We woke up at 8:30, purely for the reason of grabbing the free hostel breakfast before it ended at 9.
We ate some toast, bananas, and random Sri Lankan baked goods. There was one muffin that Adrian liked so much that he had about 5 more.
At 11:30, we got a tuk tuk to the railway station. It was raining out, and I was sort of happy to be leaving and going to a warmer place.
We got to the station, got our train tickets, and waited on the platform. The station was WAY more crowded than it was in Kandy. I suppose everyone wanted to leave the cold weather.
We had 2nd class tickets, which meant that we weren’t guaranteed seats. I was pretty sure we’d have to stand the whole ride, given the amount of people at the station.
The train was supposed to come at 12:45, but at 1 pm it still wasn’t there. We saw Ed, the British guy we had met the night before at the hostel, walking toward us. I thought he wasn’t leaving until the day after, so I was confused.
He said he just didn’t want to spend another day holed up at the hostel, waiting for the weather to improve, so he decided to check out early and go to Ella.
Finally, at 1:15, the train arrived. I tried my best to get on as quickly as I could, but by the time I was on board all the seats were taken. We made our way to the middle of the car, put our stuff down, and grabbed onto the handles. It was going to be a long ride.
It was picturesque, though. The view the whole time was just beautiful vista after beautiful vista. So many tea plantations, little villages in large valleys, and endless greenery. It sort of sucked having to stand and constantly move out of the way for people, but it wasn’t THAT bad. Luckily, the ride was only 2.5 hours.
Adrian had gotten separated from Ed and I at the very beginning of the ride, and he was the one with the snack bag. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so I was starving.
By the time we got to Ella, it was 3:45 and I was ready to pass out from hunger.
Ed walked over to his hostel and Adrian and I walked over to ours. It was only a mile away, so I figured we could handle the walk.
The guesthouse owner was there to greet us and showed us to our room. He also offered us tea and cookies, which was very nice.
I was craving a run, so after a few snacks I got dressed and went out.
I’m really glad I did, because it was BEAUTIFUL. Truly one of the best runs of my life. It was hard because of all the hills, but the views were worth it.
All the tuk-tuk drivers, motorcyclists, and truckers who passed me either clapped at me, woo-ed at me, or yelled something indistinguishable at me. Every. single. one. It was fine— I didn’t feel threatened or anything— but I’ve never been to a country where the people are so interactive with joggers.
When I got back, I showered and got ready for dinner. I was READY to feast on some real food after a day of almost nothing.
We walked down the street to Adam’s Breeze. It was a bit pricier than what we’re used to, but we figured this whole town would be pricier since it’s way more touristy than anywhere we’d been thus far.
I ordered ginger tea, a passion fruit & mango smoothie, and fried rice.
Adrian ordered French fries and veggie biriyani.
At first, the waiter handed me egg kottu. I told him I ordered fried rice, and he took it back.
A few minutes later, he came back with our cutlery. I reminded him that I didn’t want any egg on my fried rice since I had a feeling he had forgotten about that detail. He nodded his head and went back to the kitchen.
My food was ready a few minutes later. I stuck my fork in it and immediately noticed there was egg inside. I didn’t want to send the food back a second time, so I decided to just do my best to pick out all the egg bits and eat around it. Luckily, I could just give the egg to Adrian so it wouldn’t be a total waste.
It was definitely annoying to have to rummage through my food, finding and picking out all the tiny bits of egg, but I was too hungry for anything else.
At least the smoothie was good.
We walked to town after dinner, just to check it out and see what it was like. There were a TON of bars and restaurants, all western and (probably) overpriced. It didn’t really feel like Sri Lanka to me.
Once we were back at the guesthouse, I realized that Ed had texted me a few hours earlier asking to get a drink.
So Adrian and I went back out to meet Ed in town for a drink.
We went to Cafe Chill and got Lion beers. For the first hour or so we just sat downstairs at the normal tables, but then we decided to check out the bar area upstairs.
I’m glad we did, because the vibe was super different. It was a big, outdoor space with low tables and bean bag chairs everywhere. It was super cozy and reminded me a bit of Utopia Bar in Luang Prabang (Laos).
We ordered more beer, but it took the bartenders FOREVER to bring them over. Like, 30 minutes forever. And all they had to do was grab 3 bottles of beer from the fridge and bring them over. Island time, I guess.
We drank our beer and chatted for a few more hours. At midnight, they handed us the bill. I guess the bar was closing down.
We parted ways around 12:30. I was super tired. I was hoping that I would go to bed a bit earlier tonight, given that I had stayed up until 2 am the night before, but oh well. Only 2 more weeks of traveling so I gotta live it up.