Nuwara Eliya

Trip Start Jul 02, 2008
Trip End Jun 19, 2009

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

After that incredible train ride I arrived in Nuwara Eliya, population 26,000 and elevation of 6,000 feet.  It's a very cold town for not being that high up in the mountains.  I actually had to wear my fleece to bed!  It's actually one of THE places for residents to vacation in Sri Lanka.  It has a definite British feel to it with lovely gardens, a golf course, and a horse racing course.

One day I visited the Pedro Tea Estate.  Tea is one of Sri Lanka's major exports and the hill country of Sri Lanka is where the tea plantations are found.  In order to grow, tea requires a warm climate (I'm not so sure when Nuwara Eliya is warm?), altitude, and a sloping terrain.  So after taking a tour of the tea factory I learned how tea leaves are dried, crushed, fermented, sorted, etc.  The factory employs about 3,000 people, 2,000 of which are tea pickers, of which are all women.  The tea pickers work 10 hour days and make about US$3 per day.  Sorry, but no pictures are allowed inside the factory.  At the end of the tour you are given a complimentary cup of tea.  It was a lovely cuppa tea, but it definitely doesn't beat the tastings I had at the tequila factory in Mexico or the rum factory in Cuba!!

Nearby the tea factory was Lover's Leap explanation needed.

The following day I went to Horton Plains National Park, about 1 and 1/2 hours south of Nuwara Eliya.  This area lies in the middle of Sri Lanka's 2nd and 3rd highest mountains and forms a plateau about 2,000 meters (6,000 feet) above sea level.  There is a 10km hike that loops around a portion of the park with a few interesting stops along the trail.

About 4km into the trail you reach World's End where the plains suddenly come to a stop and drop about 900 meters (2,700 feet).  Unfortunately, most of the time, and this time, the mist and clouds only allow you to see a few feet down.

After about 2km more you come to Baker's Falls...once again, no explanation is necessary.

Since I am about to celebrate the 4 month mark of this trip I decided to treat myself to a night at a nice hotel.  In Nuwara Eliya, the Grand Hotel could compare to The Drake in Chicago.  It is a huge English tudor style building with beautiful gardens, a huge lounge area, a billiards room with an attached bar, a coffee shop, a ballroom, and a few shops.  A single costs $69 per night and this includes a buffet breakfast (nonguests $13) and a buffet dinner (nonguests $20) AND I didn't have to wear my fleece to bed!  I think I ate enough dinner for two people so I definitely think I got my money's worth. I came here straight from Horton Plains so my shoes and the bottoms of my pants were all muddy and my hair was a mess.  I was seriously thinking they might turn me away because of how I looked.  But I assured them at the reception desk that I clean up fairly well.   

One more week until Obama is (hopefully) officially our next president!!!!

Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Single Tree Hotel & The Grand Hotel
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