I did not know what to expect as we headed to the "Pearl of the Indian Ocean" but rest assured any preconceived notions were quickly exceeded as we landed and took in the beautiful and diverse scenery on the island and the wonderful spirit of the people.
We chose to forgo the well embraced beach vacation and head into the mountains of the island to a tea plantation for something a bit more off the beaten path - well off the path, if the shocks of our car had anything to say about the four hour overland journey. But boy was it worth it!
We traveled to central Sri Lanka, to the Castlereagh Lake, in the Bogawantalawa Valley, known as the Golden Valley of Tea and home to old Ceylon. Here at an elevation of 4000 feet above sea level, we stayed in an colonial era tea planters' bungalow built in 1890. We spent three days on this working tea plantation and really got a chance to kick up our heels and learn quite a lot about tea!