Long and Treacherous Journey
Unbelievable Surprises At Sunrise
Hiking the Hatale Tea Plantation & A Visit With the Local Workers
One of the wonderful things about this tour is that there is a level of flexibility. If we see something we'd like to do or experience, our guide ensures he makes it happen. As we hiked, we came upon a colorful dwelling that was home to the workers. Our guide asked them if it would be okay for our group to walk through their homes and talk to the residents. Sri Lankan people being the beautiful and friendly souls they are, they immediately agreed. In return for their hospitality, we offered them small tips. Our guide has informed us that these are the poorest of the poor and anything we can offer them is much appreciated.
The workers, being Hindu, were sprucing up their homes for the festival of Diwali in preparation for Goddess Laxmi to visit their homes and bring prosperity. Each family is assigned one small space, which is split into a very small sleeping area and a tiny kitchen/eating area. There are four outhouses for the families, lined along the back of the building. Each worker receives 550 Sri Lankan Rupees a day, the equivalent of $3.75, when the bring in 22 kilos (nearly 50 lbs) of tea leaves. Our guide suggested we tip each family that has allowed us to visit to help support their efforts. He also purchased a big bag of chocolates for the children, which one of my colleagues distributed to smiling faces. It is incredible that the workers seem so content given the tight space and the meager earnings. This really puts things in perspective. It is clearly the attitude of these people and not their possessions that allow them to cherish what they have.
Here Comes The Rain
In Galle it was the intense humidity that had me showering twice a day and here it's the unending storms that leave me drenched to the core. Regardless of the minor inconvenience of this unpredictable weather, this is the most incredible trip I have been on thus far.