It’s almost midnight and here I am on another train heading towards the South Central part of Sri Lanka. The window in my cabin is open and the cool air blows in, and I sit staring at the stars glistening above. I realize this is the closes I’ll come to sleeping under the stars.
My friend Sue and I had talked about taking this particular trip for over a year. We finally booked the train tickets a month ahead, not knowing what to expect on a night train ride.
We were shown to our bunk beds and we both just stood there laughing, thinking that this was going to be one long train ride.
It’s about 3 hours into our ride, I have the lower bunk, which gives me a vantage of seeing the stars and city lights in the distance. From time to time I stick my head out to catch a glimpse of the starry night and feel the cool breeze on my face.
Trying to sleep in a moving train is almost impossible. We finally reach our destination 10 hours later. We stretch our achy and tired limbs and head to find our hotel. After a few hours of sleep, we head out to our first stop, which is called 9-arch bridge or also called sky bridge. Construction of the bridge was completed in 1921 and is spectacular when you watch the trains going over it. The bridge is a huge tourist attraction not only because of the hike to get there, but also because it was built with only stone, sticks and cement and no steel.
I realized that this was going to be a long weekend, when my friend started to complain about everything. If we had to walk a few kilometers she complained, if the sun was shining brightly, she complained, It really did not matter what it was, she found a reason to complain.
However, after a few hours I learnt to tune her out and do the best to make my visit an adventure. I was unaware of all the hiking involved, but yet I was up for the challenge. Sue on the other hand decided to sit at the bottom while I went on all the hikes.
Despite her best effort to dampen my trip, I managed to capture the images I wanted and do the things I had planned.
The train ride back home was another long 10 hours. Since this was during the day, I managed to enjoy the views of the lush green tea estates, the waterfalls and the mountains in the distance. The random conversations with others passengers also visiting Sri Lanka, made the train ride go by faster.
Here are some of my favorite pictures I captured.