Our Sri Lanka Adventure over the Chinese New Year 2016
The Chinese people are expected to travel back to their homes over the Chinese New Year. This is the largest migration of people at any one time, and it makes for interesting travel. Flights must be booked at least 6 months ahead of time, train tickets sell out and hotels are full.
Sri Lanka, prior to 1972 known as Ceylon, lies just off the ... Read Full Entry
Sri Lankan Wild ElephantsThe park is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan wild elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds. The elephant herds of Yala contains 300–500 individual elephants.
Along The HighwayIt was common to see these types of buildings along the road. There is a lot of poverty in Sri Lanka.
Rawana FallsJust outside of Ella. Rawana Falls is a picturesque spot to visit. There were a lot of vendors selling corn on the cob, coconuts, a delicious type of fruit similar to lychees, and other vegetables and fruits. Many white face monkeys begged or snatched food.
MacaquesThey were obviously used to being fed by the tourists, and these were waiting for my cob of corn. One of them took it out of my hand when I was done.
Our Driver, TKHe was an amazing driver and got us from place to place as quickly as possible. Linda couldn't watch the road because we would meet oncoming traffic all the time. They pass 3 abreast or swerve back at the last minute. Scary!
Lunch Time We stopped in this town for lunch and a bathroom break. Lunch was a few samosas and fired fritters.
Tea HouseThe girls went for a walk while the van cooled off after climbing the mountains to Nuwara Eliya. They found this charming tea house where we enjoyed a relaxing cup of tea.
Mackwoods TeaNuwara Eliya lies in the heart of the tea growing district of Sri Lanka. Tea was introduced to Sri Lanka by the British and is now their #1 export.
Mackwoods Tea FactoryLocated in the heart of Sri Lanka's tea growing area, Mackwoods Tea Estate is now owned by Sri Lanka. This part of the factory dries the leaves.
Tea Bushes EverywhereSri Lanka is the 4th largest producing country in the world behind China, India and Kenya. Here, because of the altitude and weather, they are able to harvest year round.
Tea PlantsTea is a shrub that is maintained at about a 3 foot height. The top 2 or 3 leaves and the bud is harvested by hand about 4 times a month.
Tea CountryThe men cultivate and trim the bushes while the women pick the leaves. An average 18-kilo haul brings in around 380 rupees ($4).
A Truck Load of TeaThe estate own the land, tea and provides housing for the workers. The tea is hauled to the factory for drying and sorting.
Taking The TrainOne of the top recommended things to do in Sri Lanka is ride the local train. The train meandered through incredibly beautiful terrain and provided a vital transportation link for the locals.
Nuwara Eliya Train StationWe took the local train from Nuwara Eliya to just outside of Kandy. TK and Jimmy dropped us off then drove to meet us.
Busy PlaceTickets are purchased at the station only, and they are rush seating. People crowd on, many of them standing. It was a half hour before people got off and we got to have a seat.
Beautiful CountryThe train meanders through valleys filled with tea shrubs, then through tunnels in the mountains and through pine forests. It was gorgeous!
Linda Made A FriendThis lady insisted her son give up his seat for Linda. There were many locals standing in the aisles. In the car in front of us, a group of men were playing drums and singing to entertain and pass the time.
Royal Botanical GardensWe only had an hour to visit the manicured grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kandy. These were impressive trees the like of which we have never seen before.