Ella, Ella, Ella
Ella was my favourite place in Sri Lanka, just because it’s a lazy small town nestled in the mountains. Apart from the fact that Ella is extremely popular with tourists, here is also where you can find a lot of western dishes in menus and have breakfasts like yoghurt with muesli etc. Usually I wouldn’t be a fan of having western meals in an asian country, because I love trying local food. But Sri Lankan cuisine is limited to a small range of selections to choose from and by then seeing toast & yoghurt was like heaven to me.
If you ask the locals, they would tell you something like this… “follow the rail line, then walk until you see the big Buddha Tree after the waterfalls, then go down the staircase where you’ll cross a bridge, and then walk into the bushes.” No joke.Â
Many would opt for a local guide, but really all you need to do is ask other people you meet and see where you end up. There is only one peak after all, and it was a rather interesting experience getting lost. I love getting lost sometimes because there’s always unexpected places to find, especially in the countryside
Ella Gap isn’t so much an attraction but a viewpoint of this “gap” in between the mountains. I had seen a “preview” through the Ella Gap when I was on the train enroute from Hatton but being able to see it again was just amazing. It was so surreal, unfortunately no picture could do such a view justice.
Another great hike and attraction to visit is the 9 arch bridge. As always the hike begins by following train tracks again!
Met some friendly Sri Lankans working in the afternoon heat enroute to 9 arch.
After going in to a tunnel, coming out at the other end would be the 9 arch bridge. We got there at a perfect timing, really. A cargo train came by the moment we walked there and a very excited local teen came and babbled to us about Sri Lanka. He was really quite the chatterbox and I will never forget how he was so delighted to share all the different nationalities of tourists that he’s met. I guess he just really wanted to practice English.
On the way from Ella’s main town towards the 9 arch bridge, there’s a small restaurant/shop run by a Sri Lankan couple before the train station. Dinner was home made 5 vegetables curries with rice, and we had to “pre-order” in the afternoon before so they could prepare it while we were off on the hike. And can I just say this is the best and most authentic local food I’ve had during my entire stay in Sri Lanka.
My stay in Ella was filled with scenic hikes, amazing food, good vibes and sitting on the window ledge having beer on a nightly basis. What more can I ask for?