Green and pleasant land

Trip Start Oct 31, 2009
Trip End Feb 25, 2010

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tired after our overnight Adam's peak climb a very small and very crowded bus took us slowly up a seemingly endless hill to Nuwara Eliya - Sri Lanka's highest town and known as "Little England". As we get to the outskirts of town there are rows of neat mock Tudor guest houses lining the street - given the impression of driving into a slightly down at heel English seaside resort.

After a short nap we shake off our tiredness and head to the Glendower hotel - where after a few nights of abstinence there is a decent bar and restaurant. Walking into the bar we see - horse brasses on the wall; net curtains in the windows; faded adverts for John Smiths beer; a wood and brass bar; faded chintzy sofas; a wood paneled billiards room; a croquet set; and a log fire. In the next room choir-boys practice Blake's Jerusalem, OK I made that last bit up, but the  effect is a bizarre facsimile of an English pub - possibly from the 50's. Only Sir Lankan beer though.

A faint chill descends at night - but our guesthouse has great hot showers, and a warm duvet on the bed.

In true fidelity to the "little England" tag the actual town centre of Nuwara Eliya consists of an ugly concrete shopping street, there is however a well tended park. We take a short bus ride out of town to a nearby tea estate - we get served lovely tea complete with bone china cups, saucers and tea pot. We get a tour of the tea factory - tea making doesn't seem very complex - pick leaves; dry leaves; crush leaves; grade leaves; pack leaves; make tea - so the tour is short. The spot is lovely with tea bushes clinging to the side of hills.

Our second night in Nuwara Eliya we head to St Andrew's hotel by the golf course (yes I know a lot of the sames are more Scottish than English) - for their English food - as this is something of a thing in Nuwara Eliya having English food.

Its worth a note on Sri Lankan food - it is lovely but could be described as "sameish" here reproduced in full is the menu for every Sri Lankan guest house:
- Rice and curry
- Devilled chicken, fish or beef
- Fried noodles

Rice and curry being a very under stated title for a huge plate of boiled rice, a small meat curry, several vegetable curries, some poppadoms and some spicy sambal sauce. The exact contents vary, but it is on every menu, and often the only item. All so far have been very nice, but a change was appreciated.

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