It’s the most popular tourist spot for those looking to experience Sri Lanka’s hill country. Ella is a small town located among the various tea plantations. It also has some nice easy hikes that aren’t in national park land, hence no need to fork over $25 for a hike that may or may not have views totally obscured by fog/rain. I liked Ella. It has plenty of things to do during the day to keep you busy and lots of decent restaurants for somewhat higher end Sri Lankan food at night.
One of the hikes, Ella rock, is particularly interesting, not just for the scenery at the top, but also for finding the proper route. At the beginning of the hike you walk along the railroad tracks and you have to find the proper turnoff point to get you on your way up the mountain. Various people have tried to put up signs or markers to let hikers know the right way, but those seem to always mysteriously disappear, as there guides along the way hoping that lost tourists might employ their services. Those sneaky guys!
But you can get a map and decent description online ahead of time to help you on your way. And don’t listen to anyone telling you that you’re going the wrong way! I might have taken this too far when a little old lady pointed me in the direction of the trail near her home that veered off from the main trail I was on and I didn’t believe her! I kept heading on my current path and ended up getting temporarily lost and had to scramble my way back to the main path. Hmmm.
Eventually I made it up to the top to find this view of stunning, gorgeous, total whiteness! The best! You never really know what you’re gonna get with weather in this part of the country. Eventually a couple of girls from Perth joined me to view into the abyss. We decided to stick around for a while and eventually the mist disappeared for a few moments at a time, just enough to get off some photos. Success!
We also did the other small hike, little Adam’s peak, which I kind of had to do, as it bears my namesake. This one is easy, just stairs to the top with some more nice views of the hills and tea plantations. We could have done a tea plantation tour as well, but I’ve done them in India and I think they’re one of those things where once you’ve done one, you’ve done them all. Plus I don’t really care for tea all that much anyway! But we did have some time to walk through the tea bushes and have a drink at the resort on top of a hill overlooking everything. It’s a very pleasant place!
So I stayed two nights in Ella, and would have liked to stay three so I could rent a scooter and explore around a bit, but some rain was coming and I decided it would be better to get down from the highlands and off to the beach. Next up, Mirissa.