Around 6am I found my driver waiting for me and we drove the couple hundred feet to the park entrance.
Upon entering the park I saw this sign telling me that my luck ran out.
While the park has many animals it is primarily known for its elephants with over 500. In the first 2 hrs we didn't see any of those behemoths or leopards which I had no faith in seeing either way, Can you see the Elephant?
Well neither could I but it was officially there, and all the other jeeps there were snapping pictures of the invisible creature.
but we spotted Water Buffalo,
Peacocks blocking the road,
more Peacocks really blocking the road,
many eagles and yet more peacocks,
as well as a bunch of other exotic and unique birds. Finally on the way back we came across a family of elephants who apparently hadn't gotten the memo to hide.
A lake thats only a lake in the wet season.
Even had I not seen them it was a very nice experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
The drive up towards Nuwara Eliya is phenomenally breathtaking. Through endless plantations of tea,
and rice paddies.
With spectacular views of rolling hills of lush greenery
and waterfalls as far as the eye can see it was truly memorable.
Most people do that route on train as the scenery is something else but with a child I opted into staying with my car after seeing train travel there and fearing the prospect of being trapped in that metal tube for hours at a time.
There are many waterfalls to stop by on the way with swimming holes.
The roads we drove one were like a 6 lane highway compared to the turnoff towards the hotel, it was 15 minutes of driving on a frighteningly thin path as it wound it's way up the mountains to one of the tallest peaks in the country. It was perfect size for a tuk-tuk but this was a 2 way road with cars, buses, and trucks fighting for the road with extremely tight and steep 180° turns. Whenever traffic comes from the other direction you need to back up until there is enough room for it to pass by the skin on your teeth,not for the faint of heart.
Upon arrival at the hotel there was some ritual we went through involving delicious tea and a dot on our foreheads. Quite a unique place, Its on a tea plantation and housed in a former tea factory and they left lots of the old charm. The main engine is still in the center of the lobby
and the elevator is an antique.
The staff is all in uniform,
and its all tea themed down to the handmade soap and shampoo containers in mini tea pots.
Lobby seating area,
Floor design in honor of Sinhalese new year made out of shredded coconuts,
View from my room,
I was upgraded to one of the only 3 rooms with a balcony.
Updated chances of me finishing this TR = 7%-93%.