Haputale, Sri Lanka
After being badly sunburnt from head to toe, carrying a bag of shoes still heavy and wet from the flash flood, little sleep, and 6 hours of buses whose interiors flash colourfully like mini discos and have subwoofers blaring out upbeat Sinhalese pop music non-stop… I gotta say, just arriving in Haputale was a welcome reprieve. More tea estates? Yes please.
A small town perched on the ridge of a tall mountain, with expansive views of mist-covered peaks on one side and a tea estate and village-covered valley on the other, the geography of the town was such that getting around was far easier by walking along the train tracks than along the road. So I did just that, walking towards the outskirts of town to find a guesthouse. The first thing I notice? Butterflies, everywhere. (Given how tiny they are, they’re pretty hard to photograph.) You literally can’t turn your head anywhere and go more than two seconds without seeing a butterfly. With the fresh air and the pleasant locals, all smiling as we passed each other going opposite ways on the train tracks, I was pretty much enamored by the town within five minutes, before even finding a place and putting my stuff down.