Part 2 of my travelling fiascos....
22.11.2013 - 25.11.2013 28 °C
So Leaving Kandy after stealing some wifi from Pizza Hut (which by the way is a rather grand affair in Sri Lanka and even features a grand piano), we were on the bus making our way to Polynarrua thankfully with no armpits or arseholes near our faces. After 3 hours we still seemed no closer to getting there and even made a pit stop at a local shit pit. Other people on the bus told us it would be another 2 hours! Argh. Finally after another hour and half on the road we made it to Polynnarua. A tiny town in the middle of nowhere, and dark (around 7pm) we set out to find our lonely planet guest house of choice. An increasingly irritating man in a tuk tuk was trying to get us to let him drive us to the hotel despite the fact that we could see it from where we stood. What a monumental knobhead. Anyway after some issues with the rooms (ants in the bed, moths on the wall etc) we stuck our bags in and went hunting for food. The same annoying tuk tuk man hassled us for a while until Chul gave in and asked hiom to take us to a nice restaurant, of which we now know there are none in this town). He took us about 200m down the road and made us go into this horrid little 'bar' that can only be described as resembling a bus station toilet. Middleaged men turned to gape at us. It was the dirtiest place I have ever been in. The man came back and rescued us and brought us into the back room where more people stared at us. Seeing our faces, he then showed us into the restaurant. Why the hell he didnt take us there in the first place I dont know. Anyway we were greeted by a young waiter who approached us and asked 'what you want?'....'errr some decent service? a menu? alcohol? food? perhaps....hmmm?' moron. He brought us menus and we ordered however there was then the confusion over whether we were each having food or just one of us. WHAT? Really. I mean, thats not a lost in translation thing. Thats a stupid thing.
By the time we finished and downed our beers we just went to bed as we wanted to get up early in the morning.
Managed to sleep until 9am, and hired 2 bicycles for the day (about a pound each). We began cycling up the road and I realised that my bike had no breaks. What did I expect I suppose. Continuing along carefully, we rode a good 4km to the end of the ruins trail to work our way backwards. The first stop was Gal Vihara which is a big massive lump of granite in which 3 buddhas were carved years and years ago. It was pretty stupendous. Cycling back, avoiding ploughing into monkeys, miniature komodos and lizards, we then stopped at the citadel area of the ruined city which resembled Angkor Wat some. We ended up gatecrashing a school trip of around 100 local children who all desperately wanted the pleasure of meeting me with handshakes. I was tied up with that for a while. We were then approached by a lass from Montreal who wanted to video us doing the harlem shake next to the famous landmark. But of course! Some other visitors mistook Chul for a Korean popstar.
After cycling back to the guest house and stocking up on snacks, we were back on the bus to Kandy. Chul got off at Dambulla so we said our goodbyes. I was pretty gutted to see him go as it was all alone from here onwards.
Checking back into the Old Empire in Kandy, the men asked me to hang on a few minutes because they wanted to exterminate the mozzies in my room. Can I watch? Sure come see. There was this guy blowtorching the shit out of the wooden floor and bed frames. Good job my man! Surely that would do the trick
Apparently not. Waking up at 8am the following morning I noticed that one of my eyes wouldnt open fully.On inspection in the nearest mirror I was horrified to see the reflection of Mrs Elephant Man. Bed Bugs. Little buggers had ravaged my face which was now covered in big red spots. Turning around to check the sheets, I find 2 of the biggest bed bugs Ive ever seen and a bit if a blood bath where my face had been. The woman on reception barely recognised me and asked me what happened. When I told her she gave me half my money back but it wasnt exactly their fault.
To cheer myself up, I hopped on the nearest bus and made my way to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. It should have been 2 buses but after the hour long first one, I jumped in a tuk tuk and asked him to drive me the rest of the 10min trip. Simple? Think again. The stupid asshole made me get out at some shitty half run-down elephant riding centre where the poor creatures were all chained up and milling around. How he could possibly have thought I wouldnt notice is beyond me but I told him where to shove it and made him take me to the right place giving him murderous stares from the back seat the rest of the way. When I got out, I told him he was a bad man. He looked ashamed but probably went and did the exact same thing with some other tourist.
I paid my 11quid entrance fee and was shown down to the nearby river where the elephants were all being bathed, playing and enjoying the water. It was a sight for sore eyes and I must have watched them for a good half hour. On the way back up to have a bit of a shop, I avoided numerous Japanese tourists taking selfies next to huge mounds of elephant dung and wondered what would make a person do that. As I meandered around, the elephants were then lead back up through the main street up to the orphanage. It was so cool as they were literally just walking along side me, unguided and unchained. Brilliant. Up in the orphanage I got to stroke the big daddies and cuddle the babies - you've probably seen the pics
After 2 hours, I hailed down a bus back and as soon as I got back to Kandy, checked out and hopped on another bus to Adam's Peak. Seriously spending too much time on gay arse buses. The first bus was 3 hours to Hatton. Shitehole. The second bus was to Maskeliya. Shitehole. The last bus was to Dalhouse. Shitehole. Each bus was horrendous and I was sick of being eyeballed by every single passenger and my ass was weary from sitting on it pretty much all day. But anyway, I got there around 8pm and was thankful for some food as I hadnt eaten since about 9am.
Waking up at 2:30am as instructed by the hotel staff, I waited in the lobby for others to arrive. Only they didnt. I waited until 3am wondering what the hell was going on, when a Germanb couple and a local guide turned up. Why they told me 2:30 I dont know? to annoy me? because its funny? to feel powerful? Or just because they're bloody stupid. Anyway I was glad of company since I had no hiking gear and no torch. We started off at quite a quick pace and I found it difficult to see with the dim torch the guide gave me and styarted lagging behind. The German bumholes steamed off ahead and left me for dead but the guide stayed with me a while. It was ALL steps. Sheer and almost vertical in places, my calves were ruined after 20 mins. I had taken some water but not nearly enoughand I started worrying. The guide then left me on my own and didnt reappear for about half an hour but brough me more water which I was so grateful for. I could barely go up ten steps without stopping for rest when the guide told me he had to go and check on the bastard Germans,. He left me all alone in the dark, and I was looking upwards at the silhouette of Adam's Peak thinking there was no way I was going to make it up there. This was about 5 times harder than the parish, despite being only 7km. Eventually though, I did make it, fifteen minutes before sunrise and what a spectacular view that was. It was fooking freezing up there so I was glad when we got moving again however that didnt last long as my knees started taking most of the pressure on the 5,200 steps back down and a few times thought they wouldnt even hold me up. After 2 hours climbing back down, I was back in my hotel having a hot shower and wondering how I managed it at all. I was really chuffed that I did it though. The first place on earth Adam walked, and simultaneously the last place Buddha stepped from when departing into the afterlife...and also the place where the butterflies go to die.....
Rather than having a sleep it was time to move again so I got on yet another bus back to Hatton where I then boarded the train to lovely Ella which would be my last stop before hitting the beach scene.....wooooo
Thats all for now peoples, beaches are calling