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22
Aug
2011

Sri Lankan High Country

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Posted in Photography, Tea, Travel
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This is high country Sri Lanka, Nurawa Eliya more specifically. It’s the heart of the tea growing regions of Sri Lanka, and the place where the best tea comes from. Lipton, Dilmah, Bushells, they all own plantations here, and nearly every available piece of ground that can grow a tea plant, does grow a tea plant.

We drove from Kandy to Nurawa Eliya along winding roads of dubious quality and sweeping views of the valley floor below. We were shown hidden cave temples and trudged through leech infested waters for the privilege of seeing reclining Buddha’s carved out of a cave wall. We visited a tea factory at Bluefields and were shown the tea drying, roasting, and filtering process and tasted their teas. The smell inside the drying room was intense. A thick heady tea aroma hung in the air like someone with something to hide and happy trigger finger on a bottle of eau de toilette.

We did it again at Mackwoods Estate and were given a piece of chocolate cake.

We stopped and spoke to the tiny Tamil ladies who form the vast majority of the tea picking work force. They’d smile wide with gap filled mouths and simultaneously put out their hands for money. Don’t believe any of the things you see on tea commercials, the people growing and tending the tea plantations and doing the picking get paid next to nothing. An average income for a tea picker is around 400 rupees a day, the equivalent of $4 AUD. So any tourist is seen as an instant bonus and smiles come easy for the chance to double or triple their income in return for a cliched photo.

So we paid some money, we got our photos, and we hopped back into the van and continued on down the road. Lovely tea though.

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6 Responses to “Sri Lankan High Country” (380 views)

  1. The images are simply breathtaking….wow! Keep it up!!!!

    September 5, 2011 at 7:32 am Reply
  2. Gorgeous fog in the hills, and that woman’s smile is the greatest

    September 14, 2011 at 12:22 am Reply
  3. Hey Matt, havent visited here for a while, you have lots going on and gorgeous pics as always…come say hi some time. :D

    November 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm Reply
  4. Hey Matt,Excellent Job.I am a hobbyist photographer.Which lens and camera are you using?

    December 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm Reply

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