Friday, December 29, 2017

Sri Lanka - day 7

My one regret so far had been that our Bluefield Tea Gardens tour included only the factory and not the actual plantation. I had seen tea plantations before, of course, but no 'live' ones where you could see the tea pluckers at work.

This changed on day 7 when we went to Little Adam's peak. 

Considered a little brother to the similarly shaped Adam's peak, Little Adam's peak is one of the easiest hikes you can do to get rewarded by stunning views. Adam's Peak is 2243 metres high, and you can get to the top by climbing about 5000 steps. It's supposed to be quite a strenuous hike. We had had our climbing fix in Pidurangala, and so we settled its the 1141-metre-high little brother so that the seniors and Xena could also enjoy some nice views.

Fun fact: Adam's peak is called so because the top of the mountain has a hollow shaped like a footprint, which Christians and Muslims believe to be Adam's step. Meanwhile, Hindus and Buddhists claim that it belongs to Lord Shiva and Buddha respectively.

Our driver dropped us off at the beginning of the hike. There was a simple sign pointing towards Little Adam's Peak. My dad wanted a family photo with the sign so he asked a passerby.

The guy didn't realise that we wanted the sign in the picture so he just took a very nice family photo of Dad, Mom and me!

So I took a photo of Dad with the sign, and he was so happy!

The first part of the hike was relatively flat, so everyone could do it without any problems. It also helped that the weather was fabulously cool and we were surrounded by the most gorgeous tea plantations. 

And finally, we saw tea pluckers in action! I was thrilled to bits!

We saw these sacks with tea leaves inside. 

Dad asked one of the workers to open the sack so he could get a closer look at the leaves. 

Dad poses with a tea leaf. 

This is how the roots of a tea plant look. 

A tea flower!

I found this flower on the ground and picked it up for a leaf and flower photo. 

A closer look

Xena and me enjoying the surroundings

She even took some photos, using Viv's neck as a stabiliser. 

I was so glad Mom walked up to this point and saw some beautiful views. From here on, it was just steps all the way. Her leg had started to hurt so she found a tree to sit under, while the rest of us made our way up. 

After about 15-20 minutes of climbing up steps, we had reached the top. 

And the view did not disappoint!

This was the farthest anyone would let me go, but as you can see, there was a couple behind me perched precariously close to the cliff. Again, there are no railings and it is very easy to fall to your death if you're not careful. 

We asked a fellow climber to take a group photo. I feel so sad that Mom is not in in this picture. 

This is one of my favourite photos from the hike!

We spent a few minutes walking around and enjoying the views, but didn't linger too long as Mom was all by herself. 

When we were climbing up, there weren't too many people but it was starting to get really crowded on the way down. At one point, we even saw a COW trying to make its way up!

Dad who also can't climb a lot of steps was doing remarkably well. I was staying close to him in case he needed help especially on the uneven steps but he managed almost all of it by himself. 

On the way down, we saw makeshift shops selling trinkets, such as jewellery made of seeds. 

Another of my favourite pics -- Mom and Mom-in-law walking together. 

Next, we got back in the van and headed towards the famous Rawana Falls. 

The 25-metre waterfall can be easily viewed from the roadside. According to legend, Ravana had kidnapped Sita and hidden her in the caves behind this waterfall. 

Family shot with the Falls

We set off towards Unawatuna after this. Along the way, our driver found this really cool lunch place facing the sea. 

It kind of looked like a lecture theatre and we had climb a lot of steps to get to our dining table. 

Beach view from the van on the way to Unawatuna

Nice view of boats

It was evening by the time we reached our accommodation in Unawatuna. The owner was a nice, chatty guy who told us all about how the 2004 tsunami destroyed everything his family owned and how he had to start from scratch and get to where he was. 

He also told us that massages could be arranged at the villa itself by a Balinese masseuse. Of course I jumped at the chance. Viv also decided to get one, but none of the others were keen. So the two of us took turns to get very very relaxing massages from the lady. 

Xena was delighted to see that the villa had the very plant that was in her colouring book!

And that was that for day 7. Click here for day 8!



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