Booo to Train Strikes….Nuwara Eliya to Ella

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08-12-17

Having enjoyed a super tasty 3 course brekkie (inc cake to my delight), we packed up and headed out.

Today we were planning to get the train South from Nuwara Eliya to Ella. It’s renowned for being the most beautiful and picturesque stretch of railway with incredible vistas of the rolling hillsides and tea plantations. So needless to say we were absolutely gutted to wake up to hear the news of a rail strike and no trains for the next 24 to 48 hours. All of a sudden it feels like England.

Chamindra, our awesome driver that we used for the last few days took us down to the station to see if we could get a refund for the pre-booked tickets but even the ticketing staff were on strike. We were super disappointed but we’ve learnt that not everything goes to plan when travelling and you just have to roll with the punches when situations are beyond your control.

We paired up with another couple of stranded travellers and shared a minibus to Ella instead. The journey took two and a half hours and Patrick and Marie from Canada made great company. Whilst probably not as stunning or dramatic as the train, the road journey and scenery was still varied and interesting.

We arrived in Ella ahead of time (the train would have been 4 hours) which carried its own silver lining because the homestay we booked had incredible views and a wonderful patio and chill out area. We idled away the afternoon drinking tea, eating biscuits and gawping at the stunning views of mini Adams Peak and Ella Rock. The climate here is just right. It’s as hot and sunny as a perfect summer’s day in England with a gentle breeze. The heat isn’t oppressive or humid but crisp and fresh.

In the evening we took a stroll down into town for some dinner. We went to a real ramshackle place called Mateys Hut. It looks like nothing special but we’d heard amazing things about the home cooked curry. I’m pretty sure we have indulged in a curry of some form every single day since we arrived. My 4 veggie curry selection was particularly tasty and featured a whole mango cooked in spices and curry sauce. A first for me but crazy tasty.

We had a quick mooch around town which has a really nice, gentle vibe with eclectic shops and bars with live music. It’s just small things but nice lighting in a place makes a massive difference and looks so inviting in comparison to the stark flouro strip lights generally used in Sri Lanka. Looking forward to a proper look around tomorrow.

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