Thanks Nicola for giving me a ‘break’ from blog writing – surprisingly how much I missed doing it!!! So, today is Nic’s last full day of in Sri Lanka and we needed to get the rest of the planned itinerary ticked off (cause both Jayne and I are incredibly OCD!). After a toast laden breakfast at the hotel and a quick phone to Europcar to let them know that the check engine light had come on in the car (which, apparently, is because the car needs a service and is not something we should worry about… Hmmmmmm!). We headed first to the Pedro tea estate which still uses the 19th century engineering to process the tea leaves. After donning some rather attractive green aprons, we had a half-hour guided tour which was actually quite interesting and it was good to see all the processes that tea goes through before it’s ready to be brewed. Certainly makes you think about how much the tea pickers are getting when PG Tips can sell tea bags for such a low cost… Pedro tea estate specialises in a very light tea, so they only process the tea at night when it’s colder so we didn’t get to see many of the machines in action. We did get to try a cup of their famous ‘Lovers Leap’ tea – Nic and I weren’t fans so Jayne got all three cups!!! After the tour, we headed across the road for a 5km round trip through the tea plantations to the nearby waterfall. Ended up asking for directions mid-route from a tractor who ended up giving us a lift until the foot-only track. The waterfall itself was nice (although we have seen bigger and better this week!). Didn’t want to linger as we knew we needed to get started driving back toward Colombo to drop Nic off at the airport. Headed first towards Kandy and the drive down the hill area was okay despite some kamikaze drivers overtaking us on blind corners and making us all sweat slightly! Decided to skip Kandy town centre after the mayhem of trying to enter the city, opting instead for a restaurant on the outskirts of town. Despite it being a Sri Lankan restaurant, there was only one Sri Lankan dish on the menu and when Nic ordered it, they didn’t have it!
Feeling full, we headed next door to the supermarket to pick up dinner (Nic), supplies (Jayne and Katherine) and ice cream before continuing driving towards the airport. As darkness descended, the roads became a little bit more hair raising and all of us felt a bit uncomfortable with the driving of others, especially TukTuks. Was slightly better when we headed off the main road onto a B road although narrower lanes proved equally difficult when people refused to pull over. Fortunately, due to Jayne’s awesome driving skills, we arrived at the airport (no thanks to my shit navigation skills!). A quick and teary goodbye to Nic as she entered the airport (we were not allowed in without a ticket) and we were back in the car trying to decided what to do and where to go. Decided to head back down the coast for some rest and relaxation on the beach. Drove until we were shattered, deciding that neither of us had the energy to start searching for somewhere to sleep so we pulled up by the beach and slept in the car.
Saturday 20th February 2016