By Lisa on Feb 22, 2017 with Comments 0
When the train finally got in to the station at Ella, we knew we now had to find somewhere to stay. We needn’t have worried about choices for accommodation though, as we were completely bombarded as we left the station. Touts, tuk tuk drivers and people offering rooms all wanted a piece of the action.
This was the first really touristy place we had been in Sri Lanka and it was a bit of a culture shock.
Leaving Haputale for Ella
We had enjoyed our last great breakfast at Leisure Mount View Guest House in Haputale and had taken our time to get ready and get down to the station in time for the 12:05 train to Ella.
We had planned to do some sightseeing in Ella that afternoon but it ended up being quite a wasted day really as the 12:05 train from Haputale to Ella didn’t even arrive in Haputale until 13:45. And we didn’t reach Ella until well after three o’clock.
And then, of course we had to find somewhere to stay…
Finding Accommodation in Ella
I had actually read that in Ella you don’t need to find accommodation and that rather it finds you! Well this turned out to be completely true. As we stepped off that train in Ella we were overwhelmed by offers of accommodation ranging from fancy hotels to basic rooms.
We did speak to a few touts, but we needed a little while to adjust to this new, touristy side to Sri Lanka that we hadn’t yet experienced so we tried to step away to get our bearings.
Then we were approached by a timid woman who tentatively offered us her business card. She was so smiley and sweet that we didn’t have the heart to brush her off like we might with one of the touts.
So we listened to what she had to say and it turned out she was offering us exactly what we were looking for: a simple room close to the town centre, with hot water and wifi.
“Just look,” she kept saying to us.
So we did. We decided to take a look.
We walked with her away from the melee of the train station and through the streets of Ella. Then we hauled ourselves and our backpacks through the sweltering streets and up a crazy-steep hill and found ourselves at a pretty yellow-orange house with a cracking view of Ella Rock.
Green Village Homestay, Ella
Green Village Homestay had just one room to let. We checked the room and agreed to stay. We had already negotiated the price at the train station: 2,500rs per night with breakfast included.
Top tip: if you stay at a Sri Lankan homestay, always try to negotiate breakfast: it will be great value. Read more about Sri Lankan breakfasts here.
The room that would be ours for the next couple of nights was attached to the main house but had a separate entrance and its own bathroom. I don’t know if the house was built like this or if they had it converted at some point.
After dumping our bags we sat on the pleasant terrace and enjoyed a welcome cup of tea as we had grown accustomed in Sri Lanka. Little did we know that this would be our last welcome cup of tea in Sri Lanka as we began to visit more touristy places.
While we were sitting on the terrace we saw a massive snake slither right across the path we’d walked down ten minutes earlier. It disappeared off into the forest without a care in the world and unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to get the camera.
On that note, we drank up and headed out to explore Ella.
It was already getting dark and we didn’t make it much further than the main street: fantastic street food followed by our first tourist bar!
Then it was soon time to be back at our Green Village Homestay because we had asked our sweet host to make us dinner. And boy did we get a feast!
Next time I’ll tell you all about rice and curry in Sri Lanka and where to eat it (Green Village Homestay in Ella would be a good place to start!).
And if you are thinking of visiting Ella and would like more information about this delightful and simple home, read my Tripadvisor review.
I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.
About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....