Hike to Ella rock
But first the local market. Local women squatting on the ground weighing out tomatoes with hand balances. 2 cows, one with an unsightly possibly pregnant bulge roam the street. I think it’s a tumour. It’s huge and disturbing.
There is an old guy who has made a bus shelter his home, lining it with cardboard boxes.
Along the railway line lined with pretty flowers, overgrown railway trucks, one serving as a shrine. Scattered cow herders and wood choppers. Accompanied by a local for a couple of miles. The sign post has been removed by locals to trick you into needing a guide
A woman escorts me back down the line past the Buddha tree and down to the top of the colossal ravana falls. Over a bridge and up the path following the map from the guest house which is actually spot on. The woman catches me up and takes me up a path I know to be wrong but let her lead me through thick vegetation tp the junction by the jackfruit tree. After a mother 10 minutes I decide to get shot and pay her off. I begin climbing the rocky path through the trees and catch up with a fellow walker, ivo from Switzerland. We spend the rest of the walk together, climbing to the top where the view is immense with Ella gap being picked out in the sun. We pause for a while and talka. Lot of developing and undeveloped culture, the intervention of the west especially Cameron’s visit to Sri Lanka.
The walk down seems simpler and quick, maybe because of our talking. Kids asking for crayons or Bon bons are disappointed by us. We take a more direct route back to the guesthouse and spy some monkeys eating from the jackfruit trees.
After a shower I walk up the main drag, buy some tea then bump into a refreshed Fran, coming from a massage. I do the same, having Ayurvedic oil massage from a woman called Aisha. It’s a strange feeling in many ways to surrender your body to a stranger not knowing what pain or otherwise she might inflict, or even what parts of your body she might explore. I can see how it might be arousing, but obviously not for me!
Fran, ivo and I meet for dinner, the banquet rice and curry that I ate with the Germans. Equally good. I have an email from Dave and Donna. They are also in Ella, and I try to find them, but fail. So we end up drinking cocktails in a modern cafe playing rave. Everything is closing at 9.30. Finding an open place to buy beer is impossible. Finding a tuk tuk for Fran verges on the undoable also. We stand in the darkness watching tanker drivers and buses playing chicken with the defiant mutts in the road. We manage to find a tuk tuk for Fran which is a blessing, as walking back to her place looked daunting.