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Uva Province - Ella Rock

About Ella Rock

A walk to Ella Rock is not the easiest way to spend a morning, but with some determination most walkers should be able to complete the hike. The routes to Ella Rock offer beautiful scenery, starting with a "Stand By Me" style walk along the railway tracks, before wandering through tea plantations, fields of different vegetables, small villages and next to waterfalls. Throughout the walk to Ella Rock there are stunning views across the countryside, though none compete with the panorama from the top.

The walk from Ella railway station (a common starting point) to Ella Rock is, depending on the route you take, around 8km long, and should take 4 hours to complete. Although there are a number of routes available, they all start with a 1.5km walk, heading south, along the railway lines. There is a road that runs some of the way alongside the tracks which can be used, until it comes to an end and walkers climb onto the wooden sleepers to continue. When walking on the tracks, keep an ear out for oncoming trains. They move slowly, so there's plenty of time to hop out of the way. You can also check scheduled train times at the station, although only major trains are listed, freight trains or those not stopping at Ella are not.

After leaving the train lines there are many routes, none of which are signposted in anyway. Keeping a general aim for Ella Rock is fairly easy, so long as you stick to the paths. Some guesthouses will draw a little map for you, or give directions. Alternatively it is fairly easy to pick up a guide along the way. Remember to agree a price with any guide before agreeing to continue with them. A cost of anything between $3.55 (LKR500) and $7.09 (LKR1,000) is generally acceptable.

The total climb up Ella Rpock is one thousand meters, or 3300ft, giving the summit a total height of 2000 meters. It can be quite a tricky walk in parts, particularly approaching the top which has some steep stretches. It is therefore important to wear appropriate footwear, carry some extra layers as well as a hat and sunscreen, water and snacks. For the best views set off early, as fog usually sets in by around 10am.

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