We were planning on doing this part of the journey by bus. We were confident it would be manageable, but we’re not looking forward to the length of the journey and number of switches!
Here’s what we would have done-
Tuk tuk to Pottuvil (200SLR) and then a bus from there to Moneragala. From Moneragala we would have then caught a bus to Wellawaya, and from Wellawaya yet another bus to Ella, before one final tuk tuk to our homestay. A bit of a monster journey with potentially long and hot waits in Moneragala and Wellawaya.
Alternatively we were going to try to catch the end of the beautiful East-West train line that goes through the mountains and is meant to be one of the most stunning routes in the world. To do this we would have caught a bus from Moneragalla to Badulla instead, and caught the train from there to Ella.
The trains were only running a few times a day however, and we wanted to cut down the journey time as much as possible, so we decided against this option. We’ll be using that the East-West train line through the hills later in our travels anyway, so it wasn’t like we were going to miss out on the experience completely. I can let you know how that is when we do it – something I’m looking forward to. I love travelling by train.
As it turns out, when we were about to get on bus at Pottuvil, committed to the long hot day of travelling ahead, there was a tuk tuk driver who lived in Ella and needed to get back anyway, so offered us a lift for half the normal price. After a bit of bartering, and advice of the bus driver (it really can be a long and uncomfortable wait, he said) we decided to take it, and so we hopped in and off we went.
And it is a good job we did. Not only was our journey time cut down by about four hours, but we were able to pull over for a toilet break whenever we wanted- I know, what luxury, right? Plus, we could didn’t have to worry about catching the right bus, a load off our minds.
The hills rose around us majestically and the jungle grew thicker and a deeper forest green. It was only after we passed through Wellawaya that I began to really feel sick from all of the winding steep roads. Rich was enjoying the dramatic views I think, but I had to keep my eyes closed to stop myself getting really dizzy and anxious.
But we are finally here at Waterfalls Homestay, and looking forward to some stunning treks through the jungle, a shower in a nearby waterfall, and generally resting in the cool air high up in the hills of Sri Lanka.
I hope you’re all well,
Stay breezey 😶
–photos will be here once I’m back in wifi rich zone! —