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This event was organized by Adventure Sri Lanka (flickr) group as its 6th event and the new year begins with new hopes. This time our destination was beyond the limit of land. Kalpitiya situated about 175Kms away from Colombo was the point we plant of sail. Plan was to go on dolphin watching in the morning and get back to Nawadankulama for birding in the evening.
|Year and Month||January 2010|
|Number of Days||1 day|
|Crew||24 (between 20-40 years)|
|Accommodation||Accommodation can be found around Kalpitiya if needed|
|Transport||Car, 3 Vans and 4 boats|
|Activities||Dolphin watching, Bird watching, Photography|
|Weather||Weather was extremely good sunny day, calm sea, good light. Everything was good from weather perspective|
|Route||Our Destination was Dolphin beach hotel at Kalpitiya.Kalpitiya: On Colombo – Puttalam road take the right turn from Palavi to Kalpitiya. Take the left turn (at the Three Start Three wheeler Stand) from Norochcholai to get to Dolphin beach hotel.
Nawadankulama: Pass Anawilundawa junction on Colombo-Putlam rd just after passing 104th Km Post turn right to a narrow road with the sign board “Nawadankulama”. Move directly till you come across another faairly big road. Take the right turn and move about 500-1Km till you come across a church on your left side. Take the narrow route by church to go to Nawadankulama. Return on the same route.
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
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The event was organized as the 6th event of Adventure Sri Lanka flickr travel and photography group. As planed we left Colombo around 2 in the morning after going through few unexpected things on transport (Unfortunately it continued). We were travelling in three vans with 21 members of Adventure Sri Lanka group soon joined by three other members by a car at Seeduwa around three in the morning. We all started going towards Kalpitiya. On the way we looked for a place to get a short breakfast and tea. We were only able to find a place close to Palavi since it was early morning. Food was not that good, though most of our guys ate them as usual. Then we started driving towards Kalpitiya.
Road from Palavi to Kalpitiya is under constriction. Some parts of the road is as good as A2 but rest is awful. If you plan to go there get a vehicle with good ground clearance. We passed Norochcholai junction and continue our journey toward Kalpitiya. We stopped by few places to get a snap of sunrise over the lagoon.
Our misfortune continued as a result of my mistake again. When I called the Dolphin beach hotel, we had passed the turn off to hotel by about 8Kms towards Kalpitiya side. We had to turn back. Finally we reached the place by 7 in the morning. 30 minutes later then scheduled. We had to hurry up to the boats and get to sea. There were 24 of us in 4 boats. Within few minutes we were in the sea looking for dolphins.
I was so disappointed, my friends in other two boats were long gone and my boat was running on first gear 🙁 Yet we managed to pass one of the slow moving boat. It took us about 30 minutes to get to where our friends were, and there were dolphins all over the place. They were fairly large, not the ones we expected. Lately we got to know that those were Risso’s Dolphins. They are larger and without the well known nose. Activeness on the surface of this variety was fairly low, comparing to other two species in our ocean, so there was nothing much to photograph.
We spent about 30 minutes with them and saw only few surface actions. Unfortunately I was not been able to capture any jumps. We head back to main land after about half and hour with dolphins and then suddenly there was a big sound coming from the behind. Our boat driver was hanging hard to something, Oh no.. it was our boat engine and it was in the sea. That’s where the Adventure begun. Few of us jumped back and helped him to get it back on boat. But it was not functioning anymore. We shout at one of the other boats, and they got back to us.
After tying our boat with the another one, we pulled the boat for about 2 hrs toward the main land. It looked like we were floating at the same place for all that time. Without a control of direction it was really difficult to sail it to where we wanted. After making few calls to hotel finally we got a response, they came come to us with another engine. Myself with another, jumped to the new boat to reduce the weight, and that speed up both boats. We were so hungry and couldn’t wait till we step on land.
Our crew was waiting at the hotel for us. We all were so hungry and I informed the hotel manager that we have no option other then having breakfast there. We had planed to have it on the way back to Nawadankulama. After breakfast at about 11 we discussed what to do next. Some guys wanted to go to the edge of Kalpitiya so we headed that way. It was noon and the sun was burning. We didn’t come across any interesting thing. Without wasting any more time we decided to head back to Nawadankulama.
Nawadankulama was as good as every time we went there. Had plenty of opportunities for photography.
We spent till 6 in the evening at Nawadankulama and everybody enjoyed the beauty of Nature and caught some good memories in to their digital cams. We headed back and reached Colombo by 10pm. It was a long tired day… but worth!