Start your day with Egg Hoppers today made from rice flour and served with spicy dahl and sweet curry.
Having explored the Fort area yesterday, a tour outside in Galle beckons for day two. Plan a trip to the Handunugoda Tea Plantation. En route stop at one of the Turtle Hatcheries and release baby sea turtles into the clear ocean.
The Sea Turtle Farm and Hatchery collects the eggs from the beach every night and hatches them in a safe environment improving the turtles chances of survival and keeping them from poachers who also comb the beach.
The pristine and secluded beach is only a few steps away.
The road to the tea plantation offers vistas of brilliant green rice fields, white cranes and large iguanas lumbering across the road.
Just 25 minutes from the hotel the Handunugoda plantation is the lowest lying tea estate in Sri Lanka which also includes a rubber and cinnamon plantation.
Sri Lanka produces a unique White Tea said to be imported from China. The story has it the tea was grown by a Chinese Empress who employed only virgins to pick it using special gloves and tools made of solid gold. Special caution is used today as well when growing and harvesting this tea which contains antioxidant properties that are off-the-charts. The tea demands one of the highest prices worldwide.
While walking through the plantation one examines pepper vines, lemongrass and a myriad of fruit and flower trees. A small rubber plantation coexists within the tea.
Probably the most interesting part of the tour is seeing the English and Irish machinery, more than 150 years old, used to dry and desiccate the leaves.
Finally, the tour ends with a tasting of a myriad of teas, crossing the range from white to black. Take your time and savor the difference.
It is Christmas Eve so if you are going to make any of the many midnight mass ceremonies in Galle, a midday siesta is in order now. This also allows you to skip the hottest part of the day. Wake up just in time for tea followed by a glorious sunset view from your room of the Dutch Reform Church next door.
Christmas Eve is a lively time in Galle Forte. The Amangalla is beautifully lit up and guests await carolers from nearby churches.
The Christmas Eve Menu at the Amangalla:
Roast pumpkin and sweet potato soup with blue cheese buttermilk
Wild rice, turkey and walnut salad with cranberry dressing
Pomegranate and celery sorbet
Champagne risotto with truffle oil
Pecan and cashewnut pie with gingerbread ice cream and brandy cream sauce
Entering your room you are greeted by stockings on all beds with treats and gifts for adults and kids alike.
Midnight mass anyone?