Ella, Sri Lanka

Our last stop in Sri Lanka was the beautiful city of Ella. We were so relieved to get off the bus after standing for 2 hours to arrive in a city that wasn’t stifling hot, but instead the perfect temperature of 75 degrees. We checked into our hotel which was right on the main drag and went for a walk through the town.

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Ella Spice Garden

We decided to go to a spice garden that we had read about online and was just a small fee. We toured around the gardens with a nice old man who told us about all the spices and what they were used for. He would crush up the leaves of each plant so we could smell them. We bought some curry spice from the nice old man at the end of the tour. We are looking forward to using it to make a tasty dish when we get home.

The next day we went to the tea factory. It was a beautiful ride up the mountains.

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Tea plantation workers

We were hoping we would be able to see the factory workers in action, but some parts of the factory were closed as the previous day was a holiday. Although some areas of production were still running and we could see the operation of all the machinery used to make the different types of tea. The areas that weren’t operating were still interesting, we just had to use our imagination a bit 🙂

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The Hogwarts Express! (Not really though)

Next we went to see the famous Nine Arch Bridge. We planned it out perfectly so we could see the train crossing at 1:30 p.m. We whistled Harry Potter theme songs in anticipation.

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Hiking Little Adam’s Peak

We asked our driver which hike is the shortest, he said Little Adam’s Peak and also mentioned it’s his favorite. It’s probably good we decided to go with a shorter hike because as soon as we hit the trail we could hear the thunder boom not to far in the distance. We sprinted up the many stairs to the top to arrive to this beautiful view.

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The last stop just outside of town was Ravana Falls. Many locals gathered near the falls to bathe in it.

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Cooking Class

That evening I finally got to do what I have been wanting to do the whole trip! Take a cooking class! Honestly I have missed cooking. Unfortunately, the class didn’t exactly live up to my expectations. I pictured us having work stations, but really it was one big station in which we all “pitched in.” I say pitched in because all most of us did was wash and chop some veggies and peal some coconut. I also was disappointed in the meal itself. The curry was bland, along with the lentils and rice. The only thing I did like was the sambol. If I didn’t know it was made with coconut I would have never guessed it, as it almost taste like thin pieces of chicken in a dry salsa dish. This is a dish I would definitely like to try to make at home! The best thing that came out of the class was the people we met! We ended up going to a place called Chill Bar – which totally fit the name. Sat in bean bag chairs talking, before you knew it we had them all participating in a game of Bowls!

The next morning we got up bright in early to catch the 10 hour train back to Columbo for our red eye flight that night. It was a beautiful ride – much better than the bus, even though neither had A.C. After some tv shows and sleep we arrived. Our next destination was the country of Myanmar. Read about it next!