Nuwara Eliya is Freezing!

We took the train to Nuwara Eliya because everyone says it’s one of the highlights of the hill country. At the moment it is rainy season, so it’s 14 degrees, rainy, and socked in with clouds. No views and we don’t have any warm clothes to go walking or touring tea factories. I don’t even have a long sleeved shirt.

This is all due to lack of planning on our part, and a heavier than usual monsoon in the south-west. We kind of painted ourselves into a corner with our flight out of the country. Our visas came in and we booked our flight when we had already seen almost all of the country. Two weeks left in Sri Lanka and nowhere left to go. We went back to Kandy to see the Royal Botanical Gardens, but that doesn’t take two weeks.

What to do in rainy Nuwara Eliya?

Our first hotel had satellite TV, so we let the kids watch English cartoons for 2 hours! Very unusual for us, given that back in Canada we had no TV in the house.

Nuwara Eliya in the rain.
The view down the lake toward our first hotel

The next day, we changed hotels and killed an hour and a half walking to the new one. Mixed rain and sun and a walk down the lake. We had our backpacks and almost every stitch of clothing on, so we weren’t too cold. Once we settled in and taxied into town, we found the public library and read children’s books until the place closed.

Right across from the library is the golf club, so we went over there and loitered in the pro shop until they turfed us out. Made it to dinner time!

Elliot at the pro shop.
The staff tried to teach Elliot to putt!

Running while travelling with kids

My wife and I, if you didn’t know, are avid runners. Back home we each tried to run at least twice a week. Sometimes we got in as many as 5 runs in a week! Often our sanity depended on a good 10 km; a good hour of running wipes out a stressful day of work and/or parenting.

It's hard to dry running shoes on the road!
Running shoes drying under the ceiling fan – a common sight.

Running while travelling has been kind of hit and miss so far. We had some great mountain runs, in Ella for example. We’ve done a bit of running on the beach, but I don’t see the point of doing that in shoes. Building up enough callus on your soles takes a while, and it’s not permanent. You stop beach running for a week and it’s all gone.

To run when you’re travelling with young kids is a bit tricky for us. The kids can be a bit of a handful, so you feel bad leaving your spouse alone with both of them.

We take turns early in the morning while the kids are still sleeping. Sometimes we can both run on the same day, sometimes we alternate days. This works fairly well but then you always end up with one tired parent for the rest of the day.

Running in Kandy

Lately we have been staying in Kandy, in the central hill country of Sri Lanka. We both love to run hills, and the only flat street in Kandy is the lake ring road.
The problem, as with many places in this part of the world, is the traffic. When there’s no sidewalk and the majority of vehicles are diesel, running in the road is less than pleasant. The local buses belch black smoke in your face and the tuk-tuks pass on the shoulder, which is where you’re running.

The only option is to get up at 5 AM, run before the traffic gets too bad, and then go back to sleep until everyone wakes up.
Hopefully the next destination has a little less traffic, but I’d be amazed.