Although we’ve stayed two nights at the Grand Hotel I only experienced the buffet breakfast today as we are about to leave! It was amazing with all the usual treats but extras like a croissant oven, a chef ready to cut fresh fruit, another cooking fresh pancakes. Oh my – soooooo many choices!
And the view of the hydrangeas from the dining room window was just gorgeous.
Good thing we are leaving this morning. The hotel is a hive of activity because one of the presidential candidates is being interviewed by the UN – apparently his past is a little dodgy! The staff are very edgy about bags lying around unattended!!
Meanwhile Fran was in the kitchen having a hopper making lesson!
The press were assembled and military waiting for his arrival – a perfect time for us to leave.
So on the bus and off we went heading for Ella.
First stop for the day was Lake Gregory created by the British during their time ruling Sri Lanka. We all strolled from one end to the other checking out the gardens, the fishermen and the watercraft available to visitors.
We passed lots of plots of land growing all sorts of food – leeks, beets, potatoes.
We stopped briefly to view an amazing gold temple – Sriramjayam – and while we were stopped Mike advised today’s competition – write a limerick to be presented at dinner tonight!!
We passed evidence of extensive land slips from recent rain and workers were busy working up high on bamboo scaffolding- rather precarious!
Tea pickers were spotted working in the fields so yet another photo opportunity. The dark green plants mark where they have picked. As we snapped, they gave us a wave – probably happy to pause briefly during their busy morning.
A windy twisting road for our journey today and everyone was quietly working on their limerick writing – pressure!
The second half of our trip involved a detour due to a landslide – meaning a longer journey sadly. With all the twists and turns, a few people were feeling a little off – good thing the detour was straighter!
The town of Ella was a busy place with lots of young tourists. We wonder if the zip line ride is what brings them. Our resort – 98 Acres – is high above the town set in lush green grounds but the cloud forest was rolling in as we arrived and any view was obliterated.
Our welcome however was warm with each of us greeted with a sash with the traditional Sri Lankan greeting – Ayubowan – a hot towel and an iced tea. Our rooms were assigned and we all unpacked and drank in our fabulous homes for the next two nights.
After everyone unpacked, we reconvened at the cafe for lunch and by the time we finished, the clouds had rolled on and we could see some of the scenery surrounding this amazing resort.
Drinks in the Harrisons chalet at 5 for the limerick presentations – absolutely hilarious. Some witty, others funny and others just downright rude, crude and vulgar – and very funny too!
The buggies picked us up about 7.15 and we were ferried up to Cafe 98 for a delicious dinner. Our meals all arrived under cloches and the waiters removed all together with a flourish. Such a fun night!