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|Year and Month||April 2010|
|Number of Days||3 days (2 nights)|
|Crew||4/5 (Ages: Between 12 and 70)|
|Accommodation||Kurunegala (Relatives Home)|
|Transport||A small car|
|Activities||Just driving around, Site seeing, Photography, Gossiping!|
|Weather||Clear mornings. Heavy rains, lightning & thunder in the afternoons/evenings. (Remember it’s April)|
|Route||Day 1 – Bandarawela -> Nuwaraeliya -> Kandy -> Kurunegala
Day 2 – Kurunegala -> Dambulla -> Namal Uyana -> Balalu Wewa -> Galewela -> Kurunegala
Day 3 – පරංගියා කෝට්ටේ ගියා වගේ
Kurunegala -> Dambulla -> Bakamuna -> Aththanakadawala -> Angamedilla -> Kaduruwela -> Manampitiya -> Dimbulagala -> Dehiaththakandiya -> Girandurukotte -> Mahiyanganaya -> Loggaloya -> Badulla -> Bandarawela
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
This was not one of those planned trips. It was to be just a visit to a relatives place at Kurunegala (and of-course we had to get back home). BUT, there was no way that I/we could just sit around at home in Kurunegala knowing that there are lots and lots of places to see while on the road.
It was going to be just a drive to Kurunegala through Nuwaraeliya-Gampola-Peradeniya-Katugasthota-Galagedara. We Left home early for two reasons.
(1) To be somewhere ‘out side’ at dawn to witness the sunrise.
(2) Had to pass through Nuwaraeliya before all the holiday makers woke up.
Many holiday makers were still asleep in their vehicles parked by Lake Gregory.
A late start. Left home for Dambulla where we visited the lesser known. Menikdena Archeological Site. It was really a nice place to visit.
|The site which is situated among lots of large trees had had its share of restoration work completed.|
|However, the whole place gave meaning to the word serene.|
The day was still young and the senior citizens suggested visiting the Rosa Thiruwana Kanda. Hence, we drove through Dambulla along the Anuradhapura road.
|Having purchased lunch from a way side shop, and a few mouth watering fruits for dessert…………..|
………. we took a left turn at Madagama onto the road leading to Namal Uyana.
The first impression at the entrance to the forest was somewhat; ‘commercial’. At Rs.50/- per vehicle for parking and Rs.20/- per individual as entrance fees I could not resist thinking….. What a lot of money?
|Anyway, the greenness of the forest (thanks to the resent rains) and its coolness helped me to overcome the bad ‘commercial’ feeling.
The Earth Worms had been busy gulping down the earth and then stacking up little mountains of digested earth literally, behind them.
|The walk through the forest was nice and the highlight was to see and hear people looking up at a big mushroom (I think that’s what it was) growing up a trunk of a (supposed to be a Mora) tree, and in disbelief just uttering that the ‘smoke’ being released from the mushroom was due to some sort of divine fire!
I thought; what looked like ‘smoke’ was either spores being released from the mushroom or water vapour released due to the wet mushroom heating up.
And then, the Kanda came into view. For me, it was nothing much of an attraction and felt that it was only a ‘hyped-up place’ just for the money in it.
|The rock wasn’t as pink as I expected. I did realize that ‘photoshop’ had had a big role to play in the photographs (of this place) that I had seen earlier.|
|Neither was the view from up there spectacular. I could not understand the logic behind placing a Buddha Statue right up at the summit. But, the worst was that the statue had been coloured pink! Did not want to picture the statue.|
|However, the ruined (and now restored) dagaba of the Namal Viharaya, hidden away in the jungle and the spring that emerges out of nowhere (actually the Earth) were somewhat of a consolation.|
……………. as well as watching the display of perfect aerobatic flying and fishing skills of the several kinds of birds flying around, especially those of the many kinds of ‘eagles’. There were so many of them that I wished I had an extra set of extra eye-balls.
Then came the rain, lightning & thunder. A slow drive back through Galewela on to Kurunegala ended the day.
Had to head back for home (Bandarawela) and decided to take the looooong way back.
|First, it was to Dambulla and a stop at the Ibbankatuwa Pre-Historic Burial Grounds. Strange & interesting. For a moment it felt as if we were in Maya country.|
|Dambulla to Bakamuna was really a nice drive and although we did not spot any Bakamunas I think we found a giant Smerf (still fast asleep). Were we now in Smerf Country?|
At Bakamuna, we made a small detour along a rather new road (I am not too sure where it leads to but my guess is that it heads towards Pallegama) in order to get to the Buduruwayaya Ruins.
|It was easy to find and was truly a place worth visiting. The monk there was undoubtedly very well read. He sure has taken a lot of effort to look after the place.|
It was a nice drive in the shade all the way from Bakamuna to Attanakadawala with the added beauty of the Elahera Yoda Ela flowing on our right.
The drive itself was quite uneventful I would say………….. until when we halted when somebody in the vehicle questioned………… “Who wants Dodam”?
Of-course, both; the colours (of whatever was in the bottles) as well as the ‘dodam’ (used as bottle stoppers) looked very, very Juicy!
The ‘uncle’ juicing the fruits insisted that the multi coloured ‘peni’ in the bottles were safe to drink. It took us a lot of effort to convince him that we preferred to have just plain ‘dodam’. We had four glasses full with chunks of (local never-the-less) ice in them for the cost of three. See….. there still are few good businessmen in this country consider service over profit.
At Attanakadawala we took a right turn in order to get to Angamedilla
Someone (once again) screamed ……………… “Ice Cream”.
Yet, the status-quo was maintained (meaning: the car kept moving forward). Then, the same voice softly uttered the magic word. ……….. “Soya”.
The driver (me at the time) was ordered to halt!
What followed was the fastest ‘De-bus’ of all time and a ‘scramble’ to the shop and… then it was all …..lick….lick….lick.
|On our way forward again…. we entered into a small patch of forest where a small shrine reminded us that we were entering ‘Gods Country’. We did not stop to offer anything or to hang a twig as many do when entering forests believing in ourselves that we truly respected nature which is what really matters.
We were now inside the Angamedilla National Park.
|Anyway, we had our eyes & ears wide open expecting to be surprised by something wild although the chances were minute considering the fact that it was day time. But, surprised we were ………… to realize that the authorities had taken the trouble to put-up a road sign for the monkeys…….
…………. as it seemed, as though it was meant to be read hanging up-side-down or standing on one’s head.
|We purchased entrance permits for us as well as the vehicle and went to see the ancient weir which is just a couple of hundred meters away from the ticketing office. What we saw was a disgusting scene. I have already written about it in the Lakdasun Forum at: A Place to Camp – Angamedilla National Park|
Kept going along the canal bund with the hope of meeting ‘Indika’ for the very first time. My better-half suggested that the easiest way to find him was to ask the nangis we meet on the road. She was absolutely correct for we did ask a young boy/man who did not to have the slightest clue. But, two girls with him (all on the same motor bike minus helmets) knew exactly where the dosthara mahaththayek wenna igenaganna aiya lived.
So, it was the start of another new friendship thanks to Lakdasun. Indika and his home folk were very kind to pluck dodam from the trees in their garden for us to take home. We all enjoyed crossing the canal on the e-danda.
We always favour ‘eating spots’ found by the way-side but, on this day we were forced to buy lunch from a shop we would have skipped on any other day. We figured out that the cooks were on an extended Avurudu vacation.
|Although, we did not have a choice of menu we did find a nice place to eat what ever that was on the menu.
The clouds were gathering in full-force.
I had also to attend to some other fact-finding business along the way from which brought us through Dehiaththakandiya and Girandurukotte to Mahiyanganaya.
Uneventful, I would say other than driving into and out of the huge pot at some badly maintained stretches of the ‘Raja Mawatha’.
The 11 km long Mahaweli Canal up to Loggaloya was once again a nice drive……. if not for the pot holes…… The recent rains meant that all the wewas were full to capacity.
It was late evening by the time we reached Loggaloya and we had to stop by the Loggaloya Reservoir to have a cup of plain tea.
Loggaloya was nothing much that day compared to what it usually is especially early in the morning. The catchment areas were already experiencing rain which reminded me of the possibility of Loggaloya reservoir overflowing towards the early hours the following day.
On to Badulla where we spent some time in a queue for petrol and then it was back home – Bandarawela………………………. Tired.