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Hill Country

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Tea plantations Sri Lanka
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Yet again, my "could do better" photography efforts just don't do the scenery of the hill country justice. The landscape is fab. Lots of lush greenery and beautiful waterfalls everywhere.

As we were in the area we couldn't shoot through without visiting a real tea factory. So we stopped of at the Glenloch Tea Factory for a crash course in tea production.

There are 7 main stages in tea production - picking, semidrying, rolling, drying, cleaning, fermenting and grading (I bet you really wanted to know that). Tea picking starts early in the day and seems to be mainly done by women. Most of the labourers in the industry are Tamils originally brought over from India to work the tea plantations. Tea is grown in the low, mid, and high regions of Sri Lanka. The best quality tea comes from the hill country of the Nuwara Eliya District. Because it's high up it was quite a bit cooler than the rest of Sri Lanka, but as it was really hot everywhere else it was a bit of a welcome relief for a bit. Besides, the stunning views definitely made up for the cooler weather.

After sampling the leaf tea I don't know if I'll ever be able to use tea bags again. Especially after learning that the lowest grades known as dust, are used to make tea bags. Anyway came home with loads of the good quality stuff so hopefully won't have to revert back to bags of dust for a while yet.

Other attractions in the area apart from tea include Horton Plains National Park, where, if your lucky you may see evidence of leopards or spot a monkey or two. The most exotic bit of wildlife we spotted was a deer with a fine set of antlers. You could easily spend a whole day or longer walking there, flora and fauna spotting. The way the mist comes down and lifts again is really spooky...

Tea factory
Glenloch Tea Factory:Semidrying the leaves
Horton Plains
Horton Plains National Park

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