TikaWeeks #13/2023: Sri Lanka & Maldives update

Posted by John on 27th March 2023

Tropic Breeze, an award-winning independent travel company to Maldives, the Caribbean, Mauritius and Seychelles

BREAKING NEWS. We are now collaborating with Tropic Breeze on our Sri Lanka and Maldives holidays. Tropic Breeze is a UK-based travel specialist to Maldives, the Caribbean, Seychelles and Mauritius, and we have been working with them in Maldives for the last nine years. We believe that this is the best way forward for Tikalanka and our valued customers after a few very difficult years. We are now in a strong position to look to the future with renewed confidence.

Tropic Breeze takes all bookings and payments, including by credit card, for our holidays as well as arranges flights, if required. Their holidays are fully bonded and protected, whether booked with flights via ATOL 5615 or for accommodation only holidays with ABTOT 5500, which means that your Tikalanka holiday is safe and secure.

From our side, nothing has changed. I front Tikalanka from the UK, although now as an independent travel consultant through Tropic Breeze, and Pathi delivers our holidays in Sri Lanka with the same team of expert guides.

The Pekoe Trail – Stage 3: Loolecondera to Thawalanthenna

This challenging 17.9-km trail takes around 6 hours from point-to-point and begins at the small bridge over the Ma Oya on the Loolecondera Estate. In the first hour of this stage, you gain 250 metres in elevation and the initial stretch is quite steep. As you progress along the trail you see a colourful Hindu Kovil and the Loolecondera Estate Bungalow below.

The next 3.5 km is a gentle climb on some of the prettiest and most historically significant tea trails in Sri Lanka and, if you feel like, you may take a short side trip down to see the lovely rock pools in the river below. A gentle uphill zig-zag takes you into the upper divisions of the estate, where there are fabulous views of a pine forest and rock formations. The further you climb the more remote it feels.

Leaving the last tea fields of the Loolecondera Estate behind, the trail enters a typical Sri Lankan ‘jungle’. The first 500 metres follows an uphill track onto the old and forgotten Dimbula Road, built by British engineers over 150 years ago to connect Kandy with the valleys beyond so that tea could be planted. This trail was meant for horses and bullock carts but it is now lost in time and completely taken over by the jungle.

At 4.7 km, the trail continues over the pass into the Stellenberg Estate, which looks south across Kotmale and the Rilagala Mountain Range in the distance. On a clear day, you should be able to see Adam’s Peak on the horizon. The next 4.5 km follows reasonably flat estate roads heading south towards the Helbodde Tea Factory.

After 10 km, the tea trail turns onto a very poorly maintained small tarmac road, and at the 10.5 km point leaves the tarmac road and continues straight ahead before beginning to descend, zig-zagging down between a forest and tea fields. The views in front of you are truly magical – the shimmering Kotmale Reservoir lies directly ahead.

Over the next 6 km, the trail loses 500 metres in elevation as you descend to Thawalanthenna. You will see the Ramboda pass and waterfalls ahead and the Gampola-Nuwara Eliya road snaking up the mountain. The end of this section of the trail is the point at which you cross the main road.

Categories: Financial protection, Flights, Maldives, News, Sightseeing, Sri Lanka, Travel tips

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