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Tea Country in Old Ceylon, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka used to be called called Ceylon, which is synonymous with Tea.  I have actually grown to like tea in the onset of my elder years so I was looking forward to our visit to Nuwara Eliya, which means “city of light”.

This city still shows many signs of the colonial influence of England and Scotland. In fact we stayed at the St. Andrews Hotel, which, guess what, was on the edge of the 18 hole par 71 golf links.

The St. Andrews hotel..Flat out one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in, See my review on TripAdvisor for details.

This is a painting in Ye Olde golf links clubhouse.

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Obviously this is a very old course, with well developed trees right where my drives would end up. It was well tended. A lifetime membership was about US$1000. I really liked this city, and if I lived there I would definitely join and take up that most aggravating of sports again.

But the area did not get settled just because of the great climate of the  1800 mtr altitude, or for the spectacular mountains and waterfalls in the area. It started getting settled because it was a perfect place to grow “English vegetables” and strawberries. There was an active coffee industry here until it got wiped out by a disease. Then, the growers switched to tea, and it is today one of the premier tea growing regions in the world.

Tea pickers at work on one of the largest planataions. Only women pick the tea. They have a quota of something like 20 kilos a day, and they get paid abou US$3 a day. Remember that next time you sit down to a cup.

I guess I could show you photos of the tea factory we visited, but a lot of machinery and hard working people just bums me out. We learned a lot about how it is processed and classed, and learned also about “white tip” tea, which is the really premium part of the tea plant.

If you visit Sri Lanka the tea country is an absolute visit. It is educational and comfortable and extremely beautiful.

Thanks for reading, share this with a friend, and have a cup of tea!

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