7/15/18: Smuggling Beer

My alarm went of at 6:15 so I could do my long run before we had to leave for the train to Hatton.

The first couple miles were uneventful, though they were all uphill and quite tiring.

About 2.5 miles in, a small dog suddenly started sprinting towards me. I yelled, “hey!” many times, but it didn’t work at all. He just kept coming at me, and nearly jumped on me multiple times.

I tried to ignore him and keep going since he was so small, but he just kept sprinting at me every time I tried. I got sick of it, so I turned back around and went back the way I came. He didn’t sprint at me anymore, but he did keep running next to me for a while. It was seriously so annoying.

I ran 8 miles total at a pretty good pace. Anything less than 10 minutes/mile is a success for me.

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We quickly had breakfast at our guesthouse— bread with bananas and almond butter— and then headed to the train station. We were making our way to Nallathaniya, the town closest to Adam’s Peak, today.

We got 2nd class tickets, which meant we weren’t guaranteed a seat. I was pretty sure we wouldn’t be able to get one since there were already so many people on the platform.

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Cute dog in a tuk-tuk

Our train, which was scheduled to arrive at 9:23, finally rolled in around 9:45. We got on as quickly as possible, but people were being so aggressive and pushy that we couldn’t get on fast enough to secure a seat.

We ended up just standing by the door, which was actually quite nice because we could see the views really well. Eventually, the couple standing next to us got off the train, which gave us more room. We were able to sit on the floor, which made the whole experience 10 times better.

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It started to get colder and colder. I put on my plaid shirt. A bit later, I had to button it up. We were back in the cold, rainy part of central Sri Lanka.

At Nuwara Eliya, a whole bunch of people got off and we were able to finally sit in real seats for the rest of the ride.

We got off at Hatton and then tried to find the bus to Nallathaniya.

There was a tuk-tuk driver who offered to take us to the town, telling us that there was no bus to Nallathaniya in the off-season.

I didn’t believe him, so we ignored him and looked for the bus station.

We followed our phone map to a bus depot, but that ended up being just a parking lot for the buses. We asked one of the people standing by the gate if they knew of a bus to Nallathaniya. After a few minutes of asking around, one of the guys told us to follow him. He led us through a small street, then a big produce market, and another tiny street, before we arrive at the bus station.

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Leading us through town

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He told us we’d have to first take a bus to Maskeliya, then change to another bus to Nallathaniya. It was so nice of him to take us all the way to the bus station.

We were a bit pissed about the tuk-tuk driver just shamelessly lying to us about there not being a bus to Nallathaniya. It was hard not to judge his character— how can he lie to our faces like that?— but then again, I’ve never had to lie for money before. I guess that’s what you gotta do when your income isn’t stable. It’s easy to look at his actions with contempt since hustling/lying for business is such a foreign concept to me, but it’s also important to look at it from his perspective, too.

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The ride to Maskeliya took about an hour. The next bus was right next to where we were dropped off, but it didn’t leave for another 20 minutes.

It was only 3 miles to Nallathaniya from there, but the second ride took about 30 minutes because the roads were all in the mountains.

When we got to town, it was pouring out. I got my umbrella out, Adrian put his poncho on, and we walked about 7 minutes to our guesthouse.

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The river was crazy!

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We checked in to The Olive and got changed into warmer clothes. I was getting worried about our prospects of being able to climb Adam’s Peak. The weather did not seem like it was going to get any better, and it would be a bit pointless to climb up a mountain if you can’t see anything.

The owner got us tea and cookies. We asked if we could get dinner at the guesthouse since we were too lazy to go out in the rain, and he told us that he could indeed make us something.

We also wanted some beer to drink as we watched the World Cup Final, which was happening that night, so we asked him if he knew anywhere that sold beer. He told us that a hotel about a kilometer away would probably have beer.

So, even though we were too lazy to go out for a meal, we decided to venture out for beers. Makes sense, yeah?

Luckily, it had stopped raining when we went out. We found the hotel, went up to the bar, and asked for 4 cans of beer. We asked if we could take them away with us.

“Normally we are not allowed to do that, so please hide the cans and don’t tell anyone where you got them if you are asked.”

“Yes, of course we can do that.”

And so we put the beer cans in our pockets.

I found it so hilarious that we had to smuggle beers back to our guesthouse.

Our dinner was ready by the time we got back. It was rice and curry, and all the varieties of curry were delicious. I love homemade Sri Lankan food.

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We sat down to watch the World Cup final at 8:30. I really wanted Croatia to win, so it was a bit disappointing that they lost. But it was a really fun and entertaining game, so it’s all good.

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