I LOVE ELLA!!!!! I actually cannot express this enough!
It just has that ‘vibe’ that is so reminiscent of Pai in Thailand; it is chilled and can totally suck you in, until before you know it your planned 2 night stay has turned into 4 or 5 (yep that happened!).
Ella is in the hill country of Sri Lanka, meaning it is hot during the day, but has a lovely cooling breeze, and at night it can get quite chilly. It also means the views go a little something like this:
Ella is pretty famous for being ‘the’ backpacker hangout in Sri Lanka, and it did not disappoint, but it also has it’s fair share of holidaymakers looking for another side to Sri Lanka than the beaches.
It is surrounded by tea plantations and plays host to Ella Rock and little Adams Peak (as oppose the the main Adam’s Peak to the West of Ella).
So after my safari I managed to get myself from Kataragama to Ella via 3 buses and was pretty chuffed I didn’t get lost on route to be honest. There is very little information online about how to get around Sri Lanka so you just have to wing it and hope for the best, luckily the locals are very helpful and always point you in the right direction 🙂
So what’s all this getting lost malarky I hear you saying…well let me tell you my little story from when I tried to hike up Ella Rock. Ella rock is probably a mid level climb taking around 2 hours up and 2 hours back down again. Now, those of you that know me know that I am like the MOST unfit person EVER! No joke, so any kind of walking is a struggle for me and 4 hours up & down hill was not something I took on lightly. Nevertheless, I was determined to get my bum up to what I assumed would be an amazing view.
Anyway, I had met a lovely Dutch girl the evening before and we had decided to do the hike together…smart! You know, in case you get lost (!!!) or break a leg or something (that didn’t happen before you get all worried!).
So, we set off fairly early to beat the heat, after getting directions off some random Spanish guy in my guesthouse…mistake number 1!
We started walking in the direction he had pointed and looked out for our first landmark; a bridge, where we should turn left. 30 mins into our walk along the road we found said bridge, so we turned left.
All seemed good, we were seemingly (!!) walking towards Ella Rock which we could see, and we had found our first turning..success! Not so much…
We spent another 1.5hrs looking for Spanish guys second landmark with no luck, and we were still on the road! I thought the 2 hour hike would be up a hill not on a road! After asking a few questions of the locals and getting very confused it turns out we had walked the complete wrong way out of Ella! Duh [faceplant]
Anywho, we had a nice brunch after being dropped off back in Ella by a Tuk Tuk and then decided to recover the day by climbing Little Adams Peak instead, which was a very reasonable 30 min walk up some stairs 🙂 The views were to die for…
Moto of the story…don’t take directions from the Spanish! lol
We did end up going the right way the Ella Rock the following day by honestly I’m not sure it was worth the hike because the views were not as good as from Little Adams Peak, so if you’re not into hiking then I wouldn’t bother.
Oh and the blisters and calf cramps I got meant I couldn’t hike up the big Adams Peak and see the sunrise, which is sort of bitter sweet as I bloody hate hiking! lol