Nuwara Eliya

As it’s turns out, September is possibly the worst month to climb Adam’s Peak. Not only is the weather highly unpredictable (resulting in little-no visibility at the summit), it was also mating season for the wild animals inhabiting the area. So on the train to our hiking destination, Hatton, we decided to pull the pin. Quickly trying to figure out our options, we decided to visit Nuwara Eliya and I’m so glad we did. It was totally worth the hour and a half we spent crammed on a local bus nursing our backpacks on our legs.

Nuwara Eliya is part of the tea region in Sri Lanka – I was in tea heaven! With the temperature reaching a daily high of 15 degrees, Derek was also in heaven. I would alike it to the Hunter Valley in Sydney, however replace the vineyards with tea estates. It was such a pretty little town.

We arrived at our last minute accommodation which was interesting to say the least. The host was a lovely man, no older than about eighteen. I think it may have been the language barrier that made everything seem really odd. For example, when we arrived, we were taken straight to our room without having to check in. This is something we weren’t used to but thought, awesome, no need to fill out our details again. Then Derek asked when we pay for our accommodation and the man said “I don’t know”. Derek looked at him rather confused and then went on to ask what time breakfast was and the man just looked at Derek blankly and said “what time would you like breakfast?”. At our other hostels and guesthouses breakfast has usually been served between 7-10am however this place asked us for the exact time? It was so bizarre and that wasn’t the end of it. At about 9.30pm we heard a knock on our door. Derek answered it and found it was our friend again. He asked Derek what time he wanted breakfast (again). After giving the same reply, Derek shut the door. We both looked at each other super confused. Did that just happen?!

The next day we decided to visit Pedro’s Tea Estate. It was such a pretty place and the tour of the factory was very interesting. The process of making tea, both loose leaf varieties and tea bags, is quite intricate. After a nice cup of tea overlooking the estate, we decided to walk to a nearby waterfall called Lover’s Leap. In comparison to others we’ve seen on this trip it was pretty small, but regardless of size, I love all waterfalls!

After a morning of learning and exploring we were starving, so we jumped on a bus and headed into town to find something delicious to eat. We stumbled across a place called “Taste of Sri Lanka” which was a mini market serving all different types of street food including hoppers and dosa. We got to our first stall and a man kindly translated what the lady serving was asking us. After chatting in line and translating, he insisted on paying for our hoppers! It was only 30 cents but it was still a really nice gesture. Such a lovely man.

With the rest of the afternoon up our sleeves, we decided to relax and plan the next leg of our Sri Lankan adventure – Ella.

– Neetz


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