Thursday, 24 May 2012

Sri Lanka, the cold and the hot

The local bus from Kandy to Nuwara Elyia was $1.50 for approx a four hour trip. We weren't actually traveling very far in k's but were heading up the steep and windy roads into tea country.

We were piled into the bus with the aisle once again turned into seats, this time with some bad local music belting out loudly and everyone talking over the top.I put my music on and cranked it up, sat back and watched as the landscape changed the further we climbed.

I checked in to Mount View Cottage mid afternoon and enjoyed a cup of tea on my balcony. I know, I never drink tea, but when in tea country and all that. It was starting to get cold, like really cold.

After three months of steamy hot weather feeling chilly was initially a bit of a novelty. But putting on most of my clothes so I could sleep became a bit painful.

Up early the next morning to explore the area. It is so green and lush it is amazing. First stop had to be a tea factory. The tea making process is quite complicated and I got slightly bored with the detail the lady wanted to give me. I was more fascinated with the ladies picking the tea.

The areas the tea plantations cover is enormous (and steep) and each tea bush can be picked 4 times a month (see I was listening!) which means there's never a female looking for work in this part of the country. The men don't pick the tea, too hard for them I guess.

The white dots are tea picking ladies with the tea leaf bags on their heads.

I had another cup of tea then jumped in the car with the young dude who owns the guest house. He and his wife are locals who recently moved back from Melbourne, unbelievable. He worked at the Rialto hotel on Collins street and loved it, his wife worked at some place in Dandenong and didn't like it at all. Understandable really.

I checked out the huge lake in the middle of town and we snuck into the fancy golf course for a look. Parts of this town still have the old British feel to them - one place is still a members only club for Brits!

There was a really interesting catholic church built by the British hundreds of years ago. The oldest gravestone in the cemetery out front was dated in the mid 1600's. Quite amazing really.

We then stopped at a temple. This is my tenth million temple so far. There were a group of young kids there so I became the novelty for them.

I loved the little girl with the red sun glasses head band!

I got dropped off in the little town and had a wander around. The local market stalls all sell rip off outdoor gear like North Face.I did think about buying more layers but with only one more night in the hills I figured my trusty hoodie would do me.

I wandered into a local lunch place, seemed popular so thought it might be worth a shot. I managed to get the dude to understand 'vegetable', he nodded happily and off he went. Next thing my table started filling with food, various vegetable dishes and a mountain of rice. And it was spicy, very spicy. It was so delicious and cost $1.20. There was enough food left over to feed all the tea picking ladies for a week.

I needed a few supplies for the epic journey the following day so popped into the supermarket. Unbelievable the things you find, and they can't really speak English in this part of the country!

The next day I had to get to Mirissa at the very bottom of the island. I had the option of 11 hours on the local bus or 5 hours if I hired a van. There was no choice really, I'll go without food for days to take the van option.

The van driver dude was cool and he took heaps of short cuts through little local roads. It made for a bumpy ride but great viewing.

My two nights at Spice House in Mirissa quickly became three. This is a small little beach town with beautiful clean beaches and the guest house was amazing. I was the only person there during my stay but I think chef cooked up enough food at brekkie and dinner to feed a full house. Over catering seems to be very common in this country. I told them to make me local spicy food so every meal was a treat.

And they delivered coffee to me on my balcony which made me feel very spoilt.

After a few days in paradise it was back on the bus to the capital of Colombo before taking on the epic flight ....Colombo-Bangkok-Hong Kong- Tokyo.

Although my 2am flight was delayed a few hours I was spoilt on the plane with spare seats and lots of pillows. Not such a bad way to spend 20 or so hours.

Posted from somewhere round the world...


  1. Hi Lynne,
    I hope you are having a great tine. You look like you are. Where to next?? Ill just have to keep watching yout Blog! Very Jealous you are travelling everywhere, so much freedom and so much to see! When you are in Melb next it would be great to see you and catch up on all your adventures. Luke is now 1.5years old.....gee how time goes! Keep enjoying yourself you look amazing! Danielle x

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