Waking up to a beautiful view across the valley was brilliant, but we knew that even greater scenery awaited us after a little walk. We, as always, opted for the cheap option and used the bus plus walk instead of a tuk-tuk to Lovers Leap waterfall.
Getting to town
Nuwara Eliya sits next to a lake, just on the edge of the pass before the road descends into the valley towards Nanu Oya. This is perfect, since buses that go around the lake on either side either come from, or go to, Nuwara Eliya. Knowing this, we made the long, steep and winding walk down to the lakeside and hopped on the first bus that arrived.
We treated ourselves to some delicious breads and a slice of chocolate fudge cake for breakfast! Even washed down with a nice long black coffee. And I am glad we did because it gave us the fuel for the long walk ahead.
Through the fields and up the hills
Google Maps assured us that the walk would be 50 mins, looked relatively straightforward and would be mainly along obvious roads. This was partly true, and the walk started around the local residential area. This was particularly enjoyable as there were lots of local people going about their daily jobs; washing, cleaning, cooking, eating and chatting.
Most interesting to us, since we had dropped our clothes off in the city to be washed, was the huge property with different items of clothing laying to dry all over it. Roofs, chairs, washing lines, walls, everything was covered in different clothes, we speculated that ours too may be in amongst the assorted items.
The remainder of the walk got even more interesting as we started to ascend through the tea plantations. The problem was, the map had run out. The falls were visible though, so we decided to just follow tour intuition. Again, we are so glad we did as it was definitely the prettiest part of our route, with flowers and tea plantations lining the road.
The waterfall itself isn’t particularly spectacular. It is very tall, but the amount of water flowing is quite limited. The real beauty of the now over 90 minute walk to the falls, is the view out onto the city.
We took our time, since we were the only other people there we were able to really savour the gorgeous views.
The tea fields are so photogenic
Making our way down an even more scenic route, we stopped and stalled in every plantation field we could find. Well, we have to get that perfect Instagram shot!
The fields went on for a long way and ran down every piece of soil and hill that could be found and were the most brilliant green. The air was also full of the smell of tea.
Making our way back down the hill, we decided not to add on to what was now a 2.5 hour walk. We took the bus back in town and oddly this time, the conductor never asked us to pay!
We wandered for a short while around Victoria Park, then, fingers-crossed, we returned to the mechanic’s yard to collect our washing. Unfortunately, no-one was there or answering the phone. Eventually though, some mechanics found the manager and he came down, opened up and returned the washing. His price, which we now know to be obscene, was 1,750 LKR (about 7 quid).
As if that all hadn’t been enough for one day, we walked back into town, passing through the local market and catching some snaps of the 100 year old post-office on the way.
We were in search of the tea museum which we expected to be an older building in the colonial style. We therefore walked straight past the boring looking four storey shopping centre. Turning around, we made our way up to the top floor. It was actually quite impressive, with old colonial furniture, an MP3-playing gramophone and a pool table.
The museum had some interesting history about the area and Sri Lanka. Mainly it involved British Colonialists coming and commandeering the land to grow tea to sell in the UK. But the museum was mostly about sampling the teas they had on offer. It was only 175 LKR (less than a pound) so we had four cups between the two of us. It was all delicious and well worth a visit.
That view though
Using the same route we came in on, we found a bus to deposit us at the foot of the very steep hill. We climbed up, got to our room and we were met with a stunning sunset.
In the morning we are off on the trains again, even higher into the mountains. Haputale here we come.
See you tomorrow!