…….The World Without Boundaries

That Place called ELLA

Written By: jipp - Feb• 13•15

Ella was one of the places that my travel buddy Audrey had suggested us to go when we were touring the beautiful highlands of Sri Lanka. To tell the truth, I had never heard about it before Audrey mentioned it to me but of course anything with mountains and tea plantations turned me on so I was quite excited.  We went there by train after hiking across the beautiful grassland of Horton’s Plains and I could never get enough of the beautiful scenery that we were served with while cruising on the fast-moving (or slow-moving, depends on your expectation) train. I mean, seriously, the beauty of Sri Lankan highlands really took me by surprise. The train ride itself was very exciting. Every now and then the train would cut right through a hill in an underground tunnel and the screeching sound of the rails was deafening but of course it was part of the excitement.trainride (Copy)

Ella that I found out was more like a village which was about to turn into a small town. It was far from developed but the tourism industry seemed quite promising with more and more tourists coming in. A cab took us to a beautiful guesthouse which was very much strategically located on the side of a hill. The view from the veranda was just so breath-taking I really couldn’t get enough of it. It was quite unfortunate for us to be there during a long drought when Ella was not at its best look. I was told that it had not been raining for the last 6 months so the whole area was quite dry and dusty. A waterfall was supposed to be seen streaming down the hill and made it such a perfect picture for a postcard but still it was breath taking even without the waterfall.HillViews (Copy)

Ella really is a place made for deep relaxation. I could just sit there at the veranda and marvel at the beauty of the surrounding or probably do a little bit of reading and turn to see the beautiful view whenever I needed a break. The host family was very warm and welcoming. The father was there on a full-time basis so he looked after the guesthouse most of the time. I noticed how the house was being expanded with more rooms were being built probably to carter the needs for more guests. Right now they can only accommodate two guests (for one per room) at a time. In fact, we could only stay there for one night because somebody had already booked it for the next day.TheHostel (Copy)

The mother doesn’t really talk much but she smiles a lot. She prepares a spread of home-cooked dishes for our dinner and they turned out to be some of the most delicious dishes in the whole of our trip to Sri Lanka. I could only assume that they were cooked from the heart and hence the tastiness and yumminess. The pair has a son who is working as an IT teacher at one of the schools in the town nearby. He did come to have a conversation with us over dinner and having a conversation with a local has always been one of the best experiences when traveling because it offers us the opportunity to see things from the eyes of a local.

dinner (Copy)

Yummy dinner prepared by the host

We actually planned to stay in Ella for two nights but the drought didn’t seem to make it worth enough to stay there for more than a night. Most of the attractions were related in one way or another with water or rain so we didn’t want to waste our time and energy walking for so many kilometers only to see a dry waterfall.Ontherailway (Copy)

We decided to move on and took a bus to Mirisa the next day. It was time to say good bye to the beautiful highlands and returned to the coastal areas of Sri Lanka where the bright sunshine was waiting.

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One Comment

  1. thomas says:

    Still with the old colonial charm.

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