Experiencing Sri Lanka’s Providence- Part 3: Hiking the Tea Trails

Called Serendib by Arab traders  (the origin of the word “serendipity”), Sri Lanka has an amazing diversity for a small island and offers the possibility of experiencing vastly different climates, history, and cultures during a short vacation. In this Four Part Series I will share a glimpse of four different areas of Sri Lanka that can, and should, be a part of any itinerary to the island of providence. Part 1 explores the East Coast city of Trincomalee and the Hindu  Koneswaram Temple and Part 2 brought us to the Ancient Buddha Rock Statues of Polonnaruwa. Sri Lanka’s hill country is a world unto itself. Dramatic mountains are smoothed out by waves of evenly spaced tea bushes that calm the senses and clear the mind. Amongst the tea plantations, like no where else in Sri Lanka, you can feel the blend of civilizations between England’s colonial past, the Tamil Hindu community Read full article…

My 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets

My friend Megan who writes the blog See. Write. Live. nominated me to share my three best travel secrets on Todd’s Wanderings. The nomination is a part of Trip Base Blog tag in which the Top Bloggers’ Best Kept Travel Secrets will be published in a free ebook that will be shared with the “entire online community…” Hmmm, good luck with that! First, I had to decide if my secrets were safe for the average traveler…my lawyers tell me I should be okay (by reading this you have now waived all your rights). So here you are, some of my well kept secrets, and favorite places in this wonderful world: 1. Mount Koya, Japan Aschaf Everyone visits the major temples in Kyoto and Nara but these days they are little more than tourist attractions, albeit pretty ones, lacking that lived in, struggle for enlightenment feel. Mount Koya, the secluded mountain Read full article…

Weekend in Haputale Sri Lanka

In August I headed up into the hill country with two friends to beat the heat in Colombo. Our destination was the Kelbourne Tea Estate just outside of Haputale. Kelbourne Estate has three English tea bungalows set high up in the mountains in the middle of a working tea plantation. You are waited on hand and foot, and can have dinner in your own dinning room surrounded by ever present green tea bushes. Of course half the fun of getting to the hill country is driving up through the stunning scenery That is until you get stuck behind a manure truck and two bused sizing up each other’s %$##* We picked the Wildflower Cottage with three bedrooms and… …what was supposed to be a stunning view…. Getting closer to the view as the clouds pass underneath us Ah, there it is At night the temperature drops enough to rationalize a Read full article…

The Road to Maskeliya

In November my sister visited Sri Lanka, so we grabbed some friends, packed up the car and headed back to our favorite lakeside cabin, the Castlereigh Family Cottages in the hill country. You can see our previous adventures here. This time we decided to go on a hike rather than spend our time on the porch the whole time. Rather than go on an established hike, we decided to pick a mountain and climb it ourselves. We chose this mountain across lake where we could use the tea trails to reach the top. We drove around the lake and parked in front of a Hindu temple. I guess this is the way. This would not be the only time we asked the locals for help. The tea trails. Two tea pickers on their way to work. The long sticks are laid across the tea bushes. Only the leaves above the Read full article…

Hill Country Get Away

In the end of July, Kay and I and some friends packed up the car and wound our way up into the hill country for some cool weather, mountain views and a porch on the lake. We returned to Dikoya, just outside of small hill country town Hatton, where we spent the night after climbing Adam’s peak earlier in the year. Driving through Hatton we pass a statue of Ganesha. A common view from the road making the drive up and back a vacation to itself. All of the tea pickers tend to be older women working long hours and carrying heavy loads. Don’t ask me why she has a fishing pole… A Hindu shrine clings to the side of the road, and the edge of a mountain. Kay and I with Angles Falls behind us. We stopped here for some tea and the view at a small tea house Read full article…

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