Andrew Miller is the former UK editor of ESPNcricinfo and now editor of The Cricketer magazine
It's fair to say I hadn't a clue where I was when I awoke on Friday morning. I knew the name of my hotel, but that's about it, having arrived under the cover of darkness following a busy day of pre-match build-up at both the ground and the team hotel. I vaguely remembered a long, winding, never-ending journey from Kandy town centre to what felt like the highest peak in the land, but that was about it.
I've since discovered I really was in the middle of nowhere, which goes some way towards explaining my disorientation. You see, living and working in Kandy is a bit like living and working on an upturned octopus. Most of the action takes place right in the middle in the town itself, a bustling focal-point with a welcome air of tranquility thanks to that glorious lake at the base of innumerable hills and hummocks. Most of the sleeping, on the other hand, takes place up, up, up and away.
It makes perfect sense. The cool mountainous air, the stunning panoramas, the karmic seclusion. It's what every human being in their right minds would want at the end of a hard day's chiselling at the workplace. And hence the only hotels worth frequenting are as far removed from each other as is humanly possible.
Going down is the easy bit. Your tuk-tuk arrives at 8.30am, and off you go, freewheeling recklessly through the hamlets and roadworks and the inevitable dozing dogs. The bumps and jolts are part of the ride, as you whizz towards your workplace with fragments of scenery popping into view at every hairpin corner. It's exhilarating to tell the truth, although not without its perils - one colleague told me yesterday how a similar journey in India had resulted in an emergency operation after the boneshaking dislodged a previously unnoticed kidney stone.
Getting home at night is the trickier part. For starters it's invariably darker, but that's the least of one's troubles. It's the poor tuk-tuks that are the problems. Two-stroke engines are designed to power chainsaws, not scrambler motorcycles, and the sensation you get as you scrape your way up a 2-in-1 gradient is rather like clinging to the coat-tails of an apoplectic hornet. The oil-curdling whine of the engine has to be heard to be believed, and the speed rarely exceeds a stiff jog.
In the end you find yourself clinging to the handrail in front of you, not out of fear, but in the vain belief that by doing so you might help in some way to pull the contraption along with you. It's utterly exhausting, which is perhaps another reason for the positioning of these hotels. By the time you finally reach them, you never fail to have a good night's sleep.