First off, regarding Ella. Apparently a crazy storm rolled through last night which, in turn, caused the dogs to go absolutely crazy, and there was plenty of barking and howling to keep us awake in the early morning hours. Add it to the “Really, Ella?” file.
Still tired from having heard the political rally and the chorus of canines, we got up at a reasonable hour, had our breakfast and made our way down to the bus. Again, everybody seemed to have a different time as to when the bus to Monaragala would leave, so we figured our best bet was to actually get down there and check with the locals.
There were several tourists on the bunch where the bus would stop (not really a bus stop, per se), and the locals confirmed that both the Monaragala and Welimaya buses would stop here for people headed to Arugam Bay and the east coast. The first Welimaya bus passed by, standing room only, and I could almost here the NOPE from D. Just at that time, a taxi driver came down and started talking to people on the benches, asking if anybody wanted to get in a cab to go direct to Arugam, as he had two people already to go but needed two more. We hesitated at first, but then D made a good point that it would get us there faster for not that much money, so we went for it.
Not going to say it was totally worth it, but we were in Arugam in three hours instead of five with two or three bus changes. So that was nice. Plus, we got to drive by and stop at Ravana Ella Falls, one of the stops I wanted to make yesterday and, in fact, there was water there. So that was nice.
We rolled into Arugam a bit past noon and settled into our hotel, which is already head and shoulders above our last beach hotel, on account of being clean. Arugam is a big, long beach and, while we are a bit far away from the main hub, it made for a gorgeous walk amongst the crashing surf. See, Arugam is known for waves, and for being the best place to surf in Sri Lanka.
So while today was just a walk the beach and jump in the waves kind of day, who knows what adventures and new experiences the next few days will bring!