7/11/18: Wait, Slovenia Isn’t Slovakia?

Our free hostel at Hi Lanka breakfast included toast with jam, bananas, plus my own almond butter. Hostel breakfasts are always the same.

We wanted to go to Pedro Tea Plantation, but it was raining so much that we ended up just hanging out in bed until noon.

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Ready to tackle the cold (my lips were slightly blue…)

At that point we were hungry, so we went and had lunch at a local hotel/restaurant down the street from the hostel.

We asked for ginger tea, but got this super sweet, super milky tea instead. It tasted so strongly of milk that I couldn’t have more than a few sips. I felt bad for wasting it, but it was just too much for me.

We went out and got a tuk tuk to the tea plantation because it was still really bad out.

We entered the factory and the driver dropped us off in front of a small building. Inside looked a bit like a museum, with pictures of the plantation and posters with historical facts.

We sat down and were given a complimentary cup of tea.

They were offering a tour for 250 rupees, but no one was working that day (I think because of the weather), so the tour would have been just us walking around, learning how they make the tea but without actually being able to see it firsthand.

We decided to skip the tour and just walk around the plantation on our own.

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lol

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As we walked through the rows of plants, a woman picking tea leaves called to us. She asked where we’re from, and then gave us green, black, and white tea leaves to try.

Then she asked if we wanted a picture. At first I thought she was offering to take one of us, but then I realized she was asking for one of herself. Oops. Is that totally vain? Probably.

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After we snapped a picture of her, she said, “Money, money.”

Ugh. Of course this whole act was for money. I felt bad walking away, so I gave her 100 rupees and kept going.

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After our little plantation walk, we headed onto Lover’s Leap waterfall, which was nearby.

It took about 30 minutes to get there. It was all uphill, but the path and the views were really pretty. Even though it was still really cloudy, it was still nice being up in the mountains and seeing the valley below.

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Great look
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On the way

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The waterfall was actually really cool. There was tons of water, which made it super dramatic.

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We walked down to the bottom of the hill and then hired a tuk-tuk to take us the rest of the way home.

After we ate a small snack at the hostel, we walked to the forest nearby.

When we got to the entrance, a worker told us it was closed.
Why would a forest be closed?? Maybe because of the weather, but it seemed silly.

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Forest entrance
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Insane trees and mist

We started walking back the way we came. When the guards couldn’t see us anymore, we climbed into the forest, just to take a look. It was so beautiful and mystical. I wish we could have explored more, but we weren’t sure of the trails and the wind was a bit nerve-wracking.

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We went back home and laid in bed until we were hungry.
We went downstairs and got the delivery menu of a local restaurant.

I heard a couple people speaking Japanese, so I sat down next to them and asked them if they were Japanese. They said yes, and I told them I was half.

“How do you guys know each other?” I asked them, assuming they were traveling together.
“We just met.”

I was shocked. I never really meet one Japanese person, let alone two, that are just coincidentally together in the same place at the same time. That means that by chance, there were three people staying at Hi Lanka simultaneously. Crazy!

We chatted for a bit more, but eventually I got distracted by the food-ordering process and then started talking to the Slovenian couple sitting across from me, so that was the end of my convo with the Japanese guys. It was nice to speak Japanese though, if only for a bit.

The Slovenians, Adrian, and I chatted, got our dinner and kept chatting, and drank our wine and kept chatting until the Croatia vs England game began at 11:30. In between it all, a British guy named Ed joined us as well.

We talked about the invisibility of Slovenia (no one knows where it is, everyone thinks it’s Slovakia, people just pass through it on the way to Croatia, etc), how they met, their careers as doctors, traveling in Thailand and Africa, etc.
I had no idea how small Slovenia is. There are only 2 million people in the whole country, and the capital city (Ljubljana), has less than 300,000 people. That is INSANE to me! The freaking suburban county I grew up in, Montgomery County, has a million people. Their CAPITAL CITY has less than half of that. I could not compute.

It had been so long since we interacted with other travelers that I forgot how nice it can be. Of course it’s nice to just spend time with Adrian, especially given the limited time we have together, but it is fun to chat with others every once in a while and get their perspective.

I was happy when the game began. I was already so tired and ready for bed.

At least the game was wild and entertaining. Both teams were just going crazy with the ball.

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Slovenians on the right; Ed (British guy) on the left

I went to bed when it went to overtime. I was too tired and it was already 2 am.

I couldn’t really fall asleep, though. I was too cold. I waited for Adrian to come to bed (yay Croatia won!) and then used his body heat to warm myself up. The perks of having a boyfriend.

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