Ella to Udawalawe
After receiving some Information from Justine and Yanik about the hike up Ella’s Rock, we decided to take the slightly less conventional route to the top. As we were told an early start would give us a better likelihood of clear weather, we managed to drag ourselves out of bed by 5.30am and set off onto the track (quite literally, we had to walk around 45 minutes on the train track from Ella train station to Kithalella station). From the starting track, it took around an hour to climb, clamber and pull ourselves up the mountain. Eventually we made it to the top and I must say, the views were incredible! Just as we arrived we were fortunate enough for the sun to break out through the cloud, in turn, this gave us a fantastic view of the city and valley below, truly amazing!
After making our way down and back to the hotel, we checked out and headed straight for breakfast! As I’m still trying to desperately cling on to western food, I opted for the ‘English Breakfast’ AKA toast, sausage and egg! With our belly’s full we quickly set off to our next destination, Udawalawa (also known as Udawalawe). We caught the first of our two buses to Wellawaya. From their we were able to catch the next bus to Udawalawa...however when we arrived we were told that it was a national holiday weekend for Sri Lanka, thus meaning the buses were crammed to brim with people travelling. Instead we took the easy way out and most expensive) and opted for Tuk Tuk! After bartering down from 3000 to 2000 rupees (£8.80), the journey took just under 1 hour (significantly less than bus journey) and we even managed to stop and see an elephant that came to the fence of the national park.
We’re we greeted by our next hostel owner at the Greenwood Safari Resort, who brought out orange juice and told us a few facts about Sri Lanka (however we had a feeling he wasn’t too keen about the British as apparently when we invaded we also hid ‘secret technology’ that was available to Sri Lanka). After 30 minutes of stories about advanced alien technology from the manager we managed to finally get into our room. Immediately upon entering we had a feeling we’d be seeing a few guests that night as there was a window without any glass or covering present! As we were further down south we also noticed the significant rise in temperature (we’d soon realise how difficult it would make sleeping).
Later that evening the manager informed us about an elephant orphanage down the road where we could go to a feeding for all the young elephants. I was soon let down however as I imagined we’d be doing the feeding...instead we were viewing the feeding from a platform about 15-20 metres away. However it must be said that it was still incredible to see so many young elephants that had been saved from abandonment!
As we got back to the hostel the manager whipped us up a dinner consisting of chicken and noodles. Kristy decided to go western with chicken nuggets and chips but soon learned they aren’t very plentiful when it comes to these sort of dishes.
Myself and Kristy got talking about some of the foods we’ve started to miss and although we’re about 3 weeks into our journey away, all we can both think about is pie, mash and gravy!!!!