Sri Lanka day 8: Turtles, tuk tuk, temples and tea before 12

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September 10th 2017
Published: September 10th 2017
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So what did you do this morning? We set out just to do a tea plantation and ended up doing a whole lot more. Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet both recommended the same tea plantation Hundungona so we commandeered a tuk tuk driver to take us there, wait for us and bring us back for 2500lkr.
We headed off and it soon became clear that our driver didn't know where he was going. He kept having to ask people and in the end I put google maps on so we eventually ended up at the right place.
Sorry....just need to backtrack....last night, I'm asleep and I feel something on my wrist. In the half dark I see something about an inch long, I shake it off and turn on the light but see nothing. I look under the covers and pillows but it must have scarpered sharpish. Probably just a cockroach but sleep wasn't easy after that.
Breakfast was good though, especially considering it was free.
And one more thing before we get back to the tea plantation. And you need to remember this bit later so pay attention. I know I have been known to do some daft things but then there's this.... We haven't had any mozzie bites since we've been here so Claire wondered if it was the antihistamines we've been taking or the constant mozzie spray spraying we've been doing or maybe even the anti mozzie bracelet she's been wearing. So she decides to take one of these out of the equation and didn't spray herself last night..... Somehow she doesn't seem to have caught dengue fever but that may be more luck than lack of judgment..... There's no malaria here but suddenly I'm the sensible one! Talk about role reversal!!
So we arrived at the tea plantation where we were to have a free tour followed by a tasting. We were shown various types of tea growing including the ultra special virgin white tea that is never touched by the human hand and used to be cut with golden scissors. We were given a cup of one type with a slice of cake before being shown the factory.
They still use machines that are over 145 years old so the whole place is kind of a working museum. We were shown each stage of the process before going into the shop to try out some tea.....forty different kinds! Spoon a spoonful into a small glass cup and get through forty kinds of tea and yes this included virgin white tea right down to earl grey.
The virgin white was okay but didn't make me feel that I wanted to spend excessive amounts of cash to get some. The earl grey wasn't as sickly as the yucky stuff back home but I still wouldn't buy any. It was great tasting them all but none of them have turned me from being a coffee drinker. Claire bought some for her tea club at work and I bought the autobiography of the guy who founded the plantation.
Our tuk tuk driver then offered us the chance to go to a turtle farm and hatchery so we acquiesced. On the way we ruined our plans for the afternoon as we stopped to photograph some of the famous stilt fishermen. Theere are quite a few of these stilts down this length of coast and three fishermen with balanced precariously on some where we stopped.
Someone duly collected 1000lkr from us to photograph them and they duly didn't catch a single fish while we were there. Were they there just to be photographed or were they really fishermen fishing? Let's hope for the latter and call it that.
The turtle place does some good as it rescues injured turtles and saves abandoned eggs to hatch them. Turtles just lay them and then bugger off, not the best parenting! The eggs are then often eaten by iguanas or monitor lizards for example or stolen by stupid humans. The turtle place has many ready for hatching and, when the turtles are big enough, they will be released into the ocean.
We were given an interesting turtle talk and got to hold some turtles too which was great. And all for £2:50.
We were then offered a boat safari....which turned out to be a herb farm and boat trip. The herb farm tour was free but you had the opportunity to buy stuff. Well you would wouldn't you. Actually I did, after the guy had removed a big chunk of hair from my leg....
I hate shaving and I despise facial hair so being given the possibility of never having to shave or have facial hair ever again was too good an opportunity to miss. This will mean not shaving for the rest of the holiday before beginning the treatment next weekend....
I'll let some of you know how I get on...
The boat safari started off mentioning crocodiles.....which then became almost no chance after we had paid and were on board. We escewed the opportunity to pay even more and have a fish foot massage and stopped off to meet a chap and his wife chopping and grinding cinammon. All very interesting, the tea we were given was okay but they really pulled a face when we didn't want to buy their overpriced cinnamon stuff.
We left quickly as the guy looked like he wanted to kill us and were soon on temple island. It wasn't much of a temple but we saw some monks and an iguana and Claire got me to climb some steps so she was happy.
We went round the lake a bit, saw a monkey and then crashed into some rocks... On the way out our driver had steered cleverly between two rocks and we were very impressed. On the way back he hit one of the rocks and we were far from impressed. And then our safari was over and we'd seen one iguana, one monkey and no crocodiles. And peed off an old man. I wouldn't recommend this trip at all.
Our tuk tuk driver was offering us more things but we wanted to go back now. We met his son who may be taking us to our next destination and finally made it back to our room.
Quite a quiet morning.....
We nipped out for some lunch and then headed to the beach....well the opposite the 1/2km turned into a couple of miles. Again I think Claire is doing her best to thin me down and I don't blame her. As we were so far from the actual beach now we decided to follow some signs to Secret Beach....yes, signs to SECRET beach....
It was quite up hill and down dale but it was interesting walking past the locals' homes and getting happy hellos from lots of children. When we finally got to the secret beach there was a secret beach bar....
Yeah, exactly.
The beach itself was a bit stony with big rocks around the shoreline and the waves were crashing in so there was no chance of swimming. We stood and sat at the water's edge getting battered with stones in the water as the waves crashed in and then I cut my head open on a tree branch. We read for a bit in the shade before I recieved one painful mozzie bite and realised that hadn't been the first. We left soon after. I had put mozzie spray on this morning but yeah, should have put more on. Hopefully Claire will have learnt something from this!
So now I have quite a visible cut on my head and mozzie bites from our afternoon relaxing..... Maybe it's safer clambering up mountains....
Later we went and saw what a lovely beach we'd missed out on....which isn't too far from our hotel....

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