Ella, Sri Lanka

Ceylon as Sri Lanka was previously known, and particularly Ella which is is set high in the hills of this idyllic area evokes visions of colonial tea plantations ...this is a place to soak up the peace and quiet and to watch the tea grow... It is a place where the Sinhalese and Tamil cultures co-exist. Learning to cook the local cuisine here is a MUST and it is the starting or end point for the famed blue train rail journey which winds through the tea plantations and mountains passes and must be done in 3rd class to yield the full experience! Don't forget to scale Ella Rock or Little Adam's Peak, go zip lining and visit Nine Arch Bridge as well as the roaring Diyaluma Falls...

The journey to Ella took a little longer than anticipated as Ranjan is a very careful driver and we wound our way through steep mountain passes into tea plantation land. We stopped off for a view of the Diyaluma Views – it was raining so no swimming! We then arrived at 98 Acres Resort & Spa. This hotel is set is an incredible location in the midst of a working tea plantation in the hills. We booked the Grand Executive Suite which has an infinity pool plus separate two bedroom accommodation downstairs. It is a true haven of peace.

🙂 Spectacular views, perfectly located to explore all that Ella has on offer, morning Yoga, 5 Stars*****!

🙁 Overcharged our Amex and still battling to claw back over £600 – do not think these are Sri Lankan based staff

We headed over to the communal area for cocktails at sunset and as we headed over the heavens opened with torrential rainfall! The views were still spectacular!

We enjoyed a delicious Sri Lankan curry. We headed back to let our food go down listening to the crickets and owls chirping …magical.

We were up the next morning at 6am so that we could set off for dawn yoga. Charlotte stayed behind to continue with her work The dawn chorus was incredible…heaven on earth.

Our Yoga instructor was such a gentle soul. He told us that their village was entirely self sufficient growing all their food themselves. They teach their children to be present and to be happy with daily meditation. We were completely at peace at the end of his wonderful session.

On our return we could see all the ladies picking tea leaves while it was still cool.

We enjoyed a delicious breakfast whilst paddling in the refreshing water of the pool and admiring the flora.

We then headed for an easy walk up to Little Adam’s Peak which rewarded us with 360 spectacular views. The route is well signposted and was not too busy when we climbed. We did speak to other people who told us that there was a queue when they did the walk at sunrise.

On our way down I was persuaded to do the zip line – I am terrified of heights but am all for conquering my fears – and it was not as bad as I feared! Flying Ravana is located on the way to/from Little Adam’s Peak. It is Sri Lanka’s first zip lining experience, and is super safe as it is accredited by the European Rope Course Association’s stringent safety standards. Reasonably priced – worth the thrill!

With that out of the way we could continue with our sightseeing and we took two tuk tuks to the Nine Arches Bridge path which is fully functioning – if you time it right you can see the rickety blue trains cross the bridge.  It is a viaduct bridge which is 91m high and is one of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in the country. The construction of the bridge is generally attributed to a local Ceylonese builder, P. K. Appuhami and completed in 1921. From the drop off point it is a short walk on the tracks (as all the locals use the tracks as roads!). It is indeed a magnificent bridge so we posed for our gram photos!

Our tuk tuk drivers were waiting for us. On the way back to Ella we broke down as he had run out of fuel due to the crisis – his mate transferred some from his tank and we were back on our way. We enjoyed lunch at the very popular Cafe Chill. Friendly service, great cocktails and delicious Sri Lankan food. Highly recommended.

We had hoped to visit a tea plantation but it was a holiday and we had run out of time so we opted for a massage instead. I enjoyed my massage which was a basic neck and back. The girls opted for a specialist massage but did unfortunately not enjoy the experience at all.

The tea plantation factory tours were over but there are plenty of opportunities to purchase tea in Ella. We stocked up on supplies to take home.

We took a tuk tuk back to 98 Acres and just in time as the heavens opened! We enjoyed the storm and had a rest before our cooking class that evening.

Go Back To: Yala National Park

Go To: Honey Bee Cooking Class

Go To: Blue Train Journey from Ella to Kandy

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