Exploring the tea fields and mountains in Ella, Sri Lanka

After 7 nights in one place it was definitely time to move on, and our next stop was Ella. We had to get three local buses which took about six hours in total so we didn’t arrive into the mountains of Ella until nightfall. The last few hours of the drive were up narrow, steep and windy roads into the mountains so we were relieved when we got off the bus. We walked around a bit to find somewhere to stay and found a nice private room with private bathroom for 2,000 rupee. It was one of the nicest rooms we’d stayed in in Sri Lanka, apart from Tissa. We had heard about a restaurant there called Chill Cafe which was actually opposite our hotel so we headed there for some dinner. It was rammed full of tourists and there weren’t any tables free so we sat along the kitchen pass watching the chefs in action making all the delicious food. If there’s four or more of you we would suggest booking as some people waited ages to be seated, and there is often big tables of 20-30 people eating there. The menu all sounded really good and was a reasonable price for a popular restuarant. The presentation of the food was also very good and we were so tempted by everything watching all the food get prepared and cooked by the chefs. In the end Jordan went for steak with peppercorn sauce and vegetables and Natalie went for chicken fried rice. They also did really nice fresh fruit juices. 

Our first proper day in Ella we thought we would go to a tea factory as you are completely surrounded by tea fields up in the mountains. However the tuk tuk driver neglected to tell us that the factory is closed on a Saturday. You can still have a tour, but none of the machinery is working while you’re going round.

We decided to give it a miss and asked the tuk tuk driver to take us back down the mountain to the bottom of Little Adam’s Peak. It took us about 45 minutes to walk to the top of Little Adam’s Peak and then we were greeted with 360 degree views of Ella with an endless amount of mountains and tea fields.

For lunch we ate at Curd Restaurant along the main street and had some tasty vegetable rotis. That afternoon we chilled in the room making the most of the first half decent wifi we’d had in a long time and doing some bodyweight exercises as we hadn’t been to a gym since Galle. That evening we went for dinner at Chill Cafe again, this time Natalie had the sausage and mash potato (it’s crazy how much she had missed eating potato!) and Jordan had the beef burger. Both tasty but the burger and chips was on the small side so greedy Jordan ordered some potato wedges to go with it. 

You only really need one full day in Ella to see the tea fields, Little Adam’s Peak and some of the waterfalls there, but unfortunately we didn’t realise this and booked 3 nights. So we still had one more full day before we caught the train to Kandy on the Monday. We had a lazy morning and then ate breakfast in Dream Cafejust opposite our hotel. In the afternoon we got a tuk tuk down the mountain to a waterfall and watched the locals swimming and bathing in it. Lots of locals go there and it seems like quite a social thing with men drumming and people dancing and singing on the side of the road. It was a nice atmosphere but again you could tell that they were not used to travellers being there as we go a lot of funny looks.

We had a late lunch/early dinner at Different Corner restaurant where we had a delicious three vegetable curry. There was lots of writing from happy customers all over the walls saying it was the best curry they’d tasted and it didn’t disappoint. If you’re ever in Ella, we recommend eating here. Later on we went for some drinks in Chill Out Bar and then called it a night so we could pack ready to move on to Kandy the next day.