Fifty shades of Gray........Earl Gray Tea that is

Trip Start Nov 08, 2012
Trip End Dec 10, 2012

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Flag of Sri Lanka  , Central Province,
Sunday, December 2, 2012

We've made our way to Nuwara Eliya, on a very scenic three-hour train ride higher into the mountains. Nicknamed "Little England", this is tea country where several factories were built by the British in the 1800's. There are mountainsides upon mountainsides of neat rows of tea bushes. Quite beautiful and very, very green! We had a three-night reservation for the Grand Hotel, originally the Governor's Mansion in the center of "Nurellya". We wanted to visit a tea estate, view the British Colonial cottages, have "High Tea" and see what else there was to do.

Those of you who know me are not going to believe that the "what else" was a trek in the Horton National Park. I survived a 9.5 K nature hike that was supposed to be flat and "easy " with lots of animals, a waterfalls, and a magnificent precipice (900 meters) called World's End. And, I got up at 4:15 am for a very bumpy ride, in an old van, on a narrow road, that had a couple hundred switchbacks, to do this! You can Google these sites if you are interested, but I want to tell you, that if what I did was a "flat" walk, so is my ass! (pardon) 

I was sure I was going to twist an ankle or break a leg on the major rocks on what they called a trail. I was huffing and puffing climbing up, climbing down, feeling each of my 65 years. Quickly out-distancing me, Carmen, who walks miles every week and watches what she eats and never drinks, was doing a SPRINT at the age of 70. Evidently good living does pay off! My goal was to simply finish the hike without hurting myself. About half way through I knew that there was only one way back, there was no helicopter to get me out, vodka waited for me at the hotel and, my husband would be amazed and my children proud. I saw four butterflies, heard one monkey and saw a few deer in the distance. Poo to the wildlife claim. (See the photo Carmen took of me at the last set of steps.)

The scenery at Horton Plains Park was cool though, from what I could tell at the few flat spots when I didn't have to look where to place my next step! In retrospect (always better) the views were pretty and I was tired but, I hadn't hurt myself, so that counts as success, right?

I've attached photos of our visit to a tea factory where we were shown the process of tea production. Interesting. Outside we watched as women did back-breaking work in the fields....... small women lugging these huge bags of tea leaves. Horrible work for poor pay. I asked if all of the pickers were women even though I knew the answer was yes. I asked what part of the process the men did. I was told that they, also, did very hard work. I only observed men being the inspectors or driving the tractors/trucks. So much for any thoughts of Lily Ledbetter in Sri Lanka.
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Denise on

What an amazing journey! Reading your blog is a high-light of my day.

Judy Haroldson on

Wow what scenery I am impressed with your hike. Judy & Sam

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