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|Year and Month||July, 2012|
|Number of Days||Three days|
|Crew||3 (between 28-31 years of age)|
|Accommodation||Birds’ Paradise, Kudawa (1.5 km from the Ticket Counter) 0718-018186 (Mr. Nimal)|
|Transport||Public Transport to the hotel, then by foot|
|Activities||Photography, Trekking, Waterfall Sighting|
|Route||Colombo -> Ratnapura -> Kalawana -> Kudawa and return on the same route – See Kudawa Trails Map|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
It was the first time we went to Sinharaja and it was a truly magnificent journey and I enjoyed every minute of it (Even though leeches took a great fancy to us and had to remove hundreds from our shoes and socks).
We left Colombo very early in the morning and caught a Badulla bus around 3.30 am and reached Ratnapura around 5.30 am. It was raining and as it was the rainy season we were kind of scared if our whole journey would be ruined by the rain.
We were lucky to catch the bus leaving for Kalawana at 5.45 am and reached there by 7.45 and unfortunately the Sinharaja-Kudawa bus has already left and had to wait till 8.30 for the next one. When we went to one of the shops for some provisions he said it would rain the whole week and it made me wanna come back immediately.
We reached Birds Paradise by 9.30. It was a wonderful place and very cheap and clean facilities. The Proprietor Mr Nimal is a very friendly and caring person and I’d always recommend Birds’ Paradise for any one.
Our room was a tree house set on top of a rock and a branch of a jack tree.
After leaving our stuff in the room, we set off to visit Pittakale Doovili Ella, which is the only one on Kudawa Side. After about 500m, it started raining and there was a Canter Lorry which carries sand and the young boy who was driving was kind enough to stop and take us close to the fall.
The weather got better and we managed to make it by 12.00 to the waterfall and on our way down to the fall I almost stepped on a snake (a small but a poisonous one).
We came back to the hotel around 3.00 and was really hungry. Thankfully they had made a wonderful meal (all typical SL food). Afterward we settled for the day as we had a long day the following day. Sinhagala Trail. For dinner, we had for the first time, Koss Kotthu (made with Jack, carrot and chicken) and it was so delicious.
Our guide was Ajith (very friendly and knowledgeable person – Ajith can be reached on – 0711470586) came around 6.00 to the hotel and we went to Kudawa Entrance. As it was only 3 of us Ajith and our hotel owner Nimal took us in their bikes.
We went to Sinharaja Conservation centre and had our delicious breakfast with Rich and Curry (Sambola, Potatoes and Keeramin Karawala). We entered the forest and saw beautiful butterflies and birds. Sinhagala Trail is the most difficult in Sinharaja after passing Mullawella Trail, the road became just a footpath infested with leeches. As no one had gone on this trail for the previous 2 months, the path was so much overgrown and we had a lot of trouble finding our way and thankfully we had our secret weapon Ajith with us. However it was one of the worst nightmares in my life, we walk around 100m and then stop to pluck the leeches from our shoes and socks before they start sucking in
But all that effort was for no avail since they continuously troubles us all along the journey. To make matters worse, around 9.30 am it started raining and we had neither raincoats or umbrellas. Fortunately Ajith had brought an umbrella and I joined him since I had my camera and all our phones with me.
Around halfway we found a fresh skeleton of a wild boar and Ajith (to our horror) said it’s the leopard who’s done it. You can see the marks of Elephants (it’s said there are only about 3-4 of them remaining in Sinharaja)
Finally we managed to reach Sinhagala, which is according to the sign-postings 14km away, but sadly those distance showing notices are quite misleading coz we’re pretty sure we walked nearly 20km. This was confirmed when we went to Galyenyaya Trail, the board says 0.5km but actually it’s more than 1km.
We came back around 6.00 pm and were dog tired. All of us were suffering from leech bites and bleeding and one of my friends had pulled a muscle in his right thigh. (this resulted him not being able to go for the Mullawella trail the following day.)
After a long bath, we were ready for dinner and Nimal served us a delicious one with Wal Del curry. It was the first time we had it and boy wasn’t it amazing.
The 3rd day morning, even I was feeling cramped and didn’t wanna go ahead with our plan, but Nimal urged not to miss Mullawella trail so we left around 8.00 am and met Ajith (our trusted partner) at the entrance.
The journey to Mullawella Peak was peanuts compared to Sinhagala Trail and we managed to make it in record time but it started raining once we reached the top and missed lots of photo opportunities.
It war around 11.00 when we climbed down and we decided not to go ahead to see Giant Nawada tree since we had to catch the bus back to Kalawana at 1.30 pm. Anyway by the time we reach hotel it was around 12.00 and we decided to rest a bit and take the 3.30 but instead.
However, one of the Tuk tuk drivers who’s a friend of the boy who helped us at the hotel took us to Kalawana and we barely managed to take a bus to Ratnapura.
It was so frustrating as there are no buses to Colombo from Ratnapura after 6.00 and had to take a bus to Avissawella then catch a bus from Badulla to Colombo.