Through the tea plantations 

​Written by guest writer Harri Lewis

We woke up in Kandy this morning with a less than restless sleep (arguably our fault as we stayed in place called ‘Hipsters Hangout’!). We headed down to the train station picking up a series of snacks en route to keep us going for the day. We found the most amazing samosas ever – I may have sent Luke back for more (we definitely didn’t eat 10 between us..). 

We arrived at the train station, and we picked up our ‘second class’ tickets and were told the next train to Ella wouldn’t be for another 2 hours… so we sat and read whilst the platform got increasingly/worryingly busy.. eventually the train showed up and it was a scramble to get on! We found ourselves perched in a doorway of the ‘famous’ Blue Train and set off on our 7 hour train journey across the Sri Lankan country side. Although we didn’t get seats we seemed to have lucked out, as at the next stop a guy jumped off so we sat side by side in the doorway for the rest of the journey. It was quite simply the most incredible train journey I have ever been on – through small Sri Lankan villages and endless tea plantations the view was amazing. Between a few chapters of our books, hanging out the train door, eating countless samosas and mini bananas, 7 hours passed quite comfortably. We soon arrived in Ella, and we all piled off the train, Sri Lankans and Gap-yah trousered travellers alike.

Ella was cool. It is definitely the most ‘backpacker’-esque place we have found so far. After heading up through a few more tea plantations, and getting bitten numerous times, we found our hotel for the night, a cute little bungalow with an incredible view across the town and the surrounding country side. 

We shortly headed into Ella town for some dinner and drinks. The host of the hotel pointed out that the quickest way to reach the town centre was along the rail track’ grateful Luke and I aren’t particularly gifted in the long leg department, so we stepped out waY across the sleepers. We found a vibey place for dinner and had the most incredible prawn curry and tried a local dish here of stir-fried roti and veg. We also treated ourselves to a banana and chocolate roti because well 1) we had been EXTREMELY active all day and 2) it’s Monday. 
Tomorrow we are going to head to some nearby waterfalls for a swim and check out a tea factory before heading down to the coast.

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