Week Without Walls 2016

The last week without walls of my ENTIRE LIFE has come and gone, and while it’s bittersweet, it was unforgettable. From climbing for hours (and getting ridiculous tan lines) to stargazing in the depths of Horton Plains, this week was full of new experiences.

We saw new plants and animals, including rhododendrons, frogs, and snake skins, and experienced colder temperatures than our tropical lifestyles were used to. (less than 8 degrees!) The bungalow in Horton Plains that our group stayed in was a shock for us, as we couldn’t even believe we were still in Sri Lanka. The cold – so much so that we slept in sleeping bags with sweatpants and doubled up on sweaters – mixed with the beautiful starry nights with Samba deer just meters away from us, made the 2 days up there challenging but beautiful. One of the stranger parts of the stay in Horton Plains was the “technology cleanse” everyone was subject to. Without any electricity, we all had to survive with the battery power that we came with. Being stingy with my cell use definitely isn’t something I was used to, but it was nice to pack Instagram and Facebook away for a few days in trade of hours of competitive Taboo by the candlelight with the group.

We climbed the top 3 highest peaks in Sri Lanka in ascending order, starting with,Thothupola, then Kirigalpotta, and finally Piduruthalagala. Without a doubt, the 7 hours it took to climb Kirigalpotta was the hardest part of the trip. We went through various terrains, such as swamps, thick forest, plains, and rocky uphill areas. The view from the very top, however, was 110% worth it, with mountains as far as the eye could see and a sharp drop right at the edge (even if my legs were about to give way any minute). Unsurprisingly, no matter how tired I was, I managed to take a selfie at every peak – and then some :P.

We did other, easier hikes, including World’s End. The view from the top was amazing, especially with rays of the rising sun peeking over the mountains across. On the first or second day, we swam in a small natural pool with a waterfall (below) and while the water was freezing, it was so much fun to swim over and try and withstand the running falls.

Overall, the adventures of the last week of January were unforgettable and will be sorely missed next year as I sit for mocks. 😦

Take a look at a little overview of the trip from the few times when my phone had battery below:

Photos by yours truly! (photos of me probably by Aamir)

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