Sri Lanka Travelogue Part 5
Michael Taylor’s Sri Lankan adventure has ended in real time, but it continues in Cyberspace. He is flown there on Singapore Airlines by the Dilmah School of Tea to take a course in the Appreciation of Tea.
After spending a restful night at the Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya in the Central Sri Lankan highlands, we are to be taken the Somerset Estate to visit the tea gardens.
We are to see how tea is grown and how it is harvested. Needless to say, this is supposed to be the highlight of the five day trip to Sri Lanka.
When I learn that it will be a 30 to 60 minute “bone-rattling” journey by bus from the hotel to the estate, however, I opt out because of intense lower back pain.
I’m simply not up to it. I decide to go for a walk instead. I think it will help my back. I am not disappointed when I set out from the Grand Hotel to explore the town of Nuwara Eliya.
The mountain air is brisk. The rolling hills are dotted with all manner of English style bungalows. There are a few mansions.
Some of the homes have seen better days. Others are well maintained. A few are set amid well tended gardens.
Some of the houses are private residences, but many have been turned into guest houses. I can’t help but wish that I could spend a few days in one of these splendid homes.
I also pass a handful of eateries and a Buddhist or Hindu temple – I’m not sure which – along the way. The occasional cow leisurely crosses my path.
Within 10 to 20 minutes I come to Gregory Lake, which is set amid a beautifully landscaped environmental protection area. There are bicycle paths as well as boating and fishing.
At some point I decide to keep walking along the shores of the lake rather than turning back. When I reach the point of no return, the skies threaten rain. Fortunately, the dreaded downpour fails to materialize.
It takes me two and one half hours to complete my journey. I’ve worked up quite an appetite.
To Be Continued