From Delhi to Sri Lanka
23rd March 2018
So, the long journey into Delhi from Jodphur arrived on time. Delhi, my arch nemesis, a place that had knocked me over more than once. And here I was again. I arrived at Sarai Rohilla, not the main and usual station in Delhi, and had to negotiate an auto-rickshaw to the Paraganj, the main tourist area in Delhi. The ride was slow, coming up against what appeared to a festival of some sort. The traffic was seriously not moving, It was busier than any place in Rajasthan, it was crazier, ahhh yes, Delhi. That’s how I remembered ye.
Not a great night’s sleep, hotel rather disappointing, I had a flight to catch at 1835, but before then I wanted to see the Red Fort. I took the Delhi Metro, much expanded on what they had last time I was in Delhi, and this was probably the best thing about Delhi this time. Fast, frequent, and the trains were pretty modern.
The Red Fort was, well, it’s very big. Comparing it to the other forts I’d seen in Rajasthan, though, well it’s not atop a big rock, and despite the size, there wasn’t that much to see once inside. And just crossing the road to get there was a real task. Many of the pavilions were undergoing reconstruction work, so were cut off from the public.
The Metro also saved me a heap of money, time and hassle to get to the airport. This had been built since my last trip, and it was a massive, MASSIVE improvement on the previous airport. Huge and modern, I checked in and was soon on my flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Getting off the plane the heat and humidity really struck me. Rajasthan and Delhi had been in the mid-30s, but a dry heat.
25th March 2018
I took a train to the hill country to this lovely little town called ‘Nuwara Eliya’. Another complete change of weather, maximums of 18 – 22 degrees, cold nights. The train journey took a good portion of the day.
I explored Nuwara and surrounds today. I visited the very pretty Gregory Park with Gregory Lake the centrepiece. I went to the Pedro Tea Estate and took a short tour in the factory seeing how tea is made. Not far away the waterfall ‘Lover’s Leap’, and I returned to the centre of town to check out Victoria Park, which was a lovely park indeed in the centre of town. You could still hear the toots of horns and traffic, but it was muffled.
I’ve found the area to be amazing. Some call it ‘Little England’ and it’s not hard to see why. Rolling hills of green, much of the green from the tea plants, and many of the houses have a English style to them. Sri Lanka really is a good couple of steps down from India in terms of the craziness of life. It’s a very welcome change. More to come! Thanks for reading – May the Journey Never End!