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At Minneriya, I saw 300 or so elephants come in search of water, ears flapping and trunks waving


years since Scotsman James Taylor founded the island’s first tea estate. Undulating rows of emerald-green tea bushes stretched to the horizon, laced with copper-coloured trails and backed by mountains soaring skyward through wisps of clouds.


the oppressive heat of Colombo and the coast, complete with Tudor-style post office, colonial-era bungalows and one of Asia’s oldest golf courses. It was there I learnt about


the age-old art of tea-making on a tour of a working factory.


From plucking and withering the leaves to drying them using age-old machinery, I saw the humble cuppa in a new light – and my bed for the night was in a former factory, the one-of-a-kind Heritance Tea Factory, which is part hotel, part museum.


Then it was on to Paul’s


favourite spot, laid-back Ella. Another former hill station, Ella boasts stunning hiking trails, historic temples and a burgeoning bar scene. The view from 98 Acres Resort & Spa had barely changed in the 150


 A WILD RIDE At Minneriya, I saw 300 or so elephants from different herds come together in search of water, ears flapping and trunks waving as they greeted each other. Among them, adolescents brawled and calves sheltered under their mothers’ bellies. But a safari at Yala, Sri Lanka’s flagship national park, offered the chance to try to spot the elusive leopard. The Jeep’s radio crackled and we tore off in a dramatic swirl of red dust, finally spotting a male lounging on a rock until, bored of the paparazzi, he got up, stretched and loped out


62travelweekly.co.uk21 March 2019


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