With just 10 short days on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, we wanted to make the most of every hour we had...
Colombo > Ella > Udawalawe > Mirissa > Weligama > Hikkaduwa > Colombo
After landing in Sri Lanka's capital - Columbo; we immediately took an overnight train to a small town in the hills, called Ella. This train was what you might call 'an experience' but not to be recommended, unless you have a reserved seat (which sadly, we did not!). We spent plenty of time seatless, lurking near the toilets which wasn't the most enjoyable start to the trip! At least we had Yahtzee.
That long, sweaty trip was all worth it when we arrived into the Hill Country shortly after sunrise. We spent the last sleepy hour gazing out over the tea plantations and greenery as we rolled slowly into Ella. We both felt surprisingly perky after the long trip so we went straight out on a beautiful hike up Little Adam's Peak and took in the fresh air.
After a nice lunch with a view at 98 Acres, we strolled down the railway tracks to the Nine Arch Bridge.
The next day we rose early to hike Ella Rock, a magical walk through the tea plantations and forests with postcard scenery at the top.
Our favourite lunch spot in Ella was The Flower Garden, a perfect little place with views over the mountains and delicious Kottu Rotti.
Later, a short tuk tuk ride deeper into the hills to a small village called Balleketuwa, from there we found a secret waterfall, only used by locals. We hiked up a little further and stumbled upon some great rocks and little pools to hang out in the sun on. Moments later, a huge family of monkeys appeared from all angles... we hid our snacks in a hurry but they weren't interested in us at all, they just strolled through, babies on their backs. Great animal encounter.
On our journey down to the south coast of the island we stopped off at Udawalawe National Park. A large expanse of grassland, bush forest & rivers which happens to be a sanctuary for elephants, buffalo, bird of prey and even a few crocs!
We met a nice dutch girl who was staying at an Organic Farm nearby who invited us to join her on a private 4x4 tour of the park. We'd recommend going for the 5 hour tour as you get to see so many more little crevices of the park that you wouldn't normally have time to visit.
After immersing ourselves in nature for the day, it was time to hit the beach. We stayed at a lovely hotel called Triple O Six. A very luxurious base for 2 days surfing, swimming & sunbathing.
We were lucky enough to spot some blue whales while we were whale watching with Raja and the Whale. Another great encounter.
After 2 nights in Mirissa, we took a 15 minute tuk tuk down the coast to Weligama Bay.
This beautiful little beach town is the perfect spot for beginner surfers. It's a lovely beach break and the waves don't tend to get over 6 foot. Head over to Hangten Rooftop Restaurant for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon juice or dinner. it's great.
After a few more days in the water we got the train to Hikkaduwa. We stayed in an amazing AirBnb here called Dancing Mango. It's set about 10 minutes walk towards the jungle from the main road. We'd highly recommend checking these guys out, it's run by a lovely Australian couple; great rooms, pool and set in a super peaceful area of Hikkaduwa.
Head down to Salty Swamis Cafe & Surf Shop for an amazing lunch spot down on the seafront.
On our last day before we headed home, we walked down the beach of Hikkaduwa when we saw a group of GINORMOUS sea turtles. We fed them seaweed for a while with our mouths fully open. Our last great encounter.
Sri Lanka really is a magical place & we both felt like better people for visiting... you can't ask for much more than that from an adventure.
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