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|Year and Month||April 2012|
|Number of Days||Four Day Trip|
|Crew||3 (2 adults and 1 teenager)|
|Accommodation||Aligama Cottages, Wasgamuwa (www.aligamacottage.com)|
|Activities||Enjoy a leisurely holiday, birding, photography and visiting Wasgamuwa National Park.|
|Weather||Excellent for most parts – one evening with rain|
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
It was just one of those times when one HAS TO get away – and badly too. As we had never been to Wasgamuwa, we planned a 4 day trip to visit the National Park and also drive along along two routes that we had not travelled before.
We were able to get a booking at Aligama Village. It was not a place recommended by anyone and it so happened that it came up on my Google search and we just liked the details on their web site. The main attraction was that it could accommodate only a small number of people – 2 cottages and 3 rooms – and we wanted “a quiet place that was green – away from all mankind”, so to speak! They responded very quickly to my email and booking was done in no time.
Charges were very reasonable – Rs 3500/- per day for the Cottage which can accommodate 4 adults comfortably and an additional Rs 850/- per person/day for all 3 meals.
The route to Wasgamuwa took us via Kandy, Matale and Riverston. We managed to bag two lifers on the way
The view of course was spectacular…….
We stopped near Thelgamu oya for a short break and a cup of Ranawara
I would strongly recommend anyone passing this way to have a cup of Ranwara from Tikiri Appu
Aligama Cottage is about 10 km after Hettipola. The road from Hettipola to Wasgamuwa along Minipe – Yoda ela scheme is not in a good condition with large pot-holes but can be managed with a car. The turn off to the place is before you reach Dunuwila tank and is marked.
Aligama is bordering Gamburu oya and we had a bath in that too
Aligama is great for birding. One wakes up to the raucous calling of red-wattled lapwings with their “did-heee-do-it”. It is pure biss after that and if you are into photography, this is the place to be! You get a chance to see some village life too!
Aligama is great for other little creatures too….
There was a colony of Baya weavers (පන් වඩු කුරුල්ලෝ) just outside the premises and we spent many happy hours watching them ……………….
Aligama Cottage belongs to two brothers – Lakshitha and Luke Abenaike. Luke was our host during our stay and you couldn’t wish for a better host! The food is typical village type and tasty. I just loved their egg curry with string hoppers – just yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Aligama cottages has a large rock in their property and once you are on top of it…………………………………….
The sunset from there is spectacular!
“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator” – Mahatma Gandhi
Wasgamuwa National Park
“You will be disappointed with Wasgamuwa, nothing much other that elephants!” was what I was told by a friend who heard I was planning a trip there.
As only 10% of the park is open for visitors and the roads are also not very close to waterways compared to Yala, one has to work hard to see birds and other animals. But “Nothing much”???? It was life in every form at Wasgamuwa! What more does one want?
Our driver Samitha was great! He wasn’t used to people who wanted anything more than elephants – “සුද්දොත් එක්ක යනවා වගේ මහත්තයෝ, කුරුල්ලොමයි බලන්නේ!” was his comment to Luke Abenaike after the first safari 😉 But he was quick to learn and respond to our requirements and the second safari was perfect! As the park is not so crowded and as Samitha drove slowly, we had two great game drives!
And of course, the famous Wasgamuwa elephants……
Our return was through Mahiyanganya and the daha ata wanguwa road to Kandy and then to Colombo.
The road was a dream to drive. We had to make many stops as we just had to photograph the view 😉 The bends are numbered – starting from Kandy side and at the time we went, they had done up to 10.
The view towards the East was great and I would give a lot just to be on that road at sunrise!
At the second bend we met some relatives!
Then it was the Knuckles range and once again the view was amazing!
The only “negative” bit was the Kandy traffic! We spent nearly 2 hours trying to get to Peradeniya from Kandy!!! Wish there was a road that bypasses Kandy, maybe….. I should send a suggestion to the Powers that Are 😉