Travel to Sri Lanka: Hantane
Hantane is the peak south of Kandy; for generations it's been in plantations--first coffee; after the 1880s, tea; now, a mix of tea and abandoned grasslands.
We're climbing above Kandy.
And looking south to Hantane.
Many of the slopes are covered by tea.
Many formerly in tea are now abandoned.
A closeup of this grassland.
Tea invites erosion; here, the ravines have been paved to reduce it.
Well cared for, these tea gardens still suffer erosion.
One outcome: scattered bushes among the bedrock outcrops.
Firewood for the local market.
Old plantation roads are everywhere.
This one's still in heavy use.
The roads were built to serve the plantations and the tea factories, like this one, now an excellent industry museum.
The roof, walls, and framing are English steel; the floor and windows, surprisingly, are English pine.
Not quite so spiffy, but still in operation, a few miles farther south. The women are lined up to have their pickings weighed.
Coming home after hours.
Traffic jam. What's the problem?
Flat tire. No jack. No problem. A dozen guys will lift.
The van is propped up temporarily.
Next door: plantation worksheds.
Lines for the plantation workers, mostly Tamils imported from India when the British found that the local Sinhalese population, whom the British had displaced, declined to work the plantations.
At the upper end of the scale: a swimming pool for a bungalow.
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