Tea for two


This morning we had two breakfasts, both excellent, but neither with the correct kind of tea. Breakfast #1: vegetable roti and dhal. We asked for tea but it never arrived. Breakfast #2 across the road at Sri Ambaal Vegetarian Hotel: vegetable wade and dosa with curry and coconut sambal. We asked for tea and were given hot malted milk. We moved on to another open air cafe where we got the right tea – just a bit too much of it (giant-sized pot) and price to match! So the only thing to do then was go to a tea estate.

Sri Ambaal Vegetarian Hotel, Nuwara Eliya

Pedro Estate Tea Factory, a few kilometres out of the town, dates from the late 1880s. It has lovely tea rooms overlooking the plantation and offers regular tours. Dressed in green aprons, our tour group was taken around the factory and the tea processes explained. The equipment and factory setup looks rather historic and huge ledger books are still used to record everything. Tea bushes need to be picked weekly by the delicate hands of ladies. Men apparently need not apply.

Pedro Tea Estate

Low cloud, drizzle and rain have persisted all day so the afternoon was devoted to late lunch in the Grand Hotel, a colonial relic with fake tudor facade that remains a pretty classy establishment.

Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya has a busy main street, covered produce market, golf course occupied by a few dogs and chickens (no golfers in evidence), a closed tourist information office, fine red post office with clock tower, mosque, church, stupa and a race track. Ponies and cows wander around the place freely. We wandered as well to see Gregory Lake, a recreational lake built by the British, but this was an underwhelming sight.

Tomorrow we will cycle to Ella, about 60km away and about 1000m lower than here!

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