We had a relaxing morning at our lovely hotel; dream cafe. We had a lovely chat with the Australian family and then had a lovely walk to the train station. At the station, we had a talk with a Israeli family that we met on the little Adams Peak walk. We caught the train with them as well. Just before the train left, a man poked his head out of the window and asked us whether we would like to go to the engine with the driver for the train trip, so of course we said yes! No safety issues here!? We went with the Israeli family but the mum stayed behind. The two Israeli boys were so exited! We were too, but way too cool to show it! Ha! We were allowed to toot the horn when we saw people on the track ahead - which was all the time - and when we were coming up to a bend. Great fun!
Arrived in Haputale about 1hr later. This is a small town on the ridge of a mountain with spectacular views on both sides. Visited a Tea Plantation Factory - started by Thomas Lipton. Who should turn up for the tour just after us but the Israeli family who we had just said goodbye to! Interesting tour of a working factory then the tea tasting!!! Three professional tea tasters were making some very strange noises while sucking and swirling the tea around their mouths, then spitting it out! Dad decided to have a go at this.... There were 3 different types of tea to taste. Dad took a sip of the first tea, he tried to suck it through his teeth like the professionals, but ended up accidentally swallowing it - much to everyone's amusement! With the the second tasting he managed to kind of, slightly do it - nothing too embarrassing. The final tea tasting attempt was the funniest of all. In his mouth it went and nearly came out of his nose! We heard a snorting noise coming from his way. Luckily he managed to spit it out before it really did come out of his nose!!! Hilarious for everyone. Then we left, mum and I still secretly giggling...
On the way to the cafe in town we saw an amazing view. It was so beautiful it didn't even seem real. Had really really spicy samosas for lunch in a small cafe and bought some cakes for the journey back to Ella. On the way to the train station, there was a beggar who was persistent in asking us for money. In the end we gave up and gave him a few coins.
While waiting at the train station, we saw an awful incident. There was a group of school boys between 6 & 8 yrs old. They were running around with one of the younger boys bags with him chasing after them. At first we thought they were just mucking around but then the little boy started to cry. When he tripped and fell, they didn't help him, they laughed at him. Then one of the older boys slapped him across the face. Mom, being the helpful person she is, went over to them and told the boys to stop. All the boys giggled and laughed at her, which she didn't mind as she said she would rather them laugh at her than at the little boy. Even the little boy was laughing and seemed happy again. When we were getting on the train, we looked back at the boys and they all seemed to be playing happily together. Aren't boys weird??!!
Sat in the Observation carriage on the way back and had a great view out of the big rear windows. As nice as it was, it looked a bit grottier than in the advertisements.
When we got back to our Guesthouse the Israeli family that we keep on bumping into (Trincomalee, Nuwara Ellia and Ella) were having a drink there. While Mom and I were chatting with them, Dad was showing Sammy, the Guesthouse owner, how to cook his curry in their kitchen! Sammy had learnt many different recipes from travelers and had asked Dad to teach one of his! Dad found it hilarious that he was showing a Sri Lankan cook how to cook a curry in Sri Lanka, the home of curries! Once the curry was in the oven, we popped next door for dinner. We met our friend Butters, a cute little puppy, again. After an ok meal, we visited the Israeli family, as they had asked us to go over to see their place and play a game of Karam. It was dark, but luckily they came to show us the way as it really was quite a journey to get there - tucked away in the jungle down a rough path that took about 5mins. Mom and I really enjoyed a couple of games of Karam with Omer and her younger sister (considering her age - 8yrs - she was a wiz at the game and a great partner for me). Karam is kind of like snooker but on a smaller board and using your finger to flick wooden disks instead of a que. When Dad saw the board, he jumped up and said "I know that game, I used to play it as a child. Pops parents brought it from India." After a lovely evening we had to say our goodbyes to the family as we were going different ways in the morning - shame cos I got on really well with Omer. Still, I did get her email, so I will try to keep in touch.