Kandy to Hopetale

August 16

My itinerary originally had me going from there to Galle on the southern coast, which has an old Dutch fort. However, Lal has a bungalow up in the tea plantation area and offered me the option of going there instead. I opted for that and enjoyed the many waterfalls along the way.

We visited Nawara Elia, the highest city in Sri Lanka and visited a tea factory called Blue Field. The equipment in this factory is 100 years old. I was stunned to learn that tea must be hand-picked because they only use the “new” leaves. Women are pickers, not men, and are expected to pick a minimum of 20 kg/day. The leaves are then dried using fans as they lay on a screen trough, and then fermented, and then dried again.

After my tour, I was able to enjoy a nice cup of tea there after the tour.


A lovely cuppa tea!

The final push was up to the highest city in Sri Lanka and then to Hopetale where Lal has a place.

There was a spectacular view from out the door of my room and I enjoyed it with juice and a book.


The view from my doorway in Hopetale

Then I spent a little time in the lobby and a couple from France wandered in for dinner. They are doing a world tour for a year and then will return to their jobs! They were very enjoyable to talk with. They pointed out that they had been oversimplifying their English to the point of being grammatically incorrect sometimes in an effort to be understood. Their English was very good. It feels however,  presumptuous of us to assume (as I mostly do as I travel) that everyone can speak English. It is true that most people do, unless you are in really rural areas but it feels arrogant to make the assumption. I find it amazing that so many people around the world and in all countries are able to communicate pretty well in English. I don’t think they meant to be disparaging but were thankful for an opportunity to speak with a native speaker and work on their own. Anyway, through our dinner conversation we discovered we had visited the same tea plantation and there are many! After dinner I went for a shower and my book and bed. It was a very noisy night as the street right outside my room seemed to have lots of traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, and dogs barking.