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"...painted from the shelter of a cafe, after my return in the afternoon from the falls.


With no accommodation to be found in Karinda, I returned in the late afternoon, on the bus to Kataragama, where it had been my original plan to visit a nearby game reserve. Unfortunately, due to the recent rains, I was told this would not be possible, so, as there was still a bit of day left, I decided to head north by taking the bus to Thanamalvila. I stayed at the Government Rest House but it was not very good, and keen to escape the oppressive heat I found in this low inland area, I was up early the next morning and onto the first bus going north towards Badulla.


I had a full day of travelling involving a number of bus changes, which though it was fairly tiring, was more than compensated for by the fine scenery I was able to enjoy as we climbed out of the valley and into hill country. By the time I reached Badulla it was nearly dark but I soon found the rest house, which in contast to the one the previous night, turned out to be the most friendly and nicest of these government places I was to use. Within a few minutes of my arrival at the rest house the rains started again, and continued for most of the night.


I visited the Dunhinda Falls, that were about 5 miles away, on my first morning in the town. With the recent rains they were probably at their best, I certainly found them impressive, with the main fall being 190'. To get there I was able to take a local bus to within the last mile, but found myself having to walk most of the way back, a walk I enjoyed almost as much as the visit to the falls. Within a short time of my return to Badulla the rains started again.


Because it rained for much of the time I was here I was not able to see as much of this place as I would have liked, but my impression was of a fairly busy, pleasant market town.


The following morning I continued on to Nuwara Eliya, standing at an altitude of 6,000' my bus journey took 3 1/5 hours. At least this journey was another scenic one made in good weather, and I still arrived by midday, giving me the whole afternoon to explore this fascinating place, more reminiscent of somewhere in Scotland. Unfortunately, as seemed to be the way of the weather in this hill country, by 2pm it had clouded over, and within an hour it was raining again. 


Nuwara Eliya, the name means city of the sun, was the highest town in Sri Lanka. Developed during the colonial days by the British as a centre for market gardening and retreat from the heat down on the coast, in appearance it seemed to have changed little. When walking around here I felt more as if I was in some old Scottish or Welsh town that had stood still for 50 years, it was all quite fascinating, even the weather was more like being back in the UK. I could well understand why fellow Brits had felt so at home here. In the centre of town was an old post office in an idyllic setting, a scene I felt could so easily have been somewhere in rural England. I spent the night here staying at a small hotel called the Travellers' Lodge, where, in the evening, I was able to enjoy sitting round a log fire chatting to some of the other guests. It certainly made for a pleasant change from the heat I had been experiencing only a few days before." - MH

Badulla in the rain, 1979

  • All items are produced from original paintings by Martyn Hanks.

    Prints: Size is A4 (8.27" x 11.69"/210 x 297mm). Printed onto high quality 245gsm fine art watercolour paper to give the print an authentic look and feel. Supplied in a textured off white mount size 12" x 16" (305 x 406mm), backed and sealed in a clear cellophane wrap and delivered in a protective carton to ensure it reaches you in perfect condition.

    Cards: Size 7" X 5"/178 x 127mm. Packaged in a clear cellophane wrap with a top quality 150gsm self-seal white envelope.

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