Ella – day 6/134

NJ joining the seasoned travellers day 6
Uda Walawe – Ella
Having sorted our bill last night we were able to leave as soon as we were ready so we were on the road by 8 o’clock looking for somewhere to stop for breakfast, but after not seeing anywhere for a while we opened up the ginger biscuits which kept us going. 
Not a very eventful journey – clear roads and sensible drivers – and before I knew it we were turning off the road to go to Buduruagala. The tuk tuk drivers stopped us, worried that our car couldn’t go up the road to the site, but Jayne waved them off determined to prove them wrong. The road wasn’t as bumpy as yesterday or the day before, but the problem was more that it was single track. Luckily we didn’t meet anyone coming the other way on the way in, and only missed a coach (full size) by seconds on the way out. 
Once skidding to a halt in the muddy car park we got our entrance tickets and walked up to the rock. The carvings were made over 1000 years ago and the central standing Buddha is the largest in Sri Lanka at 15 metres tall (although it looked much bigger than that close up).     
Back in the car just outside Ella we stopped at the Rawana waterfall and after the recent rains the waterfall looked in full flow. On the bridge men were randomly selling rocks and euros! We managed to resist…     The countryside around this area is stunning, perhaps even more so with the mist and low cloud giving it a secretive air. We made it up to our home stay with Jayne being persuaded to go right to the door and then turning back and parking on the main road as the slope down into the parking space was so steep.

We decided to head off for a wander with no particular destination in mind, and immediately got advised to turn back as we were apparently heading down to the school! Jayne decided to head back home for a rest after all that driving, so Katherine and I continued our wander, eventually finding the railway track and started to follow it. I was happy as long as there was a pathway next to it that we could jump onto should a train appear, so turned back after only a short trek towards the ‘rock’. Having read the guidebook after returning, I’m glad we didn’t attempt the climb as its difficult at the best of times, let alone with the heavy rain obscuring the path down.  We wandered off into some padi fields, passed a small waterfall and then down to a view of the ‘little falls’ which looked pretty big to me. Back on the tracks we went over an iron bridge and soon came into the town. – no trains passing all afternoon but by this time the rain was coming down really heavily so we decided to treat ourselves to a banana and honey(me)/chocolate (Katherine) rotti in a local eatery.   We did ask if we could take one back for Jayne, but they said that we couldn’t as it wouldn’t make it. The sun decided to come out for a bit so we started our walk back up the hill but the rain soon started again, completely drenching us and didn’t stop until we were back – but at least we gave the owners something to laugh at.  We decided we would take up the owners offer of a family dinner as it meant we could shower and not go back out in the rain again. After a very cold, weak shower, I decided to turn the tap the other way and hot water came pouring out. Much to my delight as I was fully lathered up with hair full of conditioner!

Dinner was delicious, a range of veggie dishes with rice, and banana and pineapple for dessert. The best Katherine and Jayne have had in Sri Lanka (or so they told the owner) although the family didn’t eat with us – preferring to eat in the kitchen – although she did hover for rather a long time watching us eat which was a little unnerving. Inside catching up on the book which I’ve hardly had a chance to open since arriving as its a little chilly outside and I’m sure heading for another early night. It’s not rock and roll but I like it 🙂
N

Thursday 18th February 2016

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