Feb 23 - Hiking and leeches in Ella

The day started off cloudless with blue skies and we hiked to Little Adam's Peak for beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. We returned to town and had A cappuccino at the Dream Cafe, rested a bit and then walked to the Nine Arches Bridge. This was built during the British Colonial period and finally completed in 1921. Being a big tourist attraction in Ella, it's necessary to know the train schedule since you're walking down the train tracks to get to the bridge. Hmmm. Not quite the safest game in town, but fun nevertheless. The rain started coming down but there's a short tunnel to stand under just before the bridge. Bats were flying all around the tunnel; we had disturbed their nesting area. Finally, the train arrived and lots of pictures were taken. Going back to Ella, we chose to take the forest short-cut, not realizing at the time what that entailed. It was pouring pretty heavily, and we ended up wading thru the muddy path. Unfortunately, the leeches were wading also besides waiting on the low lying branches and plants, so all of us picked up a bunch of them. I took the first place prize, having about 10 on my feet and ankles. The fun really began when we got back to our hotel and started to remove the leeches. Pouring salt on them seemed to do the trick, as they let go and just left a small bleeding wound. My multiple punctures wouldn't stop bleeding, and I recalled I took my daily dose of baby aspirin in the morning and the leech secretes an anticoagulant into the wound area; not a good thing when you're trying to stop bleeding. Final tally was a medicated plaster (bandaid at 5 rupees each), between each toe of my right foot and 3 more areas on my left foot! The areas above my ankles seemed to stop bleeding more quickly, so that was a good thing. Fun in the woods in the pouring rain....
Pic: Great views on our hike to Little Adams Peak

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