But all this lay a long way ahead. In 1983, I did not know what to expect. We went up by bus, me and Nigel Hatch, who was a regular companion in those days, not least because he had been the first to warn me about Lyn Illangakoon when I went to S. Thomas’ as Sub-Warden. The general consensus was that Lyn was a sweet old man who had found S. Thomas’ all too much for him, but Nigel, whose older brothers I had known when I was in school, had been treated badly and insisted from the start that the man was a bounder.
He had been a tower of support when I found this out for myself, and was great fun too on trips, game for any adventure as I had found when I took him along with my old friend from Oxford, Gillian Peele, on a delightful tour over the Christmas holidays while the crisis at S. Thomas’ was brewing.
Within a few minutes of us arriving at Alu, Ena asked whether we were willing to go off to the Sinharaja early next morning. There was no reason to refuse, and so, after a fantastic dinner, the first of many, we were woken up at 2 am for the expedition, also the first of many.