Tea Highlands TourDecember 13 in India
Augie and Nancy came down with separate illnesses overnight. Augie wasn't up for the day's activities and stayed behind in Conoor to rest. Nancy, Sophie, and I spent the morning touring the Highlands Tea Factory in nearby Wellington. The tour was good although it covered a lot of familiar ground. We learned that tea harvesting happens all year, but the main harvest is in June when the monsoon rains bring fast growth. The guide explained that they employ one hundred pickers year round and several thousand during the wet months. While there, we noticed that several of the workers in the factory were migrants from Southeast Asia. He also explained that a picker's quota of leaves for black or green tea is around 40 kilograms or 88 pounds per day. The same pickers quota of white tip tea picked is 100 grams or less than a quarter pound per day.
In the afternoon we caught a toy train from Conoor to Ooti. A World Heritage experience. Both towns were Hill Stations and are tea centers. Quite a nice ride through some lovely country. Much like our epic train ride through the Highlands in Sri Lanka.
Upon return we found Augie to be much improved and ready for tomorrow's safari in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.Read more