Pot holes, Monkeys and Leopards
Trip Start Jan 02, 2011
58Trip End Ongoing
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In Sri Lanka, the entrance fees to national parks are expensive and we paid the equivalent of 30 quid to enter. This was a whole days budget for us but luckily over the previous 4 days we had saved this. A return tuk tuk cost us 3500 rupees (around 20 quid), this was the cheapest option from Nuwara Eliya.
Entering Horton Plains was like entering Jurassic Park. It was very misty and quiet and knowing that there were leopards nearby as we walked through the forest trail was exciting yet daunting. Horton Plains is the only national park in Sri Lanka where you are not permitted to have a guide with you, so we opted to explore by ourselves
We got to Mini World's End and the view was obscured by cloud but it started to shift revealing the hill country below. The track then opened up onto the plains where we spotted Samba Deer in the long grass, prime prey for leopards. We got to World's End and the views were spectacular. We stood on top of an 880m cliff. After taking pictures the clouds rolled up the hills and the view was gone within seconds. This is when most people turned up so they missed out! We left quickly to leave the others behind and have the quiet trails to ourselves again. We crossed a bridge at the bottom of the plains valley and came across fresh Leopard prints. As the plains heated up, wildlife became scarce although we saw 2 birds of prey that may have been Mountain Hawk Eagles.
Another bumpy 1 hour journey back to Nuwara Eliya and we fell asleep at our guest house.
Total Horton Plains 50 quid.