Our second destination in Sri Lanka’s main tea producing area was a two and a half hour scenic train ride from Ella. The nearest train station at Nanu Oya is a few miles out from Nuwara Eliya, requiring a 20 minute taxi ride to get us to our accommodation.
We had not made any firm plans for this area. It was a short stop en-route to Hatton where hoped to climb Adam’s Peak. We had also learnt that our friend from the hotel in Pasikudah lived in Hatton, so were looking forward to meeting up with him there.
Our accommodation was another Homestay. This time it was quite a grand property where the entire upstairs of two large family rooms and two smaller rooms were given over to guests, although we were on our own after the first night. An amazing breakfast was included – more than we could eat!
We were located a 20 minute walk east of Victoria Park, a large landscaped park which also houses a small museum so we headed there to relax after getting some ice-creams from a small supermarket across the main road. We took a football on the off-chance of being able to have a kick-about (we’d been given a ball by people we met on Pasikuda beach), but this wasn’t allowed. Elliot is missing his weekend football practice and matches!
The park isn’t free to enter – but the cost of ~£1.50 (350 LKR) each is fairly reasonable – kids were free. The park is about 25 acres and has a play area at the northern end. March to May is one of the two flowering seasons so the displays were in full bloom. We didn’t go into the museum – the kids wanted to run around, and the reviews on it suggested that we weren’t missing much.
Lover’s leap waterfall is a common stop for visitors here and we fancied a bit of a walk to see what it was all about. Our route there from our accommodation followed the roads, taking us through Hawa Eliya and on up winding tracks through a tea plantation. A few hundred metres from the base of the falls, we came across a few tuk-tuks that had brought other visitors. Apart from our youngest who’d struggled in the heat and refused to go on several times (are we bad parents making him do these walks?) we were glad to have made the effort on foot. The last bit of track offered some shade and Elliot was happy once we arrived – there were boulders to climb on!
We had the falls almost to ourselves and spent time admiring the view and taking photos, finally using a small tripod we’ve been lugging around. We climbed around on the boulders for a while and then headed back, following a shorter route back that we’d seen others taking.
With a young boy desperate to kick a ball around, we headed towards Gregory Park the following day. This hugs the southern edge of Lake Gregory, and once in the park you can hire boats – however, there’s an entry fee and playing football isn’t allowed. We decided not to go, having just crossed a large green area to get there. Along the northern edge of the lake there was a lakeside walk which looked pleasant but even for this there was a charge, so partly on principal we didn’t do that either. We settled for the free green-space and played football (jumpers-for-goalposts!) for an hour or so. A chap with a small horse came by (there’s a racecourse nearby) and we took him up on his offer of a ride – Elliot was helped up and had a 10-minute lap of the area, the guy trying to get him to take control a couple of times albeit with limited success.
On our last day, our homestay host kindly gave us a lift to Nanu Oya station and we caught the train to Hatton, another very scenic train journey, for our stay in Dickoya.