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They call it mellow Ella

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Arugam Bay was an experience. A funny spot and quite unlike anywhere else in Sri Lanka. There again I think I might have said that about a few places over here.

Leaving Arugam Bay Caroline hustled a lift with a tuk-tuk driver to Ella. It was all on the qt and a bit dubious to be honest. There was obviously some kind of side deal done. We were collected from our lodgings and brought to the tuk-tuk drivers home. We had to wait there for about half an hour before an empty minivan arrived to collect us. From there it took about three hours to Ella. On the way we stopped at a roadside eatery and met a Canadian couple who were travelling Sri Lanka solely by tuk-tuk. What a crazy thing to do. We made it to Ella in the Hill Country by mid afternoon and were greeted by our new host Nelson from the Freedom Guest Inn. He's a charming fellow with good English and is an excellent host. Map of Ella, laundry service, reasonably priced clean accommodation and drinks. All in all a great host. We took a stroll up to Mini Adams Peak and you could really get a sense of the geography of the place - we wandered through a tea plantation to get there, past a snake charmer with a couple of Cobras and Boa. Last night I heard a Dublin accent - the first Irish accent I've heard since we arrived in Sri Lanka. It turns out I used to work with his father. Small world.

Ella is a small town with lots of construction going on. The town itself is little more than a lot of restaurants and guest houses but the best thing about it is the respite from the oppressive heat. It's a moderate 26 or 27 degrees - cool by Sri Lankan standards. This morning we walked a few kilometres along the railway line and for the first time in three weeks I got sunburnt. It's a bit like a nice Irish summer to be honest - stiff breeze so you don't realise that it's still hot. Altogether a delightful place.

Tomorrow we'll take a train about thirty kilometres to Haputale - another spot in the hills. It doesn't look like there's a whole lot going on there so we'll see how that goes. If it's anything like here I'm sure we'll love it.

Posted by goldenmaverick 10:03 Archived in Sri Lanka

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Ella is a hell of a place, really nice. Haputale is interesting, feels more frontier but you'll see for yourselves. Have a drink outside one of the off licences...

by Richie

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