ELLA, SRI LANKA

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Another instalment of our travels in Sri Lanka. Ella, a little gem nestled amongst tea plantations in Sri Lanka’s hill country is, for now, a rural idyll but go soon – development is rife and soon may overwhelm the quiet, village charm.

 Getting from the coast to Ella, up in the mountains is not the easiest by public transport so we took a car. A nice surprise en route was our first encounter with an elephant on the side of the road.

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Another lovely sight was the view from the winding road up to the little town of Ella. The dramatic, plunging landscape could not have been more different from that by the beach – lush, wild and mountainous.

Legs of the route were perilous, particularly the final climb into Ella so I would suggest hiring a driver familiar with the road. Once you arrive there are tea plantations to explore and or Ravana falls a short stroll out of the village.

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Ella is popular with tourists but often ones in transit – it’s a day trip from Nuwara Eliya or, as with us, a stopover for those taking the train.

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We only stayed the night and the view from the cabins at Country Homes swung it for us when booking. They didn’t fail to impress. I would recommend them to anyone. They’re only a few minutes walk from the centre of this little town and not everywhere boasts such a spectacular location.

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Another reason to choose this family run guesthouse is the breakfast. Finally we were treated to an authentic, Sri Lankan breakfast including o our first taste of hoppas. The generous spread made all the more memorable by the surroundings; it’s not everyday you eat breakfast under the watch of monkeys!

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We jumped on board at the quaint village station headed for Kandy.

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This scenic stretch of railway is well renowned and, true to all accounts, the views were stunning though I would maybe suggest not travelling the whole length of the track from Badulla to Kandy (some 8 hours) because, beautiful view or not, there’s only so much you can admire.

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