Missing my train from Nuwara Eliya meant I would be travelling a 4 hour journey on two separate, hot and sweaty local buses. I wasn’t looking forward to it. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I really didn’t want to do it. Kicking myself for missing the train I started walking to the bus station. A friendly old man looked at me hopefully and enquired, “tuk tuk?” I turned around and thought- “Why Not?” Getting a tuk tuk to Ella was a flash packer move, and at 2,500 rupees, I doubted this choice at moments along the way, however I had my own personal driver. As he pointed out sights out to me, and we discussed our mutual love for 50 cent and surfing, I watched local life whiz past. Unlike on the train line, I passed mountainous valleys and tea plantations, as well as waving villagers. Listening to one of my favourite songs, (Skream feat Cassius- I love you so) whilst dancing madly in the back of the tuk tuk, made me smile enthusiastically to all we passed and was a real highlight of my Sri Lanka trip.
Arriving in Ella, I could see why many tourists flock here, it is easy. A small crossroad encompasses the whole of Ella- with restaurants, an internet cafe and an ATM. Everything you need is in walking distance to the various modes of accommodation, such as guest houses and hotels and boutique hideaway cabins in the hills, as well as there are many tea plantations and vast amounts of natural countryside that surround the area making tea plantations, factories, waterfalls and temples, so easily accessible for all the tourists to visit. Ella is a great place to go for a wander or take a hike. Walk just a few minutes away from the town of Ella and stroll through ascending tea plantations to Little Adam’s Peak, a easy tourists trek which offers magnificent views on mountains on one side, tea plantations on the other, whilst standing on a ridge- a balancing act of beauty. It has been given it’s name as it is the little baby sister of Adam’s Peak, a pilgrimage trek up to 2243m high, and is much more exhausting! Nearby are various other routes such as Ella Rock and Rawana Falls.
There are a number of tea factories that encircle Ella, although each factory varies in levels of information available and in price. A tuk tuk ride can be quite pricey so try share a drive there, or instead, include a tour of some tea plantations with a trip to Rawana Waterfalls. Most tea plantations offer free tea and cake, I’ve heard Mackwoods has great tea and an insightful tour- you can spot the Hollywood Style letters from a mile away.
I stayed at Ella Holiday Inn, reasonably priced although filled to the brim with feisty mosquitoes. What makes the place is the central location and the large restaurant attached that is famous for its Rotti’s: Downtown Rotti Hut, where I had a Kottu Rotti. This is a different style of Rotti, which unlike the usual parcel package as if a wrap, this particular rotti is with vegetables, all finely sliced and jumbled together creating a delicious mixture of rotti, vegetable, egg and sauce. Unusual but tasty, I recommend all to try one.