Day 6 – 01APR2014: Badulla -> Ella
Distance: 20 km
Time on bike: 1h 8m
Avg. speed : 17.5 km/h
Total (km) : 456
Altitude: 1.030 m
Before leaving Badulla this morning, I visit the Muthiyangana Temple right in the centre of town. Over the years I’ve probably seen 100+ Buddhist temples, and though quite beautiful and tranquil, there nothing too spectacular about this one. But every temple has a special feeling to it, a special atmosphere that makes all temple visits worthwhile. You really feel how people care about these religious places, where respect and humility are keywords in people’s attitude. I like that.
Good morning, puppy…
An important and integral part of the (male) Sri Lankan consumer culture is the paan, a psycho-stimulating and euphoria-inducing mix of betel nut, tobacco leaves, spices (and a few other chemicals I don’t know the names of) that you chew, then spit out. The local men really dig this shit! You can always tell who chews it by the deep red stains on mouth and teeth.
I tried it once in Thailand (2000), didn’t like the stuff, so I kindly rejected the offer from the man in the white shirt below.
Green is the theme of the day.
This cleverly designed, hand-driven propeller helps separating the rice grains from the hulls. Charmingly 2014.
It’s just 20 km from Badulla to Ella. Altitude goes from 650m to 1.030m. Scenery is great.
In the small town of Ella I find the fine (and warmly recommended) guesthouse, Nature Resort, near the train station. It’s a great home stay (with cute cats and fiendish dogs), owned and run by Usuma with a generous smile and a heart of gold (I’m assuming). I tell her I’d like to stay for two nights, after which we agree on 1.100 Rp (8.5 USD)/night, including breakfast. True bargain.
After a little walk up through some of the tea plantations that blanket the hilly terrain in this area, I find myself a quiet spot on a protruding rock on the Little Adam’s Peak – a hilltop with great 360 degrees views. And being just a 40 minutes walk from downtown Ella, it’s a popular peak.
Looking south from the top of Little Adam’s Peak. Altitude 1.141 m.a.s.
The splurge. Pizza & beer. Hard not to like Ella (which happen to be the name of my grandmother that passed away, aged 86, in 2006 just tow weeks before I left Denmark on my round-the-world bike ride).