Sunday, January 21, 2007

Onwards and upwards

On a couple of trips into the surrounding areas we saw some spectacular views, and some very atmospheric ones -- for which read "so much mist we couldn't see a thing". World's End is supposed to have a huge drop and an amazing vista, but for us, the word ended in a wall of grey. I'm assured that's very rare! And the views later on were pretty spectacular...

...until the sun set while we were some way from the carpark!
On the way to the Rest House we were getting directions from a local. The road was pretty bumpy, so the driver asked him if it was like this all the way. "Yes," he replied, "it's a good road!" We eventually made it (after avoiding a place that looked like it had an hourly room rate), and had an excellent meal, a hot shower, and a fair room. The blankets were clean too - we'd just bought a pile of them earlier in the day.

Back to work on the scenery the next day...

Another night we stayed in an old Tea Plantation owner's bungalow, converted into a guesthouse. Apparently it has spectacular views... so the manager dug out his laptop and showed us what we would have seen if we'd come on any other day of the year.

The plantation manager was telling us that the tea plantation is still in operation, and they try to run the estate on fair and just principles, with decent salaries (by local standards) for the workers. It seems that many plantations keep their pickers in one-room houses, pay them a pittance, and give them few if any rights. He also had an interesting take on the benefits and drawbacks of the Fair Trade movement.

That's the road to the plantation. It's an excellent road!

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