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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Walking Little Adams Peak in Ella, Sri Lanka

There is a lot of nice walking in Sri Lanka, whether it's connected to pilgrimage sites or through the tea country. However, as our trip was completely unexpected we hadn't planned  any major walking, which is what made this short hike so great for us. It suited me because it was easy, didn't involve getting up at the crack of dawn or driving miles.

At the beginning of the  trail there's a small cafe and tuk tuk drivers  waiting to take you back to town.

The trail is easy and passes by beautiful tea estates with their wonderfully manicured small bushes climbing the hillside in regular rows.
You may share the trail with wandering cows!
The views were breathtaking in every direction.
It was a quick roundtrip and we wished it had been longer, however after the short climb we were rewarded with fabulous views in all direction. 
At the top there's also a small shrine marked by stones, painted poles and flags.
We stopped at the stunningly situated 98 Degrees Resort hotel on the way back and I highly recommend lunch here. The rooms are a series of small cottages built along a ridge.

The views just kept getting better and  if I'd planned this trip in advance this is where we would have been staying. Of course by the time we knew we were going to Ella (the day before) the hotel was fully booked. It's somewhere I'd love to return to and I think I could look at the view for days, it was breathtaking. Instead I was on the phone with United trying to secure our onwards  flights to Bangkok on frequent flyer miles, agh the glamour! All I wanted to do was dive into this pool, what could be nicer after a short hike.
This was one of my favorite days in Sri Lanka.