a mountain and back down and travel hundreds of light years on the bus and seeing my peeling skin float around the bus to land on other passengers.