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After a long day of driving, dodging a numerous assortment of vehicles, two, three, four, six and eight wheeled, along narrow winding roads with houses built right to the road-side, we arrived at the most delightful hotel set in the hills amongst tea plantations above the town of Nuwara Eliya. It is a touch of colonial England, right down to the uniforms of the staff and the ambiance of the hotel which has been transformed from a tea factory.

Had the opportunity to learn to pick our own tea, dressed in local attire complete with head baskets, as the pickers still use…..see pics.

A highlight of the drive to get here were stopovers at a working tea factory and a spice garden. It was quite unique to see the processes used to create the finished product, particularly given the age of the machinery still used today. It is over 150 years old and nothing more efficient has been designed to accelerate the tea making process.

At the spice gardens we were guided by Kumar to explore the many plants used in their holistic Ayurvedic balms and medicines. It appears all of our ailments can be cured through a good cup of tea and a maintenance of the body’s balance through ingestion of herbs and spices. So no more beer for me, tea and lime juice every morning and the kilos will disappear! Hmmmmm? Finished a lovely, relaxing day with a massage. Life is tough. Today we leave and catch a local train to Ella. It will be our first experience of local transport, at least it stays in a straight line, unlike the local buses that careen dangerously and tailgate constantly.

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