Hiking the Pekoe Trail 06. Watagoda Sri Lanka

As I step onto the Pekoe Trail 06, I’m immediately struck by the beauty that surrounds me. Towering trees loom above me, casting dappled shadows across the winding path ahead.

My hiking companions and I set out from Watagoda, eager to explore the 14.8 kilometer trail that will lead us to Kotagala.

Our first short off-the-track detour is to see the Bottleneck Pass and a quick walk into the train tunnel.

I cannot reiterate enough about my fascination with trains and tracks. Here is a train going up to Badulla from Colombo.

And here’s the other going the other way!

As we make our way through estate roads, we’re greeted by the occasional leech. But with our trusty salt shakers at the ready, we’re undaunted. We also come across a few estate workers, and a villager. Apart from that it is a quiet day as the country prepares to step into a new year.

We push on, our feet pounding against the earth beneath us as we trek further into the heart of the Kotagala tea estate.

The landscape is a breathtaking tapestry of greens, blues, and browns. Row upon row of tea bushes stretch out before us, their two leaves and a bud waiting for nimble fingers. We pause to take it all in, savoring the crisp mountain air and the quiet stillness of the countryside.

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As we continue along the trail, we’re treated to a feast for the senses. The earthy scent of damp soil mingles with the sweet fragrance of tea and blooming wildflowers.

The rustling leaves of towering trees whisper secrets to one another in the breeze. It’s a world unto itself, and we’re lucky to be a part of it.

With renewed energy, we set out once more, our boots crunching against the gravelly path. The sun begins to dip towards the horizon, casting a pink hue across the landscape. It’s a beautiful sight, and one that we’ll carry with us long after we’ve left the Pekoe Trail behind.

As we finally arrive in Kotagala, we’re tired but exhilarated. We’ve hiked through some of the most beautiful countryside of the Talawakelle – Nanu Oya tea country, comprising  Derryclare Estate, Holyrood Estate, and St.Clair’s Estate. All famous for its production of quality western high grown tea.

Finally we arrive at the end of the trail at Kotagala, celebrate with our customary post-trek drink and return to our accommodation. It’s been a very enjoyable trail in comparison to Pekoe Trail 05.

Looking forward to the next!

Good to know:

Generally takes a little over 4 hrs (apparently) but it took us almost 5h30m.

Wear good hiking shoes.

Carry lots of water and snacks and a good sunhat and sunblock.

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