After Nuwara Eliya, we were headed to Arugam Bay, a Bay on Sri Lanka’s southeast coast, the best place for a surfing vacation in the country. I am not a surfer but I wanted to try it, maybe I am a surfer, I just don’t know it yet.
On our way, we came across this small street, the sidewalk was full of shack like cafes, little gift shops and a lot of tourists. Rohaan, our driver/guide told us we are in Ella. Ella is a small town with a rich biodiversity, a lot of mesmerizing waterfalls and a hilly countryside covered with evergreen, mossy forests and tea plantations. The word Ella is Tamil for Waterfall. Yes, Ella has that many waterfalls.
We stopped there for lunch, we found a beautiful cafe called Cafe chill. It was a huge cafe/ restaurant, mostly made of wood and surrounded by trees. It was like sitting in a huge bohemian tree house that served good food and cocktails.
The whole town had a laid back bohemian vibe, a lovely weather, and forests all around it. We decided to go for a walk in the woods before we left for Arugam Bay, the walk was so beautiful that we ended up staying the night, never made it to Arugam Bay. I will try surfing some other time I guess.
Ella has some of best resorts, offering the best views in Sri Lanka but nothing was available at such short notice. After checking a lot of places, we finally found ourselves a home stay with a breathtaking view of the valley. Ella was sunny yet not too hot, the cool breeze was invigorating, I sat there for a while taking it all in, breathing in the smell of the wild and letting joy fill every cell of my body. Ella has this refreshing, galvanizing effect on you, it enlivens you.
Some rest and a shower later we went out for dinner, after looking around for a while we ended up at Cafe chill again, it was lively and gorgeous at night, a tree house hosting a party, how cool is that!
When we got back to our place for the night I was speechless, the valley was lit up with lights and the sky was full of stars, millions and trillions of stars. The wind had a sweet fragrance of some flower or some tree, and it was just a little chilly, such a beautiful night it was. The morning, the sunrise was even more beautiful, the sky was glowing with a crimson hue, the freshness of morning breeze in that balcony was beyond compare. Oh, and the chirping!
It was almost like my happy place, this imaginary place I have in my head that I go to unwind on a particularly difficult day. I was so glad we decided to stop or I would have missed my happy place, can you imagine that? It was time to go now, beaches were waiting for us, but not before I jumped into one of those lovely waterfalls and immersed myself in my happy place from head to toe.
A quick tip, make prior hotel reservations, pack your trekking shoes if you are the sporty kind and try taking the toy train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella, if you have a hired a car as I suggested in my previous post, ask the driver to meet you in Ella, you don’t want to miss the view from that toy train like I did.
Next Stop – Hikkaduwa