Friday, November 25, 2016

Sri Lanka: The almost missed Ohiya


We almost gave this beautiful spot in Sri Lanka a miss, because my brain cannot compute the need to move to another location after a night in Nuwara Eliya. The initial plan was to go to climb up Adam's Peak, came down, travel to Ohiya, get to Horton Plains National Park. As Adam's Peak did not happen, the revised plan was getting to Nuwara Eliya from Kandy and there really isn't a need to make a stop in Ohiya because getting to Horton Plains from Nuwara Eliya is totally possible, even though it was further away compared to Ohiya geographically. This translates to we could stay in Nuwara Eliya for 2 nights and avoid moving to another location just after an overnight.

My friend let me make the decision and it was a bad idea (lol) because I am fickle-minded and the rational side of the brain thinks that we should stay another night in Nuwara Eliya so it would be less tiring. The other side of the brain, however, argued that I really want to go to Ohiya despite the hassle of re-packing and moving after a short one night in Nuwara Eliya. As I could write this post, it meant that we did make our way to Ohiya because Heidi's Home was fully booked the next night, so even if we decided to stay another night in Nuwara Eliya, we would still need to pack up and move. So Ohiya it was, and I absolutely think this place is beautiful.

For some reason our tuk-tuk driver in Nuwara Eliya mentioned that it was more convenient, easier and faster  to get to Horton Plains from Nuwara Eliya instead of Ohiya despite the obvious difference in distance. Distance from Nuwara Eliya to Horton Plains National Park is 27.4 km versus 10.7 km from Ohiya. We made our way to Horton Plains from Ohiya so I can't comment on getting there from Nuwara Eliya. However, I would pick Ohiya over Nuwara Eliya anytime, as a destination as well as base to get to Horton Plains National Park.




In my opinion, the best view of the train is from Nanu Oya to Ohiya. It was a short ride of about one hour and the only time we had rain in our 2 weeks in Sri Lanka, but it was the best train view as the train went through high elevation, including Pattipola, the highest railway station in Sri Lanka at elevation of 1,897.5 m above mean sea level. We paid LKR 50 / ~USD 0.40 / ~AUD 0.50 per person. Best value train ride ever.



We stayed in Hill Safari in Ohiya and getting there was a little tricky. The road to Hill Safari was full of potholes and narrow. The last stretch was being repaired when we were there, so we had to change tuk-tuk i.e. getting off the first tuk-tuk, walked past the construction bits, then got on another tuk-tuk. Despite us bouncing off the bumpy ride, the view was amazing!


Hill Safari was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, with no internet connection, if you wonder.


There are some treks one could do in Ohiya but we decided to take it easy and skipped the treks. We only wandered around the compound and chatted with an Australian family (2 adults and 2 kids) who were there as well. How coincidence that we were all travelling from Melbourne to Sri Lanka on the same flight!


Dinner was included in the accommodation fee, and in all seriousness, there was no other option for food unless you carted some yourself. Food was great and I regretted on not asking how to I say, "Chula is a good cook!" I did tell him in English though and he could understand that :)
(Chula is the cook working in Hill Safari).

In case you wonder about the portion, they were refillable :P
One of the girls were talking about wanting dessert and I really thought she was joking... until Chula brought out this delectable, smooth creme caramel.


We had an early night as we would be getting up early for an early trek in Horton Plains before departing to Ella.


Side note: I have such low satisfaction index, give me free breakfast and I am a happy girl. Lol

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