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Galle - Sunday, 4 February 2018

Visit a Cinnamon Plantation

sunny 30 °C

Hotel - Fort Bazaar, 26 Church Street, Galle Fort - Room no 17

We have a 10.30 am start today so we have had a very relaxed morning and breakfast. We still can't get the whites of our eggs cooked so that they are not runny, and the yellow remaining runny at the same time, but we're working on it. Failing that, muesli seems the safest option! Another thing I keep forgetting to mention in my blog is the toast. It is brown bread, which is great, but it is almost impossible to cut, or ever tear. I ended up eating my egg on toast in my hands this morning! "Use a bit of pressure", says Phil. Well I notice when he tried to do it, it was just the same, he couldn 't cut it either.

We had a 45 minute drive to the cinnamon farm and a lot of the drive was past the coast. We stopped to photograph the fishermen who sit on top of poles to do their fishing. Not much happening there. One fisherman held up a tiny, tiny fish that should have been thrown back. It was too small. The water was clear and clean but not very deep. I don't know what they were expecting to catch.


It is really hot and humid today. When we arrived at the cinnamon farm, we had to walk up a very steep driveway. We were all huffing and puffing by the time we reached the top and we were met with some cold towels infused with cinnamon. Phil and John Tyler heard that cinnamon improves your libido. I'm not sure why John had his on his head!


Dudley said that these flowers are supposed to be very good for people with blood cancer (leukemia) but I'm not sure what you do with them to treat it.


The owner of the cinnamon farm greeted us very warmly and after a very nice cinnamon drink, we walked down the path to a hut located within the cinnamon plantation.


There is quite a process to making cinnamon. In fact, there are four steps and it is all done by hand - no machines. First step is to cut some branches from the cinnamon tree. They never cut the main stem. Then, with a little scraper, they scrape the outer bark off the branch. Then they bang it gently with a heavy brass pole. This releases the bark and so, with a small knife they can cut away the next layer in strips. Then, with all the left over bits, they fill the bark and extend it until it measures four feet and they keep repeating the packing process and then they dry it for about six weeks. Absolutely fascinating. The very best cinnamon in the world comes from Sri Lanka.


We walked to a covered outdoor area where we had lunch. A fresh salad, pumpkin soup, chicken and vegetables and of course, cinnamon ice cream. The chicken was bit dry and tough but otherwise it was a very pleasent and informative morning.


We walked back to the bus and passed some lovely flowers on the way.


Viv and Bruce did a curry cooking class this morning and Terry went on a bike ride for 11 kms.

We had about an hour back in our hotel to freshen up ready for our walking tour of the fort. It is really hot and humid and we are all feeling it after being up in the cool mountains for a couple of days. This Dutch Reform Church is the oldest church in Galle. Galle has a really nice feel to it. It is a beachside town and there are quite a few tourists here. We walked up to the light house and then wandered along lots of the back streets to see how the locals live.


We came across these two brides having photos taken. They were beautiful. They wear red dresses in Sri Lanka. The groom must have been so hot in his velvet trousers.


At the end of our walk, our guide took us into a cafe for some iced tea and coffee. It was most welcome and we were all very hot and there was absolutely no breeze. The cafe (with limited accommodation upstairs) is owned by an Australian couple from Melbourne. The wife's name is Lyn. It was a very nice place, with someone playing the piano on the next floor up and that music wafted down to our level. The iced coffee was very unusual, as was the iced tea, but they were both very refreshing.


We have about an hour and a half before we meet for dinner and because it is Independence Day in Sri Lanka, no alcohol is served anywhere today! How weird. Independence Day celebrations anywhere else in the world, alcohol would flow. So Yvonne and Daryl came into our room for a G&T and then Sharon and John arrived for one too.

We walked around the corner for dinner at the Fortaleza Restaurant. It is quite rustic but very atmospheric. We all had a meze plate, raw tuna and samosas for starters and then we had fujitas (vegetarian, chicken or prawns). It was very nice to have something different. I enjoyed my meal very much and finished it off with lime tarts. The other dessert was a brownie.


We all strolled back to our hotel. The night is very warm and there is absolutely no sea breeze. Now to pack as we are going to Bentota tomorrow.

Posted by gaddingabout 09:10 Archived in Sri Lanka

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