Tuesday 23 September 2014

Day 151: Nuwara Eliya - A day for plant-life

Orchid at Peradeniya
It was a day for plant-life: yellow flowers and purple ones, red and white, tall palms and low-lying shrubs, organs of bamboo, water lilies and cactuses and orchids and tea plants - lots and lots and lots of tea plants.

We started by spending a couple of happy hours wandering around the Peradeniya botanical gardens, where the abundant foliage kindly sheltered us from a tropical shower or two but failed to spoil the landscaping.  Then we began winding up into the hills, where the road coiled, raindrops dappled the windscreen and mists strolled between the mountainsides.  Can you guess the name of the town we were approaching?  'Little England' (Nuwara Eliya).  Aptly named.

On the way we stopped at a tea plantation and factory which produces eight hundred kilos of tea a day to quench a very British type of thirst (apparently we gulp down a quarter of the world's supply).  It retains signs of the colonial era, such as a steam power generator from Lincoln drawing its pension in the factory grounds.

After a tour of the plantation we settled ourselves in the cafe for tea (from a real pot) and cake.  Very homey!  I even saw a red post box yesterday and got a bit more excited than a container with a slit in it really warrants.  Little England, eh?  The weather certainly thinks so.  After six days in t-shirts, it's time to get my fleece out of my bag and put it on.

Wenlock visiting the tea plantation
Palm grove

Called a cannonball tree... I wonder why?
Bats having a kip

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