mother nature

Two comfortable chairs

All I want for Christmas is……..a comfortable chair!

All I want for Christmas is...... a comfortable chair!

What is it about a comfortable chair?

If a chair is comfortable enough its a great place to:

read the newspaper and pick up on yesterdays goings on and all the gossip

get stuck into a book and never lift your head

take in the view and just feel that you are so lucky

think without any distractions

have a conversation with a friend or loved one

have a delicious cup of tea or coffee, whichever is your poison

have a glass or two of something a little stronger

or perhaps to have a much deserved forty winks!

I really like the idea of having a chair that’s so comfortable you can just nod off.

Surely, that’s just bliss!

I have been to many hotels over the years where there isn’t a comfortable chair in the room.

Mostly there is only one chair so, being a Gentleman, my wife tends to be the recipient of the desirable object.

I have a theory that, if there are comfortable chairs in the bedroom, guests are unlikely to leave the room, and therefore provide the hotel with an opportunity to make sales.

This really makes sense but it’s just not what we are about in the Hill Country.

No compromises at GlenMyu Estate, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

An important requirement for me when furnishing the house at GlenMyu Estate was to have comfortable chairs in all the bedrooms and in the lounges. 

If I wasn’t comfortable sitting in the chair, I didn’t want to offer it for a guest to sit on!

I just think that this is fair to the customer.

Sometimes we have given up a bit of style for comfort, however, I really believe that it’s a compromise worth making.

A little bit of research which opened up various rabbit holes!

As I was thinking about a comfortable chair I decided to do a few searches on the internet and see what I could find.

 

Well, it led me to some crazy but interesting places!

The Chesterfield

One of the most desirable sofas is the famous Chesterfield.

I found a “History of the  Chesterfield Sofa” on timelesschesterfields.com

It talks about that they are one of the most world renowned sofa designs. They are defined by their large, rolled arms that are the same height as the back.

The Chesterfield design allowed gentlemen to sit comfortably without creasing their suits.

Chesterfields date back to the mid-1700’s when Lord Philip Stanhope commissioned a piece of furniture that evolved into todays Chesterfield sofa.

Lord Philip Stanhope was the fourth Earl of Chesterfield and this is where the name comes from.

For more information on the history please visit 

There are several factors which makes a chair comfortable and they are outlined in the following blog.

Music and comfortable chairs???

The Comfortable Chair album by The Comfortable Chair

I was surprised to find that there was a California based pop psychedelic sextet called “The Comfortable Chair” which was formed in 1968 and only released one self titled album that year.

The name of the band refers to sitting in a comfortable chair while meditating. 

They feature in a Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason comedy movie called “How to Commit Marriage” and played a rock group associated with the young people in the plot. They performed a protest song called “A Child’s Garden”.

Their songs can be found on YouTube.

The Kooks - The Sofa Song

Ed Sheeran - Sofa Lyrics

“The 7 Best Songs about Furniture EVER”

Now this is getting a bit silly!

Here is the link if you are interested in finding out more!

https://www.piecebypieceinteriors.com/blogs/the-7-best-songs-about-furniture-ever/the-7-best-songs-about-furniture-ever

Comfortable Chairs and Sofas at GlenMyu Estate, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

We have leather sofas, comfortable armchairs, wooden chairs with rounded backs, metal chairs

A view of the Snug in the middle floor lounge at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
Newly opened in 2021 - GlenMyu Resort, Hotel and B & B, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Even the metal and wooden chairs we have are comfortable.

The ground floor snug at GlenMyu Estate Hotel, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

A little bit more about GlenMuu Estate.

The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and B & B, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
The Natural Spring Fed Infinity Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

We would be delighted if you would spend some time at GlenMyu Estate to enjoy this unique experience with us.

For more information, rates and availability please visit our website and contact us either by telephone, whatsapp or by email.

All I want for Christmas is……..a comfortable chair! Read More »

Birdwatching in Sri Lanka

Birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka

Birdwatching Holiday in Sri Lanka

If you are interested in a birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka?

The Island is a great place to spend some time to discover the birds that visit here.

Birdwatching in Sri Lanka is something that you can do in all parts of the Island however there are spots where you will see a wide variety of species. 

The Island of Sri Lanka is truly a birdwatching paradise. 

You don’t have to be a ‘twitcher’ or ‘birder’ to enjoy and learn about the residents and migrants to the Island.  

Our interest in birdwatching at GlenMyu Estate has increased as it is hard to ignore the wonderful creatures that enjoy the 5 acre estate.

Where is Sri Lanka on the map?

The Pearl of the Indian Ocean is tropical island in the situated 10 degrees north of the equator.

On the Map it looks like a teardrop falling from the southern coast of India.

The Island boasts diverse and favourable climatic conditions for a wide range of birdlife.

It also has a range of natural habitats including forests, scrublands, grasslands, wetlands, and agricultural lands. 

Being surrounded by the Indian Ocean and close to the tip of India it plays host to various migrant birds at different times of the year.

Sri Lanka at 65,610 km 2 (similar in size to the Republic of Ireland) is quite small but has a great range of birds for your to see.

What Birds visit the Island?

It is home to 439 species of birds:

236 are breeding residents

203 migrants and the rest vagrants.

There are 34 endemic species of birds in Sri Lanka.

There are also somewhere near to 200 seasonal migratory birds both terrestrial and aquatic.

They travel to get away from the Northern winter from as far as Siberia, Scandinavia and Western Europe.

They arrive around August -September and leave around April-May. 

What are the Endemic birds in Sri Lanka?

Ceylon Jungle Fowl – (Gallus lafayetii)

Ceylon Wood Pigeon – (Columba torringtoniae)

Ceylon Green Pigeon – (Treron pompadora)

Ceylon Spurfowl – (Galloperdix bicalcarata)

Layard’s Parakeet – (Psittacufa calthropae)

Ceylon Hanging Parrot – (Loriculus beryllinus)

Red-Faced Malkoha – (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus)

Green-Billed Coucal – (Centropus chlororhynchos)

Serendib Scops-Owl – (Otus hoffmanni)

Chestnut-Backed Owlet – (Glaucidium Castanonotum)

Ceylon Grey Hornbill – (Ocyceros gingalensis)

Yellow-Fronted Barbet – (Megalaima flavifrons)

Ceylon Small Barbet – (Megalaima rubricapillus)

Crimson-Backed – (Chrysocolaptes stricklandi)

Ceylon Swallow – (Hirundo hyperythra)

Ceylon Wood-Shrike – (Tephrodornis affinis)

Black-Capped Bulbul – (Pycnonotus melanicterus)

Yellow-Eared Bulbul – (Pycnonotus penicillatus)

Ceylon Whistling-Thrush – (Myophonus blighi)

Spot-Winged Thrush – (Zoothera spiloptera)

Ceylon Scaly Thrush  – (Zoothera imbricata)

Sri Lanka Bush Warbler  – (Elaphrornis paljiseri)

Dusky Blue Flycatcher – (Eumyias sordidus)

Brown-Capped Babbler – (Pellorneum fuscocapilius)

Ceylon Scimitar Babbler- (Pomatorhinus melanurus)

Ceylon Rufous Babbler – (Turdoides rufescens)

Ceylon White-Eye -(Zosterops ceylonensis)

Ashy-Headed Laughing Thrush – (Argya cinereifrons)

Legge’s Flowerpecker – (Dicaeurn vincens)

Ceylon Crested Drongo – (Dicrurus lophorhinus)

Ceylon Blue Magpie – (Uroc’ssa ornata)

White-Faced Starling -(Sturnornis albofrontatus)

Ceylon Hill-Myna – (Gracula ptilogenys)

Birdwatching on holiday at GlenMyu Estate, Beragala, Sri Lanka

We do not offer birdwatching tours however it is hard not to get enthralled with the different types of birds that visit the 5 acre estate during the year.

Our interest in birdwatching has been elevated since we have been living in the Hill Country.

We have also found our guests to be fascinated by the birds that they discover whilst staying here.

Here are some photos and videos of what we have seen at the Glenmyu Estate to whet your appetite. No doubt you have a better camera than we do and therefore should get better pictures and videos than we do!

For more videos of the birds that visit GlenMyu Estate please click on our YouTube Link.

If you want to find out more about GlenMyu Estate please visit our website.

Where can I go on a Birdwatching Holiday in Sri Lanka?

Kumana National Park

The main bird sanctuary in Sri Lanka is the Kumana National Park which has 18,149 hectares and is located in the South East part of Sri Lanka in the Easter sector of Yala National Park..

It has a 200 hectare natural swamp lake, called the Kumbukkan Oya.

This is a Mangrove swamp where many water birds nest in May and June.

You can regularly see Pelicans, Painted Storks, Spoonbills, White Ibis, Herons, Egrets and Little Cormorants.

Sinharaja Rain Forest 

This forest is located in the South West of Sri Lanka and it houses a tropical rain forest.

It covers 8,864 hectares and is at an altitude of between 300 – 1,170 metres.

60%of the trees in the forest are endemic to Sri Lanka and many of those would be considered rare.

The forest attracts a lot of endemic wildlife – especially birds.

It is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of mammals and butterflies.

There are also many types of insects, reptiles and amphibians.

Some of the birds found in the forest are as follows:

Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon (Columba Torringtoni)

Green-billed Coucal (Centropus Chlororrhynchus)

Sri Lanka White-headed Starling (Sturnus senex)

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie (Cissa ornate)

The Ashy-headed Babbler (Garrulax Cinereifrons)

Sri Lanka Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus orientalis irisi).

Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary

Kalametiya is a coastal wetland area that has an especially rich bio-diversity and is great for a birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka.

Is located on the South Eastern coast of Sri Lanka, in tHambantota district.

The sanctuary has a mix of marine and birdlife due to the coastal lagoons, mangrove swamps, scrub jungles and open grassy areas.

Large lakes in the dry zone mostly attract a large number of ducks .

The wetlands such as Weerawila, Kalamatiya and Bundala national park are where larger aquatic birds such as Storks, Herons, Egrets, Spoonbills, Pelican, and ibis can be seen. 

Migrant birds arrive during mid-August nd settle along the lagoons and salterns of the coast areas.

The types of birds that can be seen include Sandpipers, Stints, Plovers, Terns and Harriers.

Bundala National Park

Bundala National Park lies on the Southern Coastof Sri Lanka and stretches across nearly 20 kilometres along a coastal strip between Kirinda and Hambantota.

September to March are the best months to visit the Park

There are around 200 species to be found at the park.

You are likely to see the following birds whilst own a birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka.

Greater Flamingo

Common Redshank, 

Petite Blue Tailed Bee-eaters

Indian Peafowl 

Bodinagala Forest Reserve

Peak Wilderness Sanctuary

Kitulgala Forest Reserve

Yala National Park

Wilpattu

Udawalawe

Wagamuwa

Wasgamuwa

So, if you are considering a Birdwatching Holiday in Sri Lanka, we hope that this post has been helpful to you.

Birdwatching holiday in Sri Lanka Read More »

How did I get here?

I sit on the balcony and just wonder “how did I end up here?”

It is a December morning with Christmas fast approaching.

About an hour ago I was woken up by the early morning light that washes over hills below our bedroom window which has a view towards the Southern coast of this Paradise Island.

My balcony sits below a glorious Sri Lankan Fig Tree which is bathed in a kaleidoscope of light.

Music is provided freely by the winged visitors that whistle, tweet and call to each other appearing to be saying “Good morning World!”.

The Sri Lankan Fig Tree

My peaceful start is disturbed by three of my four legged friends that want to join the party.

Mans, and my best friends, are acknowledged by a gentle pat on their heads and then they settle at the balcony end to also enjoy the view.

I look at my temperature gauge and smile as I see the digits twenty three point nine degrees celsius.

Not many years ago I would be fighting my way through the throng of London’s Underground network targeting arriving in the office on time. 

I would be wrapped up tightly to ward off the icy blasts of that the European Winter would throw at me.

Approaching the box that would be my coffin for the coming eight or so, hours I automatically  pick up a generic coffee which is encased in a ,less than environmentally friendly, disposable cup and my blood pressure would eventually settle after being tormented on the start to a traumatic day.

My coffee today has been picked from the Estate, processed and roasted on a skillet over an open fire. Bean to cup has travelled about two hundred metres.

However I got here, I am just thankful.

To experience a relaxing morning listening to birdsong and being surrounded by a blanket of green come to the beautiful Sri Lankan Hill Country and spend some deserved vacation at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Relax by the Natural Spring Fed Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
The Luxurious Mango bedroom at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka. Wonderful for Valentine's Day in Sri Lanka

Please click on the following link to find out more details.

How did I get here? Read More »

A family gathering at the balcony.

Making Memories

Making Family Memories

I sit and listen to the screams of the three young girls that are braving the swimming pool early in the morning.

They are screams of delight and bravery as they contend with the fresh water that flows into our pool which is sourced from an underground spring.

The wind is making it a bit more of a challenge however I glance at the parents overseeing their daughters at play.

I have a feeling of great satisfaction that we have created an Oasis at GlenMyu Estate where this family can create these memories that they may well talk about in years to come 

Earlier in the morning the family had walked to the lower part of the property to feed the monkeys with left over or spoilt papaya. It’s not a practice that I agree with however my wife appears to be committed to the cause and the guests certainly enjoyed being closer to nature.

I watched momentarily from the kitchen and saw the family sitting on the rocks enjoying the sound of the stream. Then the father was guiding his daughters holding a hand over the rocks in the stream. This is what family memories are made of. Just a simple thing, but so important for that close bind between parent and child.

I think back to my younger days in England where the family holiday was a long trip to Devon or Cornwall to a Caravan near the coast. We would spend our time trying to catch fish with our small inadequate nets in the streams or at the seashore. We would jump and leap from rock to rock as it we were mountain goats with nothing to fear.

(My steps are a lot more considered at this age!).

These were joyous simple times that are a warm memory of a childhood.

A family gathering at the balcony.

Yesterday evening the guests arrived at around five in the afternoon and experienced the sunset as a family standing in a row on the balcony. The stunning view and light provided by mother nature did not disappoint.

There were family photographs and a number of selfies taken that will be despatched around the country and the world to family and friends so that they can be part of the experience also. 

A special place.

We didn’t expect that what we had created in the Sri Lankan Hill Country would be such a special place for families and we are delighted to be educated by our guests on what we have really provided.

The family were a little nervous of our pack of seven dogs however it did not take any time for introductions and friendships to be made. Within a couple of hours there were selfies and more photographs with the dogs. An unplanned benefit of getting nervous individuals more comfortable with mans best friend is an added bonus from spending time here.

"The House with the Seven Dogs"

The Dog looking down to the Natural Spring Fed Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
Patch and Kahlu

We are known as the “House with the seven Dogs” by a previous family that loved the experience so much that they came back for another holiday here within a couple of months. The families two daughters were delighted to reacquaint themselves with the dogs and they had remembered all their names.

Make your own family memories at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

We have three double bedrooms (one can be converted into a triple room), which have stunning views of the Sri Lankan Hill Country below the house,

There are lots of walkways around the five acre estate to explore and enjoy.

There are rocks to climb and streams to wade in.

Food is freshly prepared by Ruwanthi and the menu is adapted to the guests requirements.

Reconnecting with nature, relaxing and having some time together to strengthen relationships throughout the family are something that appears to come naturally here

Please visit our website, Instagram and Facebook page for more information and to read some guest reviews.

We are also on booking.com and you can also contact us directly via WhatsApp or on telephone 0094 0752999272 

Making Memories Read More »

A Small Minivet

Birds of Sri Lanka – what you might see at GlenMyu Estate, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

What kind of birds live in Sri Lanka?

What birds will I see when I stay at GlenMyu Estate, Haputale, Sri Lanka?

We are lucky at GlenMyu Estate to have an environment that is attractive to birds and we have a variety that we regularly see here foraging, nesting and swooping around the land.

Here are some pictures and videos of birds that I have seen visiting the Estate.

Unfortunately my camera and video are great for capturing the birds and if you visit the estate with better equipment you will no doubt get much better pictures than I have!

Here are some videos that I have taken of some birds that visited the estate.

We are also very lucky to have a neighbour who has a lifelong interest in birds and bird watches daily. She has identified a large number of the 34 endemic species of birds that visit this part of Sri Lanka.

How do I find out more about Birds of Sri Lanka?

If you want to know more about the endemic birds of Sri Lanka, the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka has a complete list pf birds and additional interesting information in the following link https://fogsl.cmb.ac.lk/list-of-birds-of-sri-lanka/

Another website where a community identifies birds is https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/birds-of-sri-lanka

Avibase – The World Bird Database gives details of the birds and also some examples of bird song https://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/avibase.jsp?lang=EN

The Ceylon Bird Club is another good resource http://www.ceylonbirdclub.org/endemic_birds.php

Books?

I use “A Photographic Guide to theBirds of Sri Lanka” by Gehan De Silva Wijeyaratne which I find has some good pictures to help identify the birds.

Find out more about GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and B & B, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

There are three king size on suite bedrooms for guests which all have superb views of the hills below. 

A natural spring fed swimming pool is available for the use for guests and is a great place to have a refreshing swim or just hang out listening to the nature that passes by.

The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
Light falling on the Natural Spring Fed Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
The Luxurious Mango bedroom at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka. Wonderful for Valentine's Day in Sri Lanka

Where is GlenMyu Estate?

You can find out where we are on the map below.

Birds of Sri Lanka – what you might see at GlenMyu Estate, Haputale, Sri Lanka. Read More »

Hotel Bedrooms with a View

Hotels in Haputale

Hotels in Haputale - A new place to stay in 2021 and 2022.

Newly opened in 2021 - GlenMyu Resort, Hotel and B & B, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Opened in 2021, GlenMyu Resort and Hotel is a new luxurious venue enveloped in nature and set in five acres of land in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

The newly built hotel has three luxurious bedrooms all of which have splendid views of the Southern Sri Lankan Hills where you can relax and be at one with nature..

Hotel Bedrooms with a View
Stunning sunsets from the House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
A stunning red sky view from the House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

You can see the views from the lounges on the middle and lower floors.

You can also wake up to the glorious vista in the morning from your bed!

A view from the middle floor lounge at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
The Mahogany Room - One of the three luxurious bedrooms at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
The Luxurious Mango bedroom at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka. Wonderful for Valentine's Day in Sri Lanka

Relax, refresh and renew in the Natural Spring Fed Swimming Pool set in a sea of green.

It is really a unique experience swimming in this refreshing water surrounded by the trees and listening to the bird calling each other.

The Natural Spring Fed Infinity Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
The Natural Spring Fed Infinity Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.
Swim as the sun goes down

Explore the Estate, watch the ducks, meet our dogs and be at one with nature.

There are plenty of places to explore on the Estate and we have put in seating areas around the land to allow you to sit be and be with nature.

We have around a dozen ducks at the Estate and they are a joy to just watch and see them go about their day.

The Dog looking down to the Natural Spring Fed Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Where is GlenMyu Estate located?

We are located around 10 km from Haputale Town and Railway station. It takes a total of around 20 minutes to drive down the hill from Haputale to Beragala and the 4 km from Beragala junction to the Estate.

Hotels in Haputale Read More »

Ducklings at GlenMyu Estate.

Ducks, ducks and more ducks and a birthday.

Ducks, ducks and more ducks and a birthday.

Ducklings at GlenMyu Estate.

We didn’t plan to have ducks.

I thought that having chickens ay GlenMyu would be good to provide us with organic eggs. They would also provide a good home and life for the birds we were to rear.

We have friends back in the UK that have a henhouse in their smallholding. They get a steady stream of eggs throughout the year. My only objection was that I found the cockerel to be quite aggressive and scary. I  wasn’t looking forward to dealing with this challenge on a daily basis whilst collecting the eggs.

Our friends also have turkeys from time to time.  Then the scare factor doubles for me!

Some research - but not enough.

Ruwanthi did a bit of research as we were also trying to grow organic rice at the estate. She came across some articles about Japanese farmers using ducks to keep their paddy fields weed free. The ducks also provided good natural fertiliser for the rice while they were going about their work. 

Another birthday!

As one gets older birthdays are more of a challenge when it comes down to marking another year around the sun. The conundrum is exacerbated when you live remotely. This results in limited purchasing opportunities. And being tied to the property whilst the development of the building and land is in progress doesn’t help.

This years birthday present - so easy?

I was delighted in 2019 whilst driving down the hill from Haputale to Beragala  that my pondering over a suitable present this year. It was solved when Ruwanthi asked my to stop the car. 

After about 20 minutes Ruwanthi returned looking for my wallet to complete the purchase of four duckling. And a packet of duck feed to keep them going.

I was a little bemused as it was another commitment we were taking on without much planning.

A mixed welcome from the dogs.

We arrived back at GlenMyu and the dogs were ejected from their cage. This would become a residence for the ducks until we arranged a more suitable home for them. I really don’t know what the dogs thought of the situation!

The ducks lineage is just like the dogs on the estate being a bit of this and a bit of that. However, we did work out that we had a Muscovy due to her markings.

Ducks at GlenMyu Estate

A name for the duck.

The Muscovy duck is now called Mama Kahlu as she has been prolific providing a stream of new ducklings. Once she decided to sit on her eggs there was no moving her. Our duck numbers grew and grew so quickly that I was concerned that we would be overrun by them at the property!

Still learning - at our age!

We have have learnt a lot over the eighteen months or so that we have had the ducks. We have lost a few; one flew away, two were meals for the mongoose. One duckling went missing mysteriously in the middle of the night. Two ducklings have drowned? ( I didn’t think that this was possible).

A farm animal or a pet?

Ruwanthi has a great relationship with Mama duck.  She follows Ru when clearing demanding the worms that are dug up. Muscovys are renowned for being quite friendly and acting like a pet.

At this current time (July 2021) we have Mama Duck and one of her offspring sitting on eggs. You can see from the videos below that Mama is quite comfortable in her endeavour being an old timer now.  The younger duck is very protective and hisses as me as I get near.

Maybe my reservation about chickens and turkeys being scary will also be the case with some of the ducks we raise!

Come and experience the ducks for your self at GlenMyu Estate.

Ducks, ducks and more ducks and a birthday. Read More »

The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Ayurveda in the Sri Lankan Hills.

Ayurveda in the Sri Lankan Hill Country - developing an Ayurvedic Garden.

When my wife purchased the 5 acres estate in Viharagalla, which she later named GlenMyu, it had been uncultivated for many years. 

Historically it had been part of the larger Viharagalla tea estate and then used to grow sugar cane.

The land had become overrun by Guinea Grass which was brought in to the country as a fast growing foodstock for cattle. Unfortunately Guinea Grass is invasive and dominates local endemic species of plants and the land was in a poor state. 

The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Lots and lots and lots of work.

There were however, several trees and shrubs that had managed to compete with the invasive grass and there were Jackfruit, Avocado, Coffee, Pepper and Cinnamon growing wild on the land.

Our priority was to build a property for ourselves so we could then develop the estate growing fruits and vegetables for our own consumption.

The Kitchen Garden

We did build a kitchen garden close to the original shack that was on the property and started growing some vegetables early on. Little did we realise that we would be fighting a battle with a host of creatures that wanted to eat our crops. 

Monkeys, Wild Boar, Parrots, Bulbuls, Porcupine and an array of insects were challenges to our wish to eat wholesome locally grown organic food.

No drugs, no chemicals, just relying on Mother Nature (and a bit of hard work).

It took some time to protect the vegetable garden and work out what chemical free pest control would keep the insects away. Our steadily increasing collection of orphan dogs were an unexpected part of the solution guarding the land from would be diners.

The estate at GlenMyu is around 100 metres in elevation from top to bottom and the farming practices in the past had made the land vulnerable to erosion. It was essential that we secured the land so whatever we built did not end up at the bottom of the hill. 

Neighbours who had restored and maintained their properties were really helpful in giving advice on how to manage and secure the land which we remain truly thankful.

We started planting a variety of trees around the land, ensuring that we had diversity and included a mixture if wood and fruit trees which would lead to a greater level of biodiversity and encourage wildlife to feed and live in security at the estate.

We also contacted to local agricultural department and sourced a variety of trees and plants through them including clove trees, cinnamon and ginger.

Fast Forward Three Years.

Fast forward almost three years since we started developing GlenMyu we visited the Ayurvedic Plant Nursery in Bathgoda which is located around six kilometres away.

We went to purchase a few plants to add some local diversity around the estate with a view to learning about this ancient art and eventually developing an Ayurvedic Garden which would be interesting for visitors to the estate. 

We were still getting a bit of unseasonal rain in July which us normally the start of the dry season here in the hills and therefore we though we would make the best of the opportunity and establish some plants in some of the areas we had recently cleared of Guinea Grass. 

A larger than expected purchase.

We ended up purchasing over 180 plants and therefore we were committed to the cause. Fortunately we had a night of rain and therefore we could start planting straight away.

My wife knew some of the plants we purchased and some would need research before being sunk into the ground. These plants will be planted around the land and add diversity to the plant stock we have and it will be interesting to see how they develop in their new environment.

The site for our Ayurvedic Garden for visitors is in the process of being cleared and made ready for planting and therefore is a project which will be developed later in 2021. We plan to have a variety of Ayurvedic plants that will be interesting but relevant to our guests and therefore we will be doing a lot of research and preparation during the latter half of the year to ensure we have another place of interest and place to relax with nature on the estate. 

The 180 Ayurvedic plants that we purchased are already in the ground which will give visitors a wide variety of species to look at and also provide diversity around the Estate.

Oh No - we need more plants.

It looks like we will be visiting the Ayurvedic Nursery a little later this year again to plant in our Ayurvedic Garden – I wonder how many plants we will purchase on that trip and whether we will break 180 again!

Where is GlenMyu Estate, Hotel, B & B located?

Ayurveda in the Sri Lankan Hills. Read More »

A Beach or the Hills? – the choice is yours.

Where should I go on my holiday to Sri Lanka? - I want experience something different and new.

A beach resort or hanging out in the Hills? Different options in Sri Lanka

The idyllic image that comes to mind of Sri Lanka is pristine beaches edged by Palm Trees looking out onto the azure sea with gently rolling waves.

The Best Places to Stay
The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

My early experiences of visiting this wonderful Paradise Island reflected the normal pattern of tourists spending their holidays.

The usual tourist thing.

We would arrive at Bandaranaike Airport which is situated on the West Coast of the Island and, after reacquainting ourselves with my wife’s family, we would hug the coastline and visit some of the beach resorts of the West such as Negombo, Bentota, Kalutara and on the South such as Hikkaduwa, Matara or Galle. 

In later trip we ventured towards the splendid East Coast visiting Arugam Bay, Passikuda and Trincomalee. 

We stayed at Maalu Maalu Hotel in Passikuda and enjoyed a pristine beach with very few other tourists https://www.themeresorts.com.

The Best Places to Stay
Beaches in Sri Lanka
Relaxing at the beach in Sri Lanka

Each beach has its own unique personality and vibe. Some are great for surfing, some are great for swimming and some are just a place to lie on a subbed and soak up the sun.

A word of warning

It is important that you are aware of the timing of the North Eastern and South Western Monsoons which hit the Island annually so that you can plan what side of the island you should visit on your holiday. The weather and waters are not that friendly depending upon what time you visit.

The Centre of the Island, Cultural Sites, Safaris, National Parks, Hiking, Tea Plantations and Waterfalls

If you are not a sun worshipper and want to wander away from the beaches Sri Lanka has an abundance of things to see and do if you venture inside the Island.

Horton Plains National Park.

Around 60% of people that visit the Island do not explore the interior.

Do something different!

What people normally do (which is just fine).

Typically a tour would be clockwise around the Island and enjoy a mix of reconnecting with nature, enjoying spectacular scenery and visiting cultural sites.

The itinerary would normally be as follows:
Land at Bandaranaike Airport and stay at one of the beach hotels in Negombo.
Travel towards Kandy and stop at the Pinnawella Elephant Orphanage.

Stay in Kandy and visit the Temple of the Tooth.

Head towards Dambulla and visit the rock temple.

Travel to Polonnaruwa and then Anaradhapura to visit the many ancient temples.

Travel to Nuwara Eliya and visit the tea country and take in a tea factory tour to see how the worlds favourite beverage is made.

Go South and do a safari at Yala National Park. 

Visit the former Dutch port of Galle and then head back to Colombo.

It sounds quite exhausting does it?

I have known friends who did this type of trip as part of their honeymoon and then went on to the Maldives for a week of doing nothing on one of those beautiful Islands. 

Perhaps it’s my age and energy levels but I always thought that I would need a week of doing nothing if I was going to endure this trip. 

Sri Lanka may be a small island however it can be quite exhausting travelling around as it can take quite a while to get from one place to the next.

A stay in the Hills

Being from the UK and experiencing a week or two (if we were lucky) of weather of 25-30 degrees celsius during the summer where we would be complaining about the heat after a few days I am pleased that we ended up in the Hill country.

A pleasant temperature.

I can handle a day or two at a beach resort but I find that I need to get to a place where the temperature is a bit more comfortable for me.

Where we live at GlenMyu Estate the temperature ranges from around 22 degrees to 30 degrees during the day. It can get cooler at night and we provide a duvet for our guests.

Our neighbours advise that we are living in the closest thing to a Mediterranean climate and that is really soothing.

I read some reviews of other hotels in the area before we built GlenMyu where the guest wished that they had stayed there for more than one night as they loved the scenery and climate.

So - do something different and visit the Hill Country

GlenMyu Estate is located in the Hill Country of Sri Lanka. The Hill Country is also commonly known as Up Country. 

The nearest town is Beragala which is located on the main A4 road towards Welawaya. 

The nearest larger town is Haputale which lies 400 plus metres above Glenmyu.

If you enjoy peace and relaxation we believe that there is no better place to be.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate to explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

A Beach or the Hills? – the choice is yours. Read More »

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