Recently (on 3rd December 2011) two tourists came to the above guest house in bicycles in the evening (6 p.m.) from Nuwara Eliya using the Ambewela, Pattipola, Horton Plains road.
They were charged about Rs.3000/- each at the Pattipola side gate. They stayed the night in the guest house and hired a vehicle paying Rs. 2,000/- to go to World’s End at 6 a.m. the following day. They were asked to pay Rs 3,000/- each again at the Ohiya entrance in spite of having told that they paid Rs 3,000 each only the previous evening and they never entered the main park at Far Inn and only used the road.
(They had the permit issued the previous day and it was shown to the gate keeper at the Ohiya entrance.) As it was not within their budget to pay twice at Horton Plains they had to give up the idea of going to World’s End after spending Rs. 11,000 including the guest house and the van charges.
In this Year of Tourism, I think the tourists to Horton Plains should be given a fair deal. They should be given at least one chance to enter the main park at the Far Inn entrance within 24 hours after the issue of the ticket provided they enter the Park before 3 p.m.- as the walk inside the Park takes about 3 hours. All that has to be done is to frank “Entered Horton Plains - Main Park” on the permit issued, so that no one will be able to use the permit twice.
A few months ago too four tourists wanted to come to this guest house at about 5 p.m. in a car using the Pattipola road and they have been told at the gate that the Permit is valid only for that day and if they come again the next day in the morning from Ohiya they have to buy the tickets again. So--they-had to- turn back from-the Pattipola gate, go back to Nuwara Eliya and come to Ohiya through Welimada and Boralanda, Ultimately reaching Ohiya at about 8 p.m.
when they could have reached the guest house by about 6 p.m. if they came through Horton Plains. They were so fatigued and angry that they had to drive through about 45 km of very bad roads in the Welimada area and thick mist inside the Ohiya jungle. It would have been only about 20 km (a 45 minutes drive) had they used the Horton Plains road to come to Ohiya.
The Year 2011. has been declared the Year of Tourism. Please treat the Tourists as well as the Guest House owners in a more fair and humane manner. When the Sri Lankans are charged only Rs.60, the tourists are charged Rs.3,000/- (5000% more) is it fair by any proportion to ask .the tourists to pay another Rs3,000 the very next morning to go inside the Main Park at Farr Inn?
Please give a fair hearing to this plea and allow the Tourist (and perhaps even the locals) to use the permit issued to them at least once to enter the Main Park at Horton Plains within 24 hours of the issue of the permit and before 3 p.m. the following day.
Oh yes,our country really deserves to be described as the ‘Miracle of Asia’ after what our government has done. Even as primary class students we used to learn our main exports were tea, rubber and coconut; but now we are importing coconuts. At the rate our tea industry is being ruined very soon we may also be importing tea.
There are also news reports that camels are to be brought down to Sri Lanka. It may be because our ministers have sold all their duty free vehicles they received and now wish to use camels to travel around. Oh yes, miracle of Asia indeed.