Strachan/Stevenson family

England, August 2013

What did you like most about Sri Lanka and Maldives?

Sri Lanka - Scenery/views - the sheer beauty of the country. 

Maldives- indulgence.

What did you like least about Sri Lanka and Maldives?

Sri Lanka - some roads truly terrible!

Any other comments?

We did have one awful day in Sri Lanka. This was the day we were due to travel from Norwood Bungalow [Ceylon Tea Trails, Adam's Peak] to Nanu Oya, then travel by train to Badulla (hence back to Nuwara Eliya). It is correct that we specifically asked to travel the Ella-Badulla section of the line. However, the road from Hatton to Nuwara Eliya was closed for reconstruction, which made the trip as envisaged pretty much impossible. We would have appreciated some direct advice, either before we left UK, or once in Sri Lanka, saying what we were trying to do was unwise.

In the event, Oscar [chauffeur guide] - he clearly had misgivings, but equally clearly felt he had to give it a go - attempted to drive us the long way round (via Gampola) from Norwood to Nanu Oya. Even leaving 4.5 hours before we were due to catch the train, we were never going to make it. In the event, at 2.30pm (train departure time from Nanu Oya), Oscar was gamely trying to negotiate the truly awful A7 from Nuwara Eliya down to Nanu Oya, still some 6km from the station. At this point, after 4.5 hours of twisting, turning hill roads, our younger son threw up comprehensively, which put the matter beyond all doubt! We had to ask Oscar to take us directly to [Jetwing] St. Andrew's in Nuwara Eliya, where we spent a pretty miserable afternoon cleaning up with the rain lashing down outside. To complete the disaster, Oscar later rang to inform us that the [Horton Plains] National Park wardens had ruled out anyone doing the World's End walk the next morning. Given Matthew's illness, we probably couldn't have attempted it (at least, not all of us) but at the time it did seem to put the tin lid on a disastrous day.

I have to say that this episode was completely unrepresentative of the rest of the holiday, which went smoothly and which we enjoyed hugely. But I think some firm advice somewhere along the way could have saved us from a pretty grim episode!

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