22 April 2019

Adam's Peak Hike: When the moon is not a loyal companion

Sri Pada, Sri Lanka

Find Out how our trip to Adam's Peak was totally compromised by the full moon. 

Are you planning a trip to Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka? “Worth the hike,” people say!!! Don't forget to read our experience going to Sri Pada; It could be interesting for all of you guys. What an insane ride we had! While scheduling this journey in February we forgot a small but important detail which totally compromised our trip: the influence of the full moon!

The Ultimate Guide to Climbing Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka

Let me explain it better: we were coming from Haputale and we were up to the Hotel in Nallathanniya: Grand Adams Peak, which was just 100 m from the Adam's Peak starting point. The weather at Adam’s Peak was very fine that day and our plan was to arrive at the hotel, have a good meal and start the ascent around 2 am in order to reach the peak around 5 am to catch the early morning sunrise.

Adam's Peak Hike Full guide

All these plans were sorely compromised due to the full moon. Yes, it seems that Buddhists all over the world have a high regard for full moon days and as Adam’s Peak is a holy place, most of them climb the mountain on full moon days. Doing so seems very important for the Sri Lankans. In fact just after the Maskeliya Junction we had to slow down our vehicle due to the huge queue of pilgrims’ cars headed to Sri Pada. It was around six in the evening and it was already getting dark. We waited in the hope that sooner or later the road would get clear. 

Climbing Adam's Peak Sri Lanka

But for hours nothing happened, we didn’t move from that certain point. Behind us there were so many cars queuing and as the minutes ticked by, the line was getting longer and longer. The Sri Lankan pilgrims, who were probably already used to this situation, were waiting without any exasperation: some of them came out of their vehicles to chat with each other. Others played and sang songs in the middle of the main road. Vendors were going around selling food and tea; a man came to us asking if we would like a foot massage and so on.

Adam's Peak Hike

Because of all this we realized that it was ordinary scenery for them, they were well equipped to take advantage of the circumstances to do some business in order to earn money. Nothing doing! The situation hadn’t changed one iota for more than 4 hours.

Adam's Peak Hike

With a heavy heart we had to turn around our car to find a hotel somewhere closer to Maskeliya. The next day we went around the tea plantations in Maskeliya and as you can see from my photos here, we could only see Adams's Peak from afar. If you are in Sri Lanka, you are probably not going to waste a day, even if some facts like this can compromise your plans, because wonders are just behind every corner waiting for you. Nevertheless, in case you absolutely don't want to miss the climb, you better check your calendar to figure out how to handle it on full moon (poya) days

Adam's Peak Hike

Join the conversation!

  1. Interesting story! Such a pity you could not come closer to Adam's Peak ://
    But nice photo anyway :)

  2. I'm going put this on my things to do before I die list lol. Great post man I wish you the best of success

  3. Very interesting. At least the trip wasn't totally water. Thank God for plan B's lol

  4. I knew full moons were a big deal, but I hadn’t thought about it affecting something like this. Great tip! Thank you!

  5. I just recently saw a video with footage from Sri Lanka and now I want to go! These pictures only further that desire. Looks like a fun trip!

  6. Wow, what a nightmare - I had no idea that a full moon could totally scupper your plans - thanks for sharing your story!

  7. Gotta love local ingenuity. They knew exactly where to be to make some money off of the situation. I love it! I'm sorry that you're excursion didn't go as planned though. I hope you get another opportunity!

  8. Good story! So unfortunate that you guys did get as close as you had planned.😬😔


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