Sunday, April 2, 2017

Visiting the Hill Country, tea estates, little Adam's peak, Ella, British rail line

Rambutan fruits for sale at Rawana Waterfall, Sri Lanka,  photo by Mary M Payne

For the next couple of days we will be visiting the hill country of Sri Lanka.   We drive first to Banderwala and stretch our legs at Rawana Falls where we encounter litchi-like fruit called Rambutans; a few errant monkeys; a beautiful bride and her serious new husband; and dogs .... always dogs where ever they think they can get a hand-out. 

Sri Lankan Bridal couple, Rawana falls, Sri Lanka  , photo by Mary M Payne. 

 Then we are on to have lunch at a private home of a friend of our guide, Dee.   We eat a wonderful lunch with bread fruit curry, and a jack fruit dish (which tastes like a combo of chestnuts and potatoes) and visit with Lorraine.   We enjoy her lovely garden before setting out for in nearby Haputale. 

  We draw straws for rooms at the colonial manor house, a planters bungalow built in 1876 ... but they are all stupendous so it hardly matters.   

Lorraine's garden orchids

Lorraine's rock garden

View from the Manor house, Haputale

A bird making herself at home on the coatrack, Manor house.

Colonial period chairs with arm extension.   photo by Mary M Payne

Our manor house with its gorgeous views has many and varied rooms...a few separate from the main house... but I would hardly call them bungalows.   

 It was originally one of the tea estates which were all owned by a British tea companies until early in the 1970's.    The main house has been kept in its original design and furnishings and all of the rooms are well appointed with fans, air conditioning and baths and for the many of them are vast rooms. 

  These chairs that you see above have an extension on the arms.  Our group decided that these were to rest your legs ( not for balancing a tea cup which was my theory).    I won't show you the  hilarious picture I took of my friends trying the first option ....but I will just say that the photo exists. 

 By chance Dave draws the only family bungalow for his place for the night.  Since it has two bedrooms and its own garden, I decide to kip in his main room in a giant canopy bed while we visit tea country.

The gang ( Pauline and Grahame in the forefront) waits for another Sri Lankan dinner, this time with String Hoppers.

But first its another delicious Sri Lankan dinner in the dining room.  This time we are going to try string hoppers made of rice flour.  So far I like Sri Lankan food as well if not more than Indian food.   By the way the beer and the wine had to be bought at a special "wine store" before we arrived.   And that wine store was closed during the full moon puja... no risk of being a "lunatic" and drunk.

String hoppers,  photo by Mary M Payne

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