What to say about this beautiful place? A picture is said to speak a thousand words, I’ll let my photos speak for me a little here. When I talk of Ella, I am really referring to our little piece of heaven at the View Point Villas, perched high above Ella Gap, nestled amid tea gardens in all directions. We are even high enough above the little road that runs from Ella to Passara, that we don’t even see the local buses and tuk tuks that rumble by.
As if the setting wasn’t enough, the four young men who do all the work to keep us cozy and well fed are the friendliest people one could meet anywhere. We were thrilled to learn that we could stay as long as we liked; most visitors come for only one or two nights as they make a swing through the hill country during their short vacations away from their lives elsewhere. Not us, we had found the peace and quiet we were looking for, and best of all, few mosquitoes to speak of.
We spent the next seven days doing nothing but reading books, eating fabulous Sri Lankan food made from fresh vegetables grown on the grounds of View Point Villas and then walking it off by heading into Ella 6km downhill. One day we even made the journey both ways on foot. It was misty that day so the uphill return journey was almost as pleasant as the descent. We visited the internet cafes in town and tried some of the restaurants there for lunch, but found the food at our guesthouse the best by far.
Each morning Adia spent almost an hour doing her yoga stretches and even got us inspired to do more than just laze around reading books. In the evenings, Adia and Anil amused themselves watching Bollywood films on Anil’s laptop while I wrote on my journal and organized my photos. We slept well after all the walking in the fresh air and the week passed in a haze of relaxation and camaraderie.
Adia did very well to spend so much time with her parents, away from her life with Geoff and Maizie. However, all good things must pass and so it was time to leave Ella and work our way towards the airport north of Colombo. We wanted to spend a few days in Kandy first, so we hired a driver to take us there. My brother David visited Sri Lanka in 1975 and had talked a great deal about Kandy, one of his favorite places ever.
We made a plan to stay in Kandy for four nights and then hang out at the coast in Negombo, not far from the international airport. Adia liked the idea of her last few days in Sri Lanka being near the beach again, before she set off to join Geoff in Japan. It would be chilly in Tokyo and Kyoto and then she would be returning to winter in Victoria. We would also be in a good position to return to Colombo to extend our visas for another month. We weren’t in any hurry to leave this warm island paradise for cooler weather either.
It was a quiet New Year’s Eve, but that’s the way we like it anyway. There was a Blue Moon December 31 and we all decided it was an auspicious way to end 2009. Two full moons in the same month; it had been a very full year for our family, Adia became engaged to Geoff in July, Raj and Vy were married in August and of course, Anil and I had wrapped up a wonderful third year of travels in Chile and Argentina and started new adventures in year four. We toasted the beginning of 2010 with glasses of gin and tonic for Adia and Anil, and local arrak for me. There’s no better place to celebrate than high in the hills near Ella.