The Day I Was Blocked by an Elephant

Day 8 – 03APR2014: Ella -> Tangalle

Distance: 189 km
Time on bike: 7h 7m
Avg. speed : 26.5 km/h
Total (km) : 734
Metres up: 531
Metres down: 1.549
Altitude: 2 m

Breakfast (toast+jam, mixed fruit juice, coffee+milk), served by my lovely host Usuma at the Nature Resort Guesthouse in Ella.

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Time to leave the central highlands of Sri Lanka and head down to the coast for some beach time. It’s a spectacular ride down the Ella Gap. Route A23 drops quite dramatically for some 20 km from Ella (1.040m) south towards Wellawaya (150m). World class cycling.

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6 km south of Ella is the Ravana Falls. Nice backdrop for a model shot of the bike.

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At first, when I saw this sign along route B35, I was like “Yeah, right. Elephants. Sure thing”…

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…but then, just 500m down the road, I was like “WHAT THE FUCK! An elephant! Shit!”

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Press Play On Tape:

(In the video I just ramble about the elephant, what to do, how to get past it, blablabla)…

Being blocked by a wild elephant! Who would’ve thought…On my way to Tissamaharama I get a quick glimpse of a little crocodile in the Wirawila Lake. Before I get my camera out of my rucksack, the croc submerges, and I never see it again. Clever beast.

Below: The Tissa Dagaba (Buddhist stupa).

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Laundry time in Tissa.

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Tissamaharama downtown. It’s another hot afternoon. 36C.

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After having fueled up on liquids and ice cream in Tissa, I leave the main road and – thanks to my Garmin GPS – I find some really cool backroads on my way to the Bundala National Park (see GPS-route below). Some roads are newly paved, some a made up of huge concrete slabs, some are made of dirt, some are made of pebbles – they all make for great cycling, and no matter what, the Koga carbon bike makes no complaints…

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Alone (with the monkeys and the birds) at the Bundala National Park.

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It’s a fantastic day. 189 km. At dusk I arrive at the Sandy’s Cabana on Marakolliya Beach just a few km outside of Tangalle and settle down for a few night in my own rustic bungalow. Half pension included in the 25 USD/night price tag.

The lightning (no thunder) impressively illuminated the sky at night.

Feeling happily exhausted/relaxed.

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