Hiking the Devil’s Staircase

“You have to hike about 13km over the mountains – there’s no street, just country lanes and paths.”, Sereno explained us when we said we’re keen hikers and interested in exploring secluded areas. “What an adventure”, we thought, and kept this in the back of our mind for when we reach the highlands…

…It was a beautiful train ride from Kandy to Ohiya, through tea plantations and past waterfalls. After 4 hours – when all the tourists alighted for Nuwara Eliya – we even got a seat 😉

Ohiya, that feels very much in the middle of nowhere, after the couple of tuk tuks have left to bring arriving guests to their accommodation, that is. With 1,774m above sea level, the railway station is one of the highest in the country. We stop at one of the little coffee shops or “hotels” (as they are called here) opposite the station, enjoy a comforting milk tea and check out the situation. A few minutes down the road into the village, we find a few nice guesthouses and end up staying with an older couple and even come to know the true promise of a home-cooked meal! They’ve recently built a little hut to accommodate guests and we enjoy the panoramic views – as far as the incoming mist allows us to. To prepare ourselves a bit for the big hike the following day, we decide to walk around in the area. And we shall discover a hidden campground! Nobody is there, it looks like it’s abandoned and – as we shall learn in a couple of days on the other side of the mountain range from a guide – we are not supposed to be here. It’s been closed down by the government. But hey, the signs are all in Sinhala, someone not speaking the language simply wouldn’t know…

The day has arrived – we walk up along the road, accompanied by a few lovely dogs to start with, for about 4km to where a small country lane branches off to the left. Breathtaking views await us and off we go:

It’s a wonderful hike through the Devil’s Staircase (so called b/c of its narrowly winding up/down path), past tea plantations, tiny little villages with curious kids and smiling elderly. In the afternoon we get to see views over to Bambarakanda Falls, Sri Lanka’s highest waterfall, all the way to Kalupahana Junction (back in civilisation after about 17km of gorgeous hiking).

Words can’t quite describe how I feel in the serenity of the landscape. Here are some of the photos we took:

One Comment Add yours

  1. Kat C says:

    wow Micha, sieht fantastisch aus!!!! Du kannst ein Buch draus machen 🙂

    Like

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