After our first Workaway experience in Weligama we were up for some change of scenery. We exchanged the beach for the mountains and traveled to Ella.
Ella is a small town in the middle of the country situated at about 1000 meters above sea-level and because of this, a little cooler than the rest of the country. Nights are fresh and we (or at least I, because I am always cold) needed a sweater after sunset. Since Ella is beautifully situated in a green and elevated area, any direction you go in from here will take you to some beautiful spot. This is why we decided to stay for five days and take our time to explore the surroundings of Ella.
One of the things you can’t miss around here are the waterfalls. We went to two of them and although we did them on two different days, you can easily do them in a one-day trip!
The Ravana Falls are situated only 6 kilometers from Ella town. If you travel to Ella coming from the South you can already get a glimpse of the waterfall since it’s right next to the main road. This is what makes the waterfall pretty popular with tourists and locals.
The road to get there is very curvy and there is no footpath so it’s better to take a local bus from Ella for only 30 rupees one-way. Or if you rent a scooter for a full day to go to Diyaluma falls, you can easily make a stop here first, since it’s on the way!
When we were there, it was pretty calm, like everywhere we came after the bombings. There is a big pool underneath the waterfall where you can swim and let your neck and shoulders be massaged by the waterfall.
Foto’s & video?
The Diyaluma falls are situated 38 kilometers from Ella Town and are the second highest waterfalls of Sri Lanka! To visit these falls, we decided to rent a scooter. We thought the usual rental prices were too high so we rented a scooter from a local dude who wanted to make an extra buck and just gave us his scooter for a day for 1200 rupees. We first visited a temple site in Buduruwagala, which was a little out of the way but supposedly very nice. We were not so impressed but we enjoyed the beautiful views of the green valleys while driving the curvy road.
Like at most tourist spots, guides are very eager to show you around the area, but that does not seem necessary (although they will tell you it is). Around the different entries to visit the Diyaluma falls there are guides telling you that you can’t go alone because of elephants in the area and because you don’t know which infinity pools are safe to swim in. Apparently there are only two elephants which are hardly ever seen roaming this area, and besides, I don’t know what difference a small Sri Lankan guide is going to make when an elephant get’s mad. The only thing that is useful is to know your way to go to the falls, since there are multiple roads and shortcuts. We used this blog from Walkmyworld and it worked perfectly fine when we followed the instructions!
We started at the top of the waterfalls and made our way down to the many (infinity) pools on the way down. With common sense it’s quite easy to see where you can swim and where it’s not such a good idea (Foto elias op het randje). We took our time and enjoyed our afternoon in and around the pools which are super fresh and fun 😀
We spent a lot of time at the last pool where it’s possible to swim before the big drop, from there you can look straight down a drop of about 100 metres. From here you have a view of the entire valley, it’s stunning.
Fun story: at some point when we were driving back we got stuck behind a truck. The maximum speed of the truck when going uphill was too slow for us but overhauling was impossible due to the narrow road and the oncoming traffic which was hard to predict due to all the curves. Given that trucks in Sri Lanka are not the cleanest of emitters, this would have been quite annoying… But luckily for us, the truck load was very entertaining. A large Sri Lankan family was watching us, laughing, pointing and filming. We tried to have a conversation over the noise of the truck’s engine but it took a lot of time before we understood that they were talking about chocolate (which made perfect sense in the context…). We were stuck for a while behind that truck and this gave us time to get the Gopro while driving and filming this funny situation. Here’s the result: