Today we wanted to trek up to one of the local attractions Ella rock, which ominously overlooks the town from the surrounding mountains. The 4hr trek was walkable from town, but easy to get lost apparently, so we found a route online to make sure we took the right turns… and avoided locals trying to trick us.
The first 45 mins or so was straight forward: Head to the train station, ignore the sign saying not to walk on the tracks (everyone does it, including the locals), and walk for a few kilometres down the tracks, passing guest houses, stations, bridges and locals selling fruit and drinks. Remembering the hole in the toilet which looked down to the tracks, we took our steps cautiously…
After ignoring a few locals telling us the way to ella rock (they were all lying, with the ultimate aim of leading us a different way, and then demanding money for the help), we found the correct turning off the train tracks and made our way through small tea fields, over a river, and through overgrown wilderness.
We made a couple of wrong turns, once ending up in a locals garden, but managed the ascension to the first viewing point. The view here was great, but to the right Ella rock looked down and laughed at us.
The climb up to the top took around 40 mins of strenuous and continuous up hill scrambling on uneven rocks. This would have been a struggle even in normal British weather, but in this heat it was quite difficult, but we made it!
The view at the top was beautiful, and sort of reminded us of Switzerland or Austria, we sat for a while to take in the view and then explored the mountain top forest. As we were walking a couple told us there was a large swarm of bees in the trees, so we decided to turn back and start our descent.
After all this, we treated ourself to another visit to Matey Hut for lunch, chilled in the afternoon then went for dinner and drinks later on at a different place, which turned out to be pretty rubbish. Back to Matey Hut we’ll go tomorrow!