a place to showcase

Misty magic ~ 1

Day 2 in Sri Lanka.

It was arranged that a man with a jeep would pick us up reeeaaalllyyy early the next morning, and take us to Horton Plains, a plateau 2100-2300 metres above sea level.

horton

It was cold, drizzly and foggy, and I began to get doubts about how warm our flimsy cotton hoodies would keep us…

The driver stopped at a bend in the road, where he thought we might spot white-bearded monkeys in the misty trees.

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And we did 🙂

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It was a longish drive, but our gazes were riveted to the landscape we were passing through, forests, rivers, lakes and farms with Fresian cows grazing on the slopes, all enveloped in cloud. The driver was friendly and eager to educate, so he shared titbits of information as he pointed out various noteworthy sights, some left behind by the British, like this forest of Australian eucalyptus, a non-endemic species, not to mention a thirsty bunch of trees.

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And a sulky monkey.

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I was amazed that the driver’s eyes were sharp enough to spot this poor badly injured female (whose name I forget, a species of lizard endemic to Sri Lanka as I was informed).

How did we know it was a female? Take a look at that egg…

lizard

Nothing much could be done, but to pick her up and deposit her in the foliage on the side of the road.

We drove on, and soon….

jeep

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As we drove in after paying the fee, the sharp-eyed driver once again pointed out something I would surely have missed. A Sambar deer, sheltering near a rhododendron bush

We ate our packed breakfasts huddled in the relative warmth of a bare basic restaurant, where we drank some horrible but warming coffee before setting off on our hike, umbrellas in hand. I had half a mind to skip the whole thing altogether, as my hoodie and three t-shirts were doing nothing to keep the wind from chilling me to the bone. But then I figured walking would warm me up…..and it did.

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I’m sure glad I didn’t chicken out, as what followed turned out to be a dream-like hike through surreal landscape, the undisputed highlight of our SrliLankan experience 🙂

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16 responses

  1. definitely the highlight of my trip to sri lanka as well, way back in ’06. Still remember being at world’s end. everything about that hike was beautiful..except for our tired legs 🙂

    September 8, 2013 at 2:24 am

    • I’ll jog your memory some more with my next post 😉 And I totally know what you mean by the tired legs. That last kilometre was a killer…!

      September 8, 2013 at 10:15 am

  2. Excellent. Love the pictures. I guess the cold caught everyone by surprise judging by the light footwear. Very atmospheric of early morning.

    September 8, 2013 at 6:14 am

    • It has been daunting trying to sift through 1500 photos, which is why I have been procrastinating…but no more! A post a day is my new goal!
      Thanks Alan 🙂 But the Europeans were better equipped. People who live in Karachi never own anything good and warm :/

      September 8, 2013 at 10:20 am

  3. Gorgeous 🙂 Magical is right…but yeh il maange more! More pics and more details of the hike please!

    September 8, 2013 at 8:02 am

    • Kuch aur bhi maang lo! 🙂 Glad you think it’s magical too! Wait till you see the next bunch 😉

      September 8, 2013 at 10:22 am

  4. It’s too bad that mist is so chilling, because it is a surreal scene to be a part of. I bet you felt like that monkey looked 😉
    Even though they’re non-native, didn’t you just love the way those eucalyptus trees smelled?

    September 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    • Indeed, I DID sulk a bit, but only in my head 🙂 I LOVE fog and clouds are my passion! 😛 And I generally love the smell of trees. My favourite is pine 🙂

      September 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      • I love a pine, too! We are kind of surrounded by them here. Many of the pine forests were planted as part of a government jobs-creation program in the 50’s.
        A wild-growing pine came down recently in a thunderstorm, and it smells terrific as we pass it on our neighborhood walks. I always tell my husband they should make candles smell like that 🙂

        September 9, 2013 at 4:15 am

  5. Gorgeous! Mist always makes for good pictures. How surreal to see monkeys in gum trees. I’m looking forward to the next post.

    September 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    • Thanks Barbara! I wish Karachi was a misty place. So those are gum trees? Identified by the white blotches? It’s such fun sharing pictures when the audience is so appreciative 🙂

      September 8, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      • Yes, in Australia eucalyptus trees are usually called gum trees. There are a lot of varieties, but they’re all gum trees.

        September 8, 2013 at 11:26 pm

  6. It all looks so dreamlike already! Ah, mist. 🙂 So uncomfortable to stand in but so beautiful to look at!!

    September 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    • Totally other-worldly place I tell you. I want to go back! 😦

      September 11, 2013 at 7:18 pm

  7. I love the misty photos. They are truly magical.

    February 10, 2016 at 6:45 am

    • They are, aren’t they! 🙂

      February 10, 2016 at 9:25 am

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