We ride through the rolling hills full of round, green, bushes. As far as I can look I see tea plantations. We’re up in central Sri Lanka. I hold on tight and lean forward out of the door of the train, the sun shines bright in my face. I smile, I feel two friends standing close behind me. Stephanie’s head peaks out of the window right in front of me. Her hair blown backwards in her smiling face by the speed of the train. The train makes big turns and in every turn you see arms, heads and legs hanging out of the windows and doors. Higher and higher we climb into the mountains. On the way we pass waterfalls, drive through woods and alongside steep lush green valleys with small villages. The temperature drops a couple degrees and gets more pleasant. The train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Ella is supposed to be the most beautiful train ride in Sri Lanka. It definitely is and for 50 rupiahs worth every penny. Late afternoon we arrive in Ella. We walk through the centre street, which is full of cosy bars and restaurants. Chill Café looks most appealing to us. We take a seat and meet our new love for the first time: a passion fruit mojito.
Little Adams Peak
It’s Sunday morning, with the four of us we walk through the tea plantations to Little Adams Peak. Every 50-meter there are mostly elderly women working in the fields, collecting tealeaves in huge bags they wear on their backs. Halfway to the top we hear music, curious where it comes from we walk towards the sound. We arrive at a traditional, local Sunday gathering. Everywhere I look are beautiful women dressed in colourful sari’s. Everyone is smiling and has a bright red bindi on their forehead. We get sprinkled with holy water and invited to have lunch with them. The warm welcome and friendliness of the Sri Lankan people make me feel immediately at home.
The walk further up Little Adams Peak isn’t a real challenge but the views over the valley are not less rewarding. You have a 360 view over Ella, the surrounding tea plantations and a waterfall. We sit down to catch our breath and for a moment enjoy the silence and view.
On our way down we pass the 98 Acres resort. It’s situated lower then Little Adams Peak but the view is still to kill. We have a deserved cold drink and marvel yet again at the amazing views. If it wasn’t for our urge to go to the sea I could have stayed here for more then a week. In the little mountain town you can experience traditional Sri Lanka. Ella has an authentic hippie like atmosphere, lots of small bars, eateries and shops. There are easy and challenging hikes and in for a swim? At the Ravana Ella Falls you can plunge in for an ice-cold refreshment.