As we departed the beautiful city of Kandy, we headed for the tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya. The drive would be quite long, for two hours or even more, as we were heading towards the “highlands.”
I was actually getting excited to visit the tea plantations as it was a dream of mine to visit such. Since I was a kid, I would read about the famous tea plantation of Ceylon from encyclopedias, and even from romance novels that used that as a setting, and it was such a romantic place for me as it was very old-world. The tea plantations of Ceylon ( which is now called Sri Lanka ) have existed since the 1800s, after the coffee plantations were destroyed by disease. For a precise history of how the tea plantations came about, you may read it from here.
Sri Lanka is the world’s third largest tea producer, with its economy relying heavily on its tea produce. Ceylon tea is definitely famous around the world because of its quality and exquisite taste. Know the brand Dilmah? It’s being exported all over the world and tastes divine.
Anyway, the van was actually driving in circles, up to some sort of a mountain, and we just thought that the drive would never end. It was such a “high” drive! The scenery was full of lush greens, almost nothing but greens. It was mint to the eyes. Just one sore spot that caught my eye was a spot on another mountain that was balding because it seemed to be up for development. Sigh. I was so accustomed to the beautiful greens here in Sri Lanka that I was getting upset with Mother Nature being destroyed. Sri Lankan countrysides are such precious places, that I encourage everyone to go there and just enjoy the fresh, cool air ( specially in Nuwara Eliya ), and reflect. It’s the perfect place.
Going back, when we were finally nearing the top, we stopped over as we saw some tea plantation places. Ahhh!!! This is it!
We were whopping in glee to have taken pictures of ourselves at the tea plantations. But apparently, it wasn’t the last top. The last top totally surprised me –
It was more of a luxurious, hill-top residence area that I’d love to live in!
We went in the tea factory, and it was just sad that we weren’t allowed to take photos as we were taught the processes in making tea – from picking the leaves, separating the buds, and the leaves, drying them up, and so forth. It was an interesting lesson for the day.
After our educational tour, we were led to the tea place to sample some of their teas. We tried BOP ( Black Orange Pekoa ) , a medium strength tea that really tasted delicious and fresh, and even more delicious when mixed with milk. Did I mention that the weather here was really cold? It was such a nice moment, us friends, enjoying a warm cup of tea in a cold place. Certainly something to remember.
After spending a pleasant time in Nuwara Eliya ( and buying tea for pasalubong, ) , we went back to the van and drove down to the plains. I remember us talking about our next trip – perhaps Greece, Turkey, or Dubai, and just dreaming our lives away on where we’d want to go. This place really has a magical effect on people as it seemed to charm us with its comforting weather and beautiful scenery.
Off we go to our next destination, which is the Yala National Park!