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.


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.



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


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


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


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).


Laundry time in Tissa.



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


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…


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





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.