Traveling through Sri Lanka’s Stunning Central Highlands
This post was originally from February 27, 2017
Today was another day that was jam packed with amazing experiences – but let me back track a little … On Friday we left Kandy and were supposed to make our way to our next destination by train. Unfortunately when we got to the train station we were told that all trains going in that direction had been cancelled. It was a little disappointing because apparently taking the train through Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands is supposed to be absolutely stunning. That is okay though, when traveling through developing countries you can NEVER count on sticking to a schedule. Things will often go awry, and to be honest that is half of the fun because you end up in situations that usually build even better memories. We all hopped in a van instead, but for the longest time the traffic was literally at a stand still. Once we got moving it was a winding road uphill through the lush green Central Highlands.
The scenery was nothing short of spectacular – waterfalls and vibrant green tea plantations were around every turn. We stopped a few times to walk through tea plantations while dozens of women around us picked the leaves. They are expected to pick a minimum 18 kilograms of tea leaves per day, and if they pick more they’ll get a higher salary (which truthfully is barely anything). These ladies work in the heat of the day carrying a burlap sack on their backs and a long stick so that they can have some sort of defense against the snakes lurking around the bushes. Next time I drink my tea I will definitely have a greater appreciation of where it came from.
Eventually we made it to Nuwara Eliya,which is the town that sits at the highest elevation in all of Sri Lanka. The temperatures are considerably cooler which I hate to admit is a lovely reprieve from the sweaty tropics.
Saturday was a free day so Kris and I explored the town. If you didn’t know which country you were in you might guess England with all the British architecture and English street names. We even went for High Tea at one of the fancy English hotels. I much prefer low tea than high … I just don’t fit in with my spilled tea and ragged travel clothes!
The one on the left is how High Tea should look, the right cup is sadly mine!