Mind the gap at world's end
Trip Start Oct 31, 2009
52Trip End Feb 25, 2010
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The park itself sits on-top of a high plateau - a steep drive up. We hire a car and driver as its the only way to reach the park - the drive proves to be fine company and an excellent guide.
It is the only national park in Sri Lanka you can walk in unguided - we take the 10 km circular route round the park. It consists of grassy plains, and dense cloud forest. The plains were created when Hanuman the monkey god tied a burning torch to his tail and sweep it across them burning all the trees in revenge for the capture of Sita and her imprisonment in Sri Lanka - scientific fact.
The walk is quite easy going, despite legs aching somewhat from Adam's Peak. The walk takes us through lovely scenery - first to "small world's end" a 200 metre cliff with views of the plains below, and then onto "big world's end" - an 800 metre cliff views onto the plains, though with some clouds forming. Then Baker's falls - a large waterfall eventually reached after at first scrambling down the wrong hill, before scrambling back up it and finding the right hill. By late morning as we leave the park the mist is coming in thick - hence the early start.
After Horton's Plains we head to Ella - a small village (mostly guesthouses) on the edge of the hill country - at one end of the village there's a sharp drop between a steep hill and a large rock face - the Ella gap. Ella gap provides amazing views of the plains - even better than world's end. Though the best view point of the gap is in the gardens of the Ella Motel - so we buy an overpriced drink from their restaurant to see it.
The hill one side of the gap is called locally "little Adam's Peak" we walk up this on our first morning there - much easier than the real Adam's Peak, the route takes us through scenic tea plantations, Tamil tea pickers in saris offer themselves for photos to supplement their income. We also take the 6km walk down to Rawana Ella falls, a very spectacular waterfall. Apart from that some relaxing after all the walking.