Cat Meffan



SURFING - Let's get one thing straight before I start writing about surfing... I don't know much! I'm a newbie, or what the cool kids call a kook. Basically I'm the person with all the gear and not much of an idea, but I did try my best, I caught quite a few waves, I got up on my feet a lot and most importantly, I loved it. Even the coral cuts on my feet are memories of a good time.

YOGA - I can't give you the full run down of yoga in Sri Lanka, only what I got up to and as I took my own mat with me, a lot of the practices I did were either my own self-practice or online tutorials. If you're looking for some, check out my yoga flows on YouTube and my website. Aside from my own practice, I did a morning session at Talalla and heard good things about the morning yoga sessions at Dots in Hiriketiya. Talalla is a retreat resort, but you can turn up for drop in classes too. I would just call ahead and double check they have space, as the class was super busy with resort guests when I went.


The Grove: I had the chilli pumpkin salad and vegan tacos, both twice, both amazing. Oh and brunch at The Grove is good too. The setting is super cute. Kind of feels like you're dining in someone's front garden with pretty lights hanging above you and chilled out tunes coming through the speakers.

Salt: Good for the smoothie bowl and a turmeric latte. The service at Salt isn't the greatest if I'm honest, but if you've read this blog post before going, then you'll know to turn up a bit before you're hungry, so that the wait doesn't make you too hangry! The only thing I wish they'd had was granola on top of the smoothie bowl, but that seemed to be hard to find in Hiri.

Verse Collective: In all seriousness, I actually think the vegan burger at Verse is one of the tastiest I've had. And that's high praise because I order vegan burgers a lot!

Dinu's: Ok, so Dinu's isn't actually called Dinu's, but that's what everyone calls it, so I'm going with the majority. It's located on the main road just up from Verse and serves traditional Sri Lankan food. You can go for 'all you can eat' curry and rice, or the traditional Kotu, which is what I ate both times. Lots of veggies and all of the yumminess!

Nomads: Smoothie bowl (pictured below) and taco heaven! I went to Nomads on my little surf trip up the coast towards Fishermans. I massively recommend going to Nomad's for food if you can. You might have to wait for a table, but I promise the wait will be worth it.


If you want to see elephants in the wild, this is the place for you! We drove up to Udawalewe and had the most magical experience whilst driving. A huge elephant just casually crossed the road in front of the car! She was on one side and then when I looked to the other side, there were about 10 elephants including babies, just hanging out, eating, strolling, living life! All that before we'd even gone into the national park.

BANYAN CAMP -  I found Banyan Camp through a friend I follow on Instagram, which is one of the many perks of social media, as I'd have never found it otherwise. Located around a 40-minute drive from the national park entrance, Banyan Camp is an eco-friendly, sustainable and super chic place to stay. I stayed in the beautiful Wine Lodge, which can sleep up to four people, and is so open to nature. Falling asleep to fire flies above me and so many wild sounds around me was a truly unique experience... as was having dinner on the raft! I won't tell you anymore about that, as if you stay at Banyan Camp I'm pretty sure you'll experience it too. There are other options too. The renovated truck is by far the coolest to look at from outside and the new huts with outdoor bathrooms are a more reasonable price and still very cool.

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NINE ARCHES BRIDGE -  (Pictured above) A pretty standard tourist attraction, but I can see why people want to go. The bridge pretty epic to look at, but be prepared for it to be very busy, especially if you time your visit with a train coming.

CHILL CAFE -  The only decent place I found for coffee and food in Ella, so I massively recommend going there. Head up to the top floor, take your shoes off and relax on some bean bags. The food isn't necessarily going to blog you away, but they have some good vegan options and the vibe is a nice break from the hustle and bustle on the street below.

Surf images by Mark Pejkovic. All others are my own.