Day 17 – Snakes and spice and all things NICE!!

Early start…zzzzzz. Off to the mountains to the tea plantations….how very British. The Dutch planted coffee, we came along, dug it up and planted tea!!! What next??

The wonders of Angelo never cease and an impromptu stop at a herb and spice garden….I am taken around the garden by the owner who passion for Sri Lankan produce is contagious, white and black peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, vanilla, ginger, cocoa, sandalwood, aloe vera, red pineapple, frangipani, king coconut oil and all the fragrant oils.  Probably missed loads due to a surprise 10 minute massage halfway round using their oils…could have stayed their all day…so relaxing…..and many £££’s later – I bought enough products to become the witch doctor of Greenwich….
Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better Angelo introduced me to a local gypsy with his python called Barbara and a scary looking cobra who thankfully remained in his basket!!! Only a slight look of concern with Babs looking directly at me and tightening her grip around my neck (felt like it) – Eck!
Finally leave for the tea plantations, 3 hours later, a few near misses overtaking on the windy mountain roads a great lunch with an magical view to I arrive at the Glenloch Tea Factory. Meet my guide who I think works to a script as when I try and ask a question, thanks me for visiting and ushers me into the shop..the whole factory looks like it hasn’t been updated since the 1930’s….finally get to sample the tea, Golden Flush their signature tea apparently made for the Royals?, Silver, White and Green, and it all tastes good!
Head into the plantations and meet one of the pickers, they only pick the top 3 leaves which then regrow in about 3 weeks…..these pickers are hardcore as the slopes are steep with absolutely no shade whilst carrying a sack from their head!!!
Decide to bypass Kandy and head to the highest town in Sri Lanka, but it’s cold!!! Left this morning in 30 degrees and now it’s barely 10!!! The tea plantations are all below me now and replaced with incredible and delicious looking range of vegetables. We pass loads of veg stalls along this single and very windy road to Nuwara Eliya, just wish I had more time to really appreciate and enjoy this….next time which hopefully won’t to be far away?
Arrived to the feel of a very colonial town. Victoria Park, railway station and developments of English style cottages!!! Only one thing for it, high tea at the Governors House (ex) now the Grand Hotel with open log fires and the feel of a good Agatha Christie novel…..thankfully no murders or sadly a budget to stay here!! So back on the road for the long drive back (thank you Angelo🙏)

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