Thursday, August 5, 2010

On hill country.

After spending 5 days with our kids who decided that that week was going to be the week they let all hell break loose, we decided to pack our bags and run for the hills. And so we did. We woke up on Saturday morning and clamored into the silver mini-bus to zip and zag up the misty mountains to the little tea town of Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya is about 6000 feet above sea level and therefore boasts temperatures that are very nearly Seattle worthy. We were even sporting goosebumps for a goodly amount of time, would you believe.

Our day was spent sipping tea and looking at tea and buying tea and drinking tea with a little bit of meandering-through-the-bazaar action going on in between. Cruella Deville apparently forgot her coat at the said bazaar the week before, and it was going for a “good price madam, only for you” – thank goodness the good Lord endows us with the strength to fight temptation.

For the Hasiths, the Kristians and the Christinas out there, yes we did make a stop at Labookelle for a spot of the old brew and a gaze at the fields of green. As par usual, it was spectacular. We toured the tea factory – which has in fact been pumping out aromatic, powdered, slightly caffeinated goodness since 1841 – and I even spotted the evil reindeer from Christmas time lurking among the produce.

We visited an old colonial church and grave sites that dated to the 1800’s and a little red brick post office that looks like it was dropped off straight from the outskirts of Hartfordshire. Our senses experienced strong visual juxtaposition when we also made a trip to the market – and what with its fruits and colors and noise and dirt, couldn’t have been decidedly less British.

After a final stop at the Grand hotel, we tottered down the hill again that evening, and slowly unwrapped ourselves from various layers of scarf and sweater. And as any good day is closed with a solid sunset and a good cup of tea on the verandah, that is what we did.

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