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Published: November 7th 2016
After a good nights sleep, we went down for breakfast which was one of the better ones we had had, although how much bacon they think Russ can eat in one sitting..... The weather had certainly taken a turn for the better and sunglasses in hand and suncream applied, we met Indy to collect our packed lunch and set off for a day of walking.
The first challenge was to negotiate the ramp from our hotel down to the road, which was probably a 45 deg angle. We then began the walk up the road, literally, towards Ella until we veered off down a track marked Little Adams Peak. This was all up hill, and we passed a number of small hostels and homesteads on the way advertising rooms with hot water and adjoining bathrooms. As we continued on the journey, Indy began to point out some of the local flora and fauna to us, and as we got further along the trail we started to climb up some steps. Along the way we saw a rhino horned gecko, missing it's tail, and passed a very exclusive looking hotel on route to the top. Indy took us a
bit off route on the way to the top, going through some undergrowth , and then the route then changed to steps up to the top of the peak, and there were plenty of people on their way back down as we were heading up.
At the top, we were afforded some great views of the surrounding country, and we could also see our hotel from the top. We were glad we had come this early as the clouds were starting to gather and the view from the top would have been more misty than we got to see. At the top we also saw a 4-5ft snake with grey/silvery scales, which moved before we got chance to take a picture. On the way down, we again went off the main trail and Indy picked some leaves, crushed them up in his hand and the smell was citronella. We stopped at a local stall to buy a bracelet that was made from seeds, and when the girl gave it to us, the packet had a hand written description of the seeds she had used on it. We cut through the grounds of the posh hotel with the helipad to
get us back to the road, and then continued following the road to a sign for the 9 arches bridge. This took us down into the undergrowth where Indy showed us Jackfruit, pepper corns, papaya, avocados and as we approached the bridge there were bee hives under at least two of the arches. Indy told us that the bridge had been designed by a Sri Lanken, but that the British had killed him so they could say the design was there's. We took the opportunity to take a refreshment break on the other side of the bridge whilst waiting for the train to come across the bridge. The wait would have been ok but for the little black flies that seemed to congregate if you kept still and the only combat was to move about.
Once the train had passed by, we walked along the train tracks back to Ella. The tracks were a mixture of wooden sleepers and in places had been replaced by concrete ones. In places we passed cows tethered to the fences, all ear tagged, and observed some birds and again more monkeys. Once we reached Ella station, we walked towards one of the hotels
on route to the waterfall to have the lunch that we had been carrying round all morning - bear in mind we could see our hotel from here! My cheese and tomato sandwiches were OK, but the chicken ham had gone a bit crusty. We supplemented this with a bag of hula hoops and a cereal bar between us and the fruit was pineapple, an orange and a banana. From here we could see the waterfall, which was a more of a trickle than waterfall, which apparently is because the government have built a new tunnel under the rock and all the water is seeping there instead. Indy bailed on us at this point, and we were left to walk to the waterfall ourselves - follow the train tracks was the instruction.
About 15 minutes in, we could hear a train approaching, and huddled to the side as it passed us by a little closer than we realised it would. We continued the walk to a sign pointing down to the waterfall that seemed to go through someone's land. They beckoned us down and we followed, and yes it did, but they were making use of it by selling
drinks and snacks, and one of the sons accompanied us to the bridge next to the waterfall. They were cultivating carrots and were waiting for the rains to come to water the crops. To be fair it needed it to water the waterfall too, as it wasn't very prolific. The return journey took about 30mins and then it was another climb down towards the road before the trek back up the driveway of the hotel.
Tonight we have headed in the sprawling metropolis of Ella to eat and have a drink. We've been in the Chill Bar, very busy, good food, cheap drinks and a good atmosphere, proper backpacker bar, so much so they are expanding the premises. We are up very early in the morning, coffee coming at 5am, setting off at 5.30am to Yalla National Park. As we are back at the hotel posting this blog, the heavens have opened and it sounds like monsoon conditions out there, glad we got a tuk-tuck back when we did
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