Think lush green mountains, horses pasteuring all round and stately bungalows? Oh, and add hidden waterfalls, thick forests and freshly brewed tea, and there you are! - in Nuwara Eliya or Little England as it's better known.
Forever in search of an escape for our gypsy souls,Nuwara Eliya blew our minds and filled our hearts with pleasure. Aah! The joy of taking leisurely strolls around a lake, grabbing a cuppa and just idling around and mastering the art of doing nothing- all delightful, natural acts which are sadly a luxury today.
After spending two blissful days lazing around in the idyllic town of Nuwara Eliya and enjoying the Sri Lankan hospitality, it was time for our next adventure- a hike in the Horton Plains to the World's End.
Having lived in the mountains for a fair number of years, I have been to quite a few trails and I expected this to be similar. However, nothing could prepare us for the mind blowing vista that awaited us!
As the car stopped at the park entry, we were stunned into silence by the sight. It was like entering Jurassic Park- ahead lay miles and miles of plains, as far as the eye could see; a never ending expanse of lush greenery against the backdrop of a perfect azure sky. We began our trail and I couldn't help but gape at the beauty and wonder at how much nature has to offer, sights you can never tire of. It was a no man's land, where flora and fauna existed in harmony and was untouched by human greed and excesses. As we walked along stuffing our eyes with wonder, the trail soon led us deep into a forest. The trek turned a little tricky now, as there was just a narrow road between both towering and crouching plants. At times this road was muddy and slippery, probably from fresh rains and one needed to be mindful of steps.
At times we would stop to rest and in any direction that we looked, all we could see were the undulating, unending plain, punctuated in places by small waterfalls. A good two hours later, we reached the World's End- edge of a treacherous mountain. You supposedly can see the tip of the southern coasts of the country but it being a cloudy day, we were treated to jaw dropping, vertigo inducing edge of the mountain views, with a miniscule water body far off!
Though none of the pictures do justice to this place, we still clicked a good number of them, and continued meandering through the park. A while later, the distant roaring of water made us realise that we were not far from the Baker's falls. A bit through the plains, a bit through the forests and a few steps down and the mighty Baker's Falls was staring back at us. I took the quiet time to sit back on the parapet built near the falls and let the water droplets wet my face and quench my wanderlust. Such a beautiful scenery- the might, milky, roaring falls, birds singing around and a forest breathing with life. As I sat there stuffing my eyes with wonder and my heart with joy, I thanked the Almighty in a silent prayer.
Having spent a quality amount of time by the Falls, we now began our journey back. Dusk was falling and the good 12 kms that we had walked were now bearing us down! As we reached the gate for the way out, I looked back once again at the vast expanse of nature in front of me; my heart was loathe to let go but I knew I had to.
On the way back I was quiet. My mind was still left wandering in the fields. I had come to Sri Lanka with quite a few things on my mind which were weighing me down. But as I left, I couldn't ignore that my heart was singing. I realised that I had felt the most alive and content in my existence, when I had been close to nature and seen the world the way it was designed, the way it was always meant to be- pure, untouched and ineffably beautiful!