23 June #savvytraveleraj224asia2016

23 June

Rise & Shine: 7am

Brekky: omelette with bread & jam

Tuk Tuk at 9am with the first stop at a working tea factory. The lady explained to us that green tea and black tea both come from the same plant, but that the process in making the tea differs. She explained the process of tea making: drying the leaves by sun or by air, how to extract the different parts of the plants to create different types of tea, how to separate the different teas, etc. We enjoyed a cuppa (of tea) after the tour. After the tea factory, the tuk tuk driver took us to a spice garden, where we learned about the different plants to help with ailments. We smelled cinnamon from the bark of a tree, clove from the leaf of a tree, and pepper form the tree. He shared with us the medicinal properties of the plants for helping with illnesses. After the spice garden, the tuk tuk driver dropped us off at the Botanical Gardens. We cruised around the botanical gardens viewing the different bamboo trees, palm trees, grass collection, the pond, – even bats flying around during the daytime. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll throughout the gardens. We never would have thought a botanical garden would have a variety of a grass collection. We ate lunch at the ”overpriced cafeteria’ rather than ‘stocking up on picnic items’ – per the Lonely Planet guide book.

At 1pm, our tuk tuk driver arrived to drop us back off at Season’s Unique Accomodations. I changed clothes and went to find Kandy View Point, I walked through the town, passed a track meet, up the hills all while viewing Kandy below with beautiful scenery. I arrived at a place with people taking pictures, but I thought for sure this couldn’t be the viewpoint because scaffolding blocked the view and the road continued upward. I continued walking on the road, turned up a dirt road, and reached the highest point I could climb. At the top: Dunumadalawa Forest Preserve: No Admittance. Therefore, I had to start my descent. From the top, the tress blocked the views. As I walked down the hill, I snapped a couple of shots. While continuing down the mountain, many tuk tuk drivers stopped and asked me if I needed a ride. Nope, I don’t need a ride- just want to walk and enjoy the views. At one point, I ended up walking through Kandy General (Teaching) Hospital! Yep, I was lost. However, at some point I figured it out and returned to the main road. I climbed stairs up and luckily arrived on the street of Season’s Unique Accommodations. Sarah greeted me at the door.

At 5pm, Mahesh, owner of Season’s Unique Accommodations, arrived to take us over to Kandy Breeze. We weren’t thrilled with Season’s Unique Accommodations location, but with a 1 km walk to town, clean rooms, our own bathroom, we decided to stay for one night. We planned on going to Kandy River Breeze tonight because we wanted to stay in nature. Mahesh owned both properties. As we chit chatted, I explained to Mahesh, I attempted to walk to Kandy Viewpoint. He asked me if I saw the ‘distinctive’ views at the viewpoint, I told him I didn’t. He decided to take us to Kandy Viewpoint via car en route to Kandy River Breeze. As we were driving, I recognized the streets and realized I passed Kandy Viewpoint. We stopped for Sarah to take some pictures. We proceeded on and had tea at his friend’s (Errol) hotel. Errol accompanied us to Kandy River Breeze, our place to stay. As we were driving, I was a bit skeptical of the place because we were driving down steep hills and away from town. We arrived at the place- surrounded by nature. Trees were all around the building, a couple of decks with shade covers, coconut tree right outside our bedroom window, jackfruit trees just a look away, and a hammock! With the view of the hammock, my eyes lit up and I raced over. Sarah and I loved the place. The building isn’t much bigger than an average house in Palm Trees with a common area, television, two bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, and common area downstairs, which can comfortably sleep 12 people.

As Mahesh and Errol went back into town, Mr. Gamage (gum-ah-gee) -he was there when we arrived- prepared tea for us. We went upstairs to unpack a bit and relax. At 8pm, we ate dinner with Errol and Mahesh. I’ll admit: as we were eating dinner I couldn’t help but think of our scam the other day and kept thinking about all of the horrible things that could happen to us out here. Kandy River Breeze is located on the river (the last house on the road), we didn’t have internet or a phone, and it’s off season (meaning we were the only ones staying here, not sure if any of the other places around were occupied). It’s a beautiful place surrounded with beautiful views of the river, a slight breeze coming off the river, and gorgeous naturalistic scenery. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of dosa (very thick and wheat) with chutneys. There was also a vegetable dosa cut up into very thin slices, which is not typical. When Mr. Gamage brought the cut up vegetable dosa, Errol, Mahesh, Sarah, and I chuckled a little because Mahesh asked him to cut it (in half) while he cut it up into multple pieces. One usually serves dosa as a whole as opposed to cut, but Mahesh wanted Mr. Gamage to cut it for us to split it. Throughout dinner, we chatted, watched television, drank a beer (first alcohol during this trip) and enjoyed each other’s company. After dinner, Errol and Mahesh left, Mr. Gamage cleaned up, and we slept.


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