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|Year and Month||August, 2010|
|Number of Days||Four days|
|Crew||Three children and four adults|
|Accommodation||Mahadorowwa Camping Site – Nilgala (Gal-Oya) National Park|
By 4×4 vehicle
|Activities||Hiking, Photography, Bathing in the stream, Cooking|
|Weather||Had a bit of everything……. Sunshine & Rain|
|Route||Colombo -> Rathnapura -> Bandarawela -> Badulla -> Passara -> Bibila -> Bulupitiya -> Nilgala|
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
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August 2010 was a super holiday for me. The very first day of the holiday started with a camping trip to Kumana. It was followed by a visit to the Jaffna Peninsula and a stay at Dehi Gaha Ela in Dambulla. This camping trip to Nilgala was going to be the last before school re-opens.
We reached the Nilgala NP by late afternoon and straight away went to ‘Mahadrowwa‘ camping site. It was a nice place by the side of Gal Oya. We unloaded all what we had taken and pitched our tents. Oh! Yes, we had a bath in the river too. It was a nice and safe place to bathe.
We visited the Kahataththa Hela rock cave and then climbed the rock to see some ruins on top of it. It was an easy hike. The view from the top was really beautiful. We were told that this place is in fact out side the NP.
The rain came down in the afternoon. Uncle Yohan, Uncle Hemantha (the tracker/guide) and my father got a little wet doing the adjustments to the tents and cutting drains around them. Thanks to their work we did not get wet.
We first drove and then walked to the place called ‘Makara’ camp site. It was a beautiful place. But, it is sad that visitors are no longer allowed to camp there.
Further down river is a place where the river is blocked by huge rock boulders and is called the ‘Makara Kata’. I think that is because it looks as if the water in the river vanishes until it emerges at the place called ‘Gilma’. Actually, the water flows through the huge bolders in the river and that’s why we can’t see the water from the banks of the river. ‘Gilma’ is the place where the rock boulders end and the Gal Oya falls into the Senanayake Samuddraya.
My father went along with Uncle Hemantha further into the jungle to see the ruins of a fort that is marked on the maps. Uncle Yohan stayed back with us. If he too went we would have had to stay there alone. Thank you Uncle Yohan for staying with us. My father returned saying that it was not very interesting.
On our way back to camp we were able to see a ‘Madu’ plant that had fruits on it. It was the first time that I had seen the Madu fruits. Uncle Hemantha allowed us to get out of the vehicle so that we could take some photographs.
In the evening we went for a drive hopping to see some wild animals. We did see some elephants and deer. They moved into the jungle when they heard the sound of the vehicle. We were also lucky to see a beautiful sunset over the whole area. It looked as if the whole sky was on fire.
After breakfast, we packed all our things, cleaned the campsite and left for home.
Before we left the NP we went to see another camp site called ‘Seenukgala’. It was a nice place with a lot of places to bathe. My father fell into one of the big holes and he had to travel in wet clothes.
We reached Bandarawela for lunch. The others reached Colombo late in the night.
I must mention that we had ‘S-U-P-E-R-B’ food while in the jungle. I can’t make a list of what we had. My father says that he never has had such food in the jungle. Many thanks to Aunty N and Amma for what they made for us. My two friends and I also helped to cook.
I must also mention that we had a dog staying with us at the camp site. It came there just after we reached the site and left only when we left. It was a really good dog. Very alert all the time and did not trouble us at all.