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|Year and Month||April, 2015|
|Number of Days||One|
|Crew||5 (Amila, Nishan, Dhammika, Krishani and myself)|
|Activities||Hiking / Scenery / Trekking / Photography|
|Weather||Clear morning and misty afternoon|
|Route||Colombo -> Wattegama -> Panwila -> Bambarella -> Kandy -> Mahiyanganaya -> Monaragala|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
It was Awurudu holidays and the weather was playing tricks on our minds but we didn’t want to let this holiday pass away without doing any hikes. There were two options it was either knuckles or sinharaja. So we decided go anywhere depending on the rain pattern. I was really motivated to do Knuckles after seen that Niroshan had covered all 5 peaks within a day and that was an inspiration for me (I’m sure you could read about that adventure in near future). So we started picking one by one from 3am onwards and after picking up Nishan from Miriswatta we had a small discussion regarding our destination for the day and since everyone was ok with the idea (despite a rain spike in the charts) we went ahead with hiking Knuckles. We reached Bamberella via Wattegama at around 9am and took the estate road to the trail head (need high ground clearance).
On the way we did meet the guy who issued tickets and we bought 5 tickets for 200 bucks. When we started the hike it was close to 10am. After a 10 minute hike we reached the waterfall where we had String hoppers as breakfast. From here onwards it was a walk along an open area, this stretch was so dehydrating but the view towards Knuckles kept us going. At one point we crossed the stream which forms the waterfall at a lower point. This is actually the proper and last water stream until the 4th peak is reached. From here onwards we entered the forest trail and started ascending uphill. Few on and off breaks were compulsory because of the steep ascend. We came across a 3way junction where the Thangappuwa trail branched out towards the right. We took the left uphill trail. From this point onwards the trail got tough and our knees started knocking on our cheeks at some points. There were few open areas where we rested awhile enjoying the breathtaking scenery. After a tiring 2 hour hike we reached the first peak.
First peak had only a small view point(Window like) and there was a cleared area which was used for camping. After a brief break we took off towards the 2nd peak. Second peak seems to be the highest point with a rocky summit. There were members of a normal family who had come to visit the Knuckles range and seen them was something out of the norm. From the 2nd summit we took off towards the 3rd through a somewhat covered path. There were many leeches on the 3rd peak since it was bit marshy but they were not so vicious. From the 3rd we took off towards the forth and reached a bare land where a superb camping site could be found. If one wants to camp I would suggest this scenic and spacious location. There were two drinkable springs which were dug off by campers we did fill up our empty bottles from it. From 4th to the 5th there wasn’t a clear path but it was not difficult. If one wishes he could go along the peaks and reach Rilagala, Selvakanda and cross over to Kalupahana. Due to the mist we couldn’t appreciate Pitawala, Etanwala, Kehelpathdoruwa and Na ela sides. But Hunnasgiriya, Gombaniya and Victoria reservoirs were seen through the mist.
After having lunch at the 3rd peak we returned back in a hurry because thundering lightning began. Few members in our group did suffer with on and off cramps but it settled with time. When we reached the end it was almost 5.30pm so we did head towards the Bambarella Bridge and refreshed ourselves before heading towards Kandy where we had dinner. I had to say good bye to the rest since I was heading towards Monaragala. This was one hell of a hike that we will cherish for few years.