The post and summary of the trip can be found here.
This was what we covered on this post. (Credit : Map taken from google map)
♥25th March 2013♥
Look who came with us on our holiday?
As Haputale is at the central mountain area of Sri Lanka, we woke up to nice cool weather, the girls can’t wait to go outside.
Melheim Resort is a small but pretty resort built on a slope facing a valley. We let the girls explore the resort grounds while breakfast was ordered.
Breakfast was scrumptious, and served by our bow-tied waiter at the verendah with beautiful view.
As we have a shorter road journey, we checked out late morning. We have 2 places of interest to cover in Haputale, 1) Adisham Bangalow, a monastery run by Benedictine Monks and 2) Lipton Seat, famous Viewpoint 1970m above sea level, where the Scottish tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton used to survey his burgeoning empire from here.
Adisham Monastery was closed on that day, and yet, because there were a few groups of tourists waiting outside, us included, they allowed small groups of us to enter taking turns.
The Monastery is a beautiful bangalow, we didnt’ see any monks there, but were allowed to explore some part of the bangalow, and walk in their beautiful gardens.
Quotes on plagues were placed around the bangalow, and these are my two favourite.
Haputale is surrounded by hills covered with cloud forests and tea plantations, every turn that we made, we were greeted by yet another beautiful view. We made so many stops for photo taking. Luckily Asanka was obliging.
Sri Lanka is so safe that children, even little pre-schoolers, walk themselves (may be a long journey) home after school. (Try this in Malaysia and your child will be kidnapped.)
To get to Lipton Seat, we have to first get to Dambatene Tea Factory, then take a tuk-tuk up as the road going through tea plantation is too narrow and steep for cars.
This totally un-shy chameleon was resting on the hedge at the Dambatene Tea Factory, it was still there when we came back down from Lipton Seat, almost 2hours later.
We hailed a tuk-tuk for LKR700 (~RM17) for a return trip up to Lipton Seat. The tuk-tuk was small, but all of us, 3 adults (Asanka came along too) + the driver and the girls, could fit in.
We rode through lush tea plantation, enjoyed the beautiful view on our way up, and then we were above the clouds, arriving at Lipton’s Seat.
It was quite cloudy so there’s not much of a view, but we still enjoyed the cool fresh air there. There’s a little cafe at Lipton’s Seat, we invited Asanka and our tuk-tuk driver to join us for tea.
A boy was manning a stove to boil hot water, while his father made tea and fried samosas and wades for us.
The adults have these, and the children had juice. And guess what? It was only about RM18. We were not slaughtered just because we have tea at this lone cafe 1970m above sea level.
Hubs and the girls decided to walk a bit, while I preferred the tuk-tuk as I sprained my ankle earlier at Melheim Resort.
It was a good and cool day to take a walk, but it was a long 7km back to Dambatene Tea Factory where our car was, so we met the trio half way.
At one of the junction, we say lady tea pickers started their shift, so we got the tuk-tuk driver to stop for us to mingle with them. Before the ladies started work, they have to pick tweaks as firewood for cooking in their houses. These ladies are so strong, they could carry the 20Kg+ bundle on their heads.
They left the bundles at the road side, and would pick them up after work to bring home.
They then wore their long protective gear, an apron made out of thick cloth or gunny sacks (to prevent their legs being pricked by the tea branches). They were all happily posing for us. A couple of them asked if we brought along chocolates (to give them). Although we didn’t have any to give to them, they still smiled at us and said good bye before going to work.
Although it’s hard work for these tea pickers, they seemed happy. Maybe having beautiful views and the fresh air at their ‘work place’ helps.
After being left off at Dambatene Tea Factory by the tuk-tuk driver, we continued to explore the Dambatene plantation. When hubs wanted to stop for photos, I brought the girls to a school near by where we stopped, just to show them what the schools in Sri Lanka looked like, since we’d met so many groups of friendly students.
The older kids were having exams (hence the tables outside the classrooms), while the younger kids were waiting for their extra classes to start.
We managed to peep into a classroom, saw some shy but excited kids.
Their teacher encouraged them to have their photos taken, so I took this shot outside their classroom, and a couple more with the girls standing with them. They were all crowding around me, excited to see their own photos on the camera display (that’s one of the things that the rural Sri Lankans like, having their photos taken, and then getting shown their photos on the camera).
It was then time to leave Haputale and drive downhill towards our next destination, Tissa (short for Tissamaharama) down south; cutting through some foggy roads.
More beautiful plantation.
And then a quick stop at Diyaluma Water Falls.
We had a very late lunch at a local snack shop when we hit a small town Wellawaya, which sells kottu (fried shredded roti with vegetables), roti and appa (savoury appam). I was only aware of kottu after the trip although Asanka mentioned it in the snack shop, so we didn’t try it; we only had some plain roti and appa that day.
When we arrived at Tissa, it was again getting dark. It took us a while to find Saraii Village, our hotel for the next 2 nights.
Guess what? We would be staying on a tree house at Saraii Village! It was a novel thing to do we thought, but Fun…. it…. wasn’t! Let me show you more pictures and tell you more about this place in the next post.