The surrounding countryside looked parched and many Mana patches had been torched by people for some reason beyond me. So it was a mixture of dark green patches of trees scattered across the sun bleached yellowish hills. The ravines below showed signs of life with houses and plots of paddy fields. The charred areas where Mana was burnt added to the already vivid painting. In no time we reached the “Padi Seeya” (100 steps) where there is a steep downhill path through the tea bushes. Already there was a person coming up and a lady holding a baby girl closely behind him tackling the steep ascent. I spoke to him and he was very cheerful and even bothered to show me a worship place of the estate workers high up on top of a rock. The child, even though being carried by the lady right through, looked exhausted as a result of the heat and the continuous swaying. I managed to take a pic of her (one of the few must-have requirements for me during a journey) and we carried on.