Had coffee and breakfast at the hotel at 06:30. They were ready for me this time and had everything done on time. Then I paid, checked out, and walked to the bus stop in the middle of Ella.
There was a group of guys at the bus stop and they all turned out to be touts for the shared minibuses. I was going to take the regular big bus but I negotiated them down from 3000 to 1200 LKR which is about 7 USD and it was leaving right then.
There were two guys from Singapore in the minibus and the touts told me not to tell them how much I was paying. The minibus made a few photo stops for us along the way and we got to Tissa in about two hours. The driver tried to drop me off in the next town over but I made him take me all the way to the center of Tissa.
It was blazing hot so I took a tuk-tuk to my hotel which was out a ways near the lake. Nobody was at the hotel but the gate was open so I hid my big bag behind the building and walked down to the corner store. They knew the hotel people and called them for me. The hotel guy showed up in his tuk-tuk in about 5 minutes and we went back to the hotel and I checked in.
I was the only one at the hotel so I got their full attention. At one point the guy knocked on my door just to tell me that he was going to town for 30 minutes. Not sure why I needed to know that.
I worked out an all day safari in Yala National Park for the next day with the hotel lady with a pickup time of 04:45. The tour goes until 5 in the afternoon and includes lunch and water.
In the afternoon, it poured rain for about 30 minutes and then afterwards I walked back to town for lunch. I had another almost too spicy curry buffet and it was very tasty.
Later on I went for a walk in the neighborhood and ended up out in the rice paddies and then on a path along a huge lake full of water birds and fishermen in outrigger canoes. On the other side of the path there were lots of farmers getting the rice fields ready to plant.