We caught the train from Peradeniya , a short minibus ride from Kandy , where we took the slow train up into the mountains . On the way we passed a Hindu temple in a tea plantation  before, after several hours through beautiful countryside [4b] we arrived in the mountains at our destination station  complete with its tea kiosk .
It was a short minibus ride to Hauputale , a small hill town  surrounded by mountains with fabulous views  over the countryside, especially from our hotel .
The next morning  we began our walk up to the higher tea plantations, initially walking up  the railway line we had travelled the previous day before entering the paths of one of the local tea plantations [12a]. Here we walked up towards the village at the centre of the plantation [12b] passing its allotments where people grew their vegetables [12c], some of which they sold in the town market, eventually coming to the nineteenth century tea plantation’s manager’s bungalow , now used as a rest house for walkers.
The next day we set off in the mists  to walk up paths to the highest reaches of the plantation’s slopes , passing some magnificent views  and meeting some of the plantation’s workers  who were gathering leaves from the bushes . From here, we joined a track which lead upwards for a little way further  before rounding a bend.
This brought us to the plantation workers’ village . Now, it was downhill all the way through the village [20a], passed the village school [20b, 20c], following the women who were  carrying sacks of leaves down to the gathering point  on a bigger plantation road where lorries would pick up the sacks  and take them to the tea factory.
The tea factory  was itself high in the hills. First built in 1890 for Thomas Lipton  it has been producing tea of various sorts  ever since. We saw the tea process from laying out the green leaves to dry  to the dried leaves being crushed  and checked for quality  to them being bag by colour into various grades of tea .
Nothing went to waste we were told, the sweepings going to make teabags . The tea is then properly bagged up  and sent off for international distribution by lorry, initially down an un-made plantation  road along which our minibus took us back to Hauputale .