High in the Hill Country

After two weeks of hanging out on the South Coast I headed to Ella with 3 awesome guys I met in Mirissa. We caught a van to Ella which took around 5 hours. It would have been a lot quicker if we didn’t have a million and one pit stops. I’d say we stopped approximately 14 times to pee, buy beer and stop to check out a wild elephant. Safe to say we had the best car ride and probably a solid 6 hours of pre drinking before arriving in Neverland.

Well the hostel is actually called Tomorrowland however imagine if the lost boys from Peterpan grew up, went backpacking and ended up at a hostel on the top of a magical mountain. The hostel is located 15 minutes out of the centre of Ella. You can easily reach the hostel by tuk tuk which would set you back 500 to 600 rupee (4 to 5 Aussie dollars) based on 2 people, otherwise a cheap as chips bus fare costs 20 rupee (15 cents) per person.

The owner Sanus is the most laid-back friendly hostel owner. If all of the tents are booked or if you don’t mind sleeping in the common area with 15 other people you can stay for free which is pretty amazing. The tents cost 1500 rupee which is still pretty good for a unique hostel with spectacular views. The hostel has a great festival atmosphere as the music blairs and lights flicker until 3am every morning. If you love a good sunset walk 5 minutes up hill past the tents. It is the best place to watch the sunset over the lush mountain terrain.

Ok so there is also a lot of activities to do in Ella besides chilling in a hammock all day at Tomorrowland. There are number of beautiful waterfalls that are great to explore and swim in. The main activity to do in Ella is to hike Ella Rock. So the directions I am about to give you probably won’t really make that much sense however it is a lot easier if you ask a local once you are on the main street of Ella. At the bottom of the main road you need to take a left at the fruit shop. Keep walking up the hill and around the corner until you hit the train line and turn left. You will need to walk for about a kilometre along the train line until you see some rocks on the left side of the train track. Turn left again and cross a small bridge. This is the start of the track to the top on the mountain. There are several different routes to take so go which ever way you please. If these instructions don’t make sense travel to the main train station turn left and walk for about 1.5 kilometres. You will need to jump off the train tracks if you can here a train coming. So I just reread what i wrote and your probably thinking the hike sounds super safe with the trains and all. Don’t worry it is totally safe as long as you jump off the train tracks if you hear a train coming. Everyone takes this track so you will make it out alive 🙂 The return trip takes approximately 4 hours so make sure you bring plenty of water. If you are not confident to hike the trail without super clear instructions you can arrange a guide for around 1000 to 2000 rupee.

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