Hiking in Hill Country

There’s some great day hikes in Ella, Uva Province that Rita and I did a few weeks back.  Ella is at a lower elevation than Nuwara Eliya so it’s still hot during the day, but it cools overnight.

My first morning waking up in Ella, I posted a photo of the early morning view from the balcony of our hotel room on Facebook.  It got a huge reaction of my Nepali friends as the view looked similar to any view of the low foothills of the Himalayas, and for some, compared to the less lush Illam district of Nepal.

Ella, Sri Lanka

Illam, Nepal. Photo credit Aakash Shrestha

Little Adam’s Peak is considered to be a little brother to Adam’s Peak further to the West.  Adam’s Peak is a mountain that is revered by many religions as it is thought to represent the footprint of either Buddha in Buddhism, Shiva in Hinduism, Adam in Islam or St Thomas in Christianity.  A multi-faith holy site if there was ever one!

Adam’s Peak is a a bit of a climb at 2,243 m (7,359 ft) and Rita and I were not up to that, so instead settled for Little Adam’s Peak just outside of Ella.

At 1,141 m (3,743 ft) elevation, it has absolutely stunning views and worth the couple of hours it took us to get to the summit and back along a much un-shaded trail.  Just go before the real heat starts for the day.  It has smashing views of Ella Rock and the twisty-turny road that leads to the flatlands of Yala.  Take a look.

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This photo is of Rita, Sameera and I at the close our of Little Adam’s Peak hike.

We don’t look too puffed! Photo Credit Sameera De Silva

From Little Adam’s Peak, we made our way cross country to Nine Arch Bridge, and ended up in a man’s back yard which provided perfect views of the bridge.

This massive bridge is 100 ft high and was built under British rule, commissioned in 1921 after the end of WW1.  It’s made entirely of solid rocks, bricks and cement without using a single piece of steel. The steel apparently was diverted to the war efforts so the locals just got on with using the materials they had.

A train was not due for some hours so we hiked back out of there rather than wait around in the hot early afternoon sun.  And anyway, late lunch beckoned.

See?  There’s more to Sri Lanka than beaches.

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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3 Responses to Hiking in Hill Country

  1. Mick Canning says:

    I remember Ella – Little Adam’s Peak is lovely. Tea gardens, woodland…and lots of rain! But I loved Ella.

    • Kate Coffey says:

      We did not love it as much as Nuwara Eliya, purely because it had far less tourists than Ella. But the Ella landscape was indeed beautiful

      • Mick Canning says:

        We never got to Nuwara Eliya – just not enough time. We saw fewer tourists because we were a little off-season, which is always a good time to travel, anyway!

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