Lace-up your hiking boots for the very first stage of The Pekoe Trail taking you from Hanthana to Galaha. Begin your trek at the Ceylon Tea Museum (a place worth visiting if you’re keen on learning about the history of tea in Sri Lanka) and continue to walk in the shade of the tall trees that line the roads of the Hanthana Tea Estate, one of the oldest and largest tea plantations in Sri Lanka.
You will walk alongside the rocky ridge of ‘Katusu Konda’ (meaning Lizard’s back in Sinhala) with sweeping views of the seven peaks of the Hanthana range, as well as the nearby peaks of the Knuckles mountain range. On a clear day, you might even expect to see parts of the Victoria Reservoir. Keep an eye out for a range of birds you might see on this stage, including black eagles gliding across the mountainous ridges at some of the higher elevation points.
You will also pass a dramatic mountain facade featured in the movie ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’. In 1983 award-winning director, Steven Spielberg filmed scenes for his movie here in Kandy and the surrounding areas of Hanthana.
You will encounter smaller villages scattered across the trail, and along this stage you’ll find the community of Kithulmulla (be sure to stop by and ask to try some avocados, they’ve got some of the best!), which takes you to the end of Stage 1, near the post office in Galaha.