Day 11 cycling: NUWARA ELIYA to ELLA:
Ride details (from Garmin):
Ride details (from Garmin):
Distance: 57.62km; ODOMETER: 627.6km; Moving Time: 3:37; Elapsed Time: 5:12; Avg Speed: 11.1km/hr; Avg Moving Speed: 15.9km/hr; Max Speed: 57.4km.hr; Total Ascent: 635m; Total Descent: 1,530m; Max Elevation: 1,808m; Calories: 2,287 C; Avg Temperature: 26.9 °C; Max Temperature: 34.0 °C
I woke up feeling a little glum this morning at the prospect of cycling off into a potentially very wet day, compounded by the fact that all of my cycling gear was still very damp. The bed at Park View was actually quite comfortable, but the room was quite cold and no heater was available when I enquired into the possibility. I got up fairly early, and so most of the shops were still closed when I wandered down for some food. I managed to get a coffee, an orange juice and 2 small cakes, and 2 bananas on the way. As I headed off out of town, the mist was rolling in and the poor visibility led me to attach a flashing red light to the rear of the bike. It was a cold and soggy start to the day.
However, before long, the mist dissipated, some sun appeared, and the next 26km was all downhill... exhilarating! I hit nearly 60km/hr at times but needed to temper my speed a little because of the unpredictably of oncoming traffic and sudden incursions from the sidelines e.g. 3-wheelers, pedestrians, blokes carrying pipes. It was a blast to be able to overtake the occasional bus, van or motorbike on the way down.
But it wasn't all bliss of course as there were a few very steep uphill sections. The Garmin, I finally realised, has some very sadistic programming... in deciding which route to take, it selects the shortest distance which on the face of it seems fìne. However it doesn't take the gradient into account and so on occasion it can direct you up some shorter but incredibly steep roads as I discovered today.
Getting to Ella felt good. It seems like quite a small and relaxed place with heaps of accommodation options and more tourists than I've encountered anywhere else this trip. It'll be a good opportunity to relax, do my washing and decide what I'm doing next. Rawana Holiday Resort seems pretty good; I've got a room at the top with its own balcony or sundeck shared between 4 rooms, with terrific views - all for just 3000Rs. I decided I'd better go inside and do my washing when the young German woman next door came out to sunbathe in her bikini...
The Australian tourists I met yesterday, Chris and Kerry, were smart enough to go into town to buy a bucket so they could do their washing - the Rawana, like most places, doesn't have sink plugs or even a spare bucket - and they've kindly lent it to me.
leaving Nuwara Eliya
gaudy Hindu temple
rooftop sunbeds at Rawana Holiday Resort
my room at Rawana Holiday Resort