Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
‘Twas an early start this morning… Although, I feel that the 3 consecutive 5:30am wake up calls, could be deemed as harassment… My head was sore, my throat was scratchy, my body swollen, itchy and my clothes damp, from a fever filled night. I definitely had a few more bites to add to my collection. Temperature was fresh…. Very fresh. The group was divided, put into two vans and driven to Horton Plains National Park to walk “The Worlds End” trail. The entire drive felt like I was close to my worlds end… with the itchy bites, fever aftermath and a bout of nausea to boot… My hand firmly on the window latch, to open at the ready. This must be what morning sickness feels like. Horton Plains National Park and The Worlds End trail. The beginning of the walk reminded me of what the old Mt Coolum track used to be… before they built stairs, making the mountain accessible to every man and his grandma! Heading off road, into the wild, and I started to feel a bit better as I reached “Small Worlds End” – a concrete platform, with no railings, perched on a ledge with a view of the National Park and mountain range. At the edge of the ledge, a 300 meter vertical drop and a cliff face where trees and shrubs are growing out in such a way, it momentarily makes you question if you’re horizontal or vertical. I took a photo over the edge and later, I couldn’t tell the difference. Unfortunately, visibility wasn’t great today, with some cloud and haze obstructing the full viewing potential from this point. I follow the trail a little longer before arriving at “The Worlds End”. The drop off is exponentially greater than Small Worlds End, measuring in at 1200 meters. That’s a long way down! So, I sit on the edge, to see what “The Worlds End” looks like in Sri Lanka… It doesn’t look like an end I want to meet, but it doesn’t look bad.. A steep gorge like canyon, drenched in rainforest that bleeds into the cloudy mountains and terrain surrounding it. The wind was strong and the air was fresh as I sat on the rock ledge, taking in the spectacular worlds end view/feel, before moving on, in my own world. 40 minutes walking and I’m at the next stop on the trail – Chasing waterfalls at Bakers Falls. The falls are moderately sized and all round awesome in the way that all/ most waterfalls are. Even a rainbow can be seen in the water mist, adding some “waterfall brownie points” to the experience. An hour or so more of walking and we’d reached the the end, and the beginning of the trail. I spot an elk, resting under tree and in keeping with the animal selfie tradition, I snapped an elk selfie with the grand antlered beast. He didn’t seem too bothered by it… Clearly, I’m an animal person. An afternoon of driving and we’d reached our destination for the night, Belihuloya. My bites and general condition were worsening, so not long after we arrived, I went to see a doctor. The doctor asked if I had a fever, and if I’d been in the jungle. Jungle fever! Doctors verdict… Lice bites. This Doc was legit but the curtain as a door and the packaging for my 5 different prescribed medications made me wonder… He placed the loose (not sealed) tablets in 5 small, butchers paper envelopes and assured me that, “I’d be cured”… Why am I not so convinced… And why am I still itchy?!