Sri Lanka Part 6/7. Having enjoyed our creature comforts for the past week, we decided on something adventurous for our last night in Sri Lanka at Ella – stayed at a jungle resort. Probably one of the most interesting place I’d ever stayed at – you arrive at the ‘entrance’ of the Ella Jungle Resort where a truck brings you 3km deep into the jungle.
The rocky ride was followed by a 500m trek on foot across rather muddy tracks as it was raining; and the evening rays were fading -a rather miserable arrival.
The final leg was a river crossing via a rope-bridge to reach the resort. The bridge was wobbly and the planks slippery but it afforded a great view of the river, swollen by the rains – fun and scary at the same time. Luckily we had porters to carry our bags; they were jaunting along effortlessly like mountain goats in their sandals.
The resort is built like a traditional Sri Lankan village, with various open thatched-roofed buildings scattered across vast open grounds. There’s even a “bar” on stilts right by the river where you can lounge.
I climbed the tree house to get shots of the surrounding areas. Someone left a toddy flask behind – I’d this wicked though that the had a such good time and fell off the tree, as its rather tricky to get up and down.
The duplex huts are sited alongside the river, and come with a deck that you can relax and read while enjoying the views of the water.
The huts are comfortably furnished; one duplex shares an outdoor common bathroom where you bathe in cold water piped in from the river. The room is nicely designed and the beds firm, and comes with mosquito netting, although surprisingly there were almost no mozzies.
The resort is verdant and self-sufficient, and only vegetarian cuisine is served with ingredients from the farms on the resort grounds, even rice when harvesting is in season. Sunil the manager (he’s also a competent entertainer, playing the flute and drums, and singing for us at dinner) exaplained that resort is built upon the owner’s vision to create an experience for guests to reconnect with nature. The only concessions to ‘vices’ are (feeble) internet, beer and eggs. My stomach was toiling from my gluttonous week, so the vegetarian dinner didn’t make any mark on me; and only recall that the peppery soup of some local root was pretty decent and soothing for my tummy.
Breakfast was a simple affair of toast, and roti with a tomato and onion sambal. The onion omelette was delicious, tasty and cooked just runny.
This resort truly brings you back to nature. Electricity is provided by generators, so the lighting is very dim, reminding me of my kampong days of oil lamp; you draw the mosquito netting before you fall asleep to the rush of the river. In the morning you watch peacocks roam around (they make loud noises); have squirrels and a couple of bugs join you for breakfast; and savour the fresh air and gorgeous landscape – indeed an unforgettable jungle experience. Mowgli I wasn’t, but it’s close enough for me.
Ella Jungle Resort
Ella, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 77 735 2352