Sri Lanka – Ashburnham Tea Estate

Yet another vastly different stay.  An old tea plantation house which has been turned into a hotel with just 6 bedrooms.  The epitome of ‘getting away from it all’, this estate is in the hills and an hour’s drive away from the town of Kandy.  We arrived in time for afternoon tea and cake served on the veranda, and chatted to other guests.

Afterwards we walked down to the waterfall on the estate and sat there for a while.  There was nobody else around and we could have had a swim if we’d taken our costumes and towels.  I think the water would have been pretty cold though!

We had a (very) slow walk back up the hill, enjoying the views and the various plants & flowers.

Dinner was served on the veranda and we enjoyed a mean G&T beforehand! As we had mosquito nets over our beds we were able to sleep with the windows flung wide open to let the cool night air in which was really lovely. 

The following morning we had a tour of the tea plantation.  The women (and only women as men don’t want to do the job) earn between £4.50 on an average day up to £10.00 during the best growing season.  They work from 7.30 until 4.00, seven days a week, and are aged from 50ish up to 83.  It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get workers, as the younger women don’t want to do the job, and it’s not a job that machinery can do.

The sunset that night was stunning and most of the guests were out on the veranda taking photographs.

I took a few photos of the house the next morning and we then left to go to the train station for our next journey.