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|Year and Month||December, 2011|
|Number of Days||Three Day Trip|
|Crew||8 adults (30-35 years) and four Kids (2-5 years)|
|Transport||Two cars and a Double Cab|
|Activities||Relaxing, Spend time in the Beach, Birds, Wildlife and landscapes|
|Route||Katubedda -> Kahathuduwa -> E01 -> Galle -> Matara -> Tangalle -> Kahandamodara and return on the same route.|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
December 2011 was relatively calm at work so I was finally taking some “Annual leave”! Certainly it was time for a trip. High up on my list of “to go” places was Back of Beyond – Kahandamodara . When I checked with Yohan for its availability I was delighted to find out that the BOB was vacant on the 30th and the 31st of December.
Early morning on the 30th December we started heading south on the E01. It was my first time on E01 and I couldn’t have asked for anything better! Cutting across paddy fields, rubber plots and forest patches, E01 was virtually emerging from a sea of mist. Even though the scenery was heavenly, capturing it on camera at 100kmph was not easy. The dirty windshield did not help the cause either.
Even two months after opening, there was a considerable number of road kills on E01 (Less dogs now but more lizards & small mammals), reminding us yet again how detrimental an expressway can be for wildlife. I hope authorities will take note of this and make required provisions to facilitate movement of animals when further expressways are designed.
In less than an hour we were in Galle. We stopped briefly at Weligama (@ N 05 58 19.77 | E 80 25 48.71) where there was a nice beach front rest area. There was a pastry shop on the land side across the road.
Then it was a non stop drive to Kahandamodara. The directions given were perfect and we were there before noon. We were warmly welcome by Nelson and Mahesh.
As usual the BOB was very nice with lot of space, creature comforts and blending well with the surrounding! We were in the three bed room bungalow close to the huge “Siyambala tree” (The tree was full of tasty fruits!). We loved the whole setup and the kids loved it more than us!
We had plans to do some mock camping, particularly for the kids and it was the perfect place for that.
After a tasty lunch we pitched a tent for the little ones to play in. We learnt that most of what we eat at Kahandamodera, including delicious curd, comes from the same property. No wonder the curd tasted that great!
Later in the after noon we drove to Kahandamodara beach which was about 1km drive from the BOB (View Google Earth Trail Map). Kahandamodera beach was very beautiful in the evening light with clourful boats and the pure white sand.
The beach was a unique place because it is the place where Urubokka Oya meets the sea. Closer to the river mouth of Urubokka Oya, there were couple of fishermen fishing with traditional nets (වීසි දැල). With the seeting sun in the background, it was a perfect lcoation to capture both the bauty of the nature and the fishing action.
Clear calm water of Oya at the river mouth was so inviting for a dip but we did not get in to water. We made a mental note to retrun to beach on the next day as well to take a dip and further explore the photo opprtunities.
It was almost impossible to get the kids out from the beach, so we were there until it was completely dark.
After a tasty dinner at BOB, we had a chat with Mahesh to plan out the next two days. Considering the options and our interests, we decided to visit Kalametiya and Usssangoda in the two mornings and spend the rest of the time relaxing at BOB . Leaving enough free time to just sit back and relax is a must if you go to BOB – Kahandamodara. We are glad that we took Yohan’s advice and did not rush.
Early morning on the next day (just past 6.00 a.m.) we set off to Kalametiya. Scenary on the way along A2 was stunning!
Mahesh’s Directions were perfect. Passing Hungama Town, We were to look for “Chandrika Hotel” on our left hand side which was the only land mark to find the road we were supposed to take towards Kalametiya harbour which goes through the wetland. As advised we turned right, just after passing Chandrika Hotel (8.5km from the Kahandamodara turn off from A2). View Google Earth Trail Map
After truning off from the main road towards sea side, we drove about 1km along the narrow tarred road through houses until the road reached the boundaries of the wet land. Time was few minutes past seven in the morning. It was a clear, sunny day. Kalametiya looked so alive and green.
As we entered the wet land, the road turned in to a bright earth colored’s gravel road. On both sides all we could see was marshy land extending up to the palm fringed beach. On both sides the marshy areas were full of birds. Not only the birds but the landscapes too were fantastic! We stopped the double cab and walked along the gravel road enjoying the enchanting beauty of the place, and of course taking pictures, before boarding the vehicle again to drive further towards the sea.
As we approached the beach, landscape changed once again. We were approaching a more flooded area of the wetland as it is not very close to the sea. There were remainings of couple of houses scatters between the beach and the wetland, most probably damaged by the Tsunami and abandoned after that.
We drove all the way up to the Kalametiya fishing Harbour. The road ends there.
We turned back and returned on the same route to BOB by 9.30 a.m. After some delicious breakfast, it was time to sit back and relax till the late afternoon. That is when we had plans to go back to Kahandemodara beach and take a dip in the river mouth.
Around 4 in the afternoon all got in to the cab and drove to Kahandamodara beach once again. It was a beautiful evening again and this time the priority was a dip in the river!
With what we saw the previous day, we paid some special atention to capture the fishermen at work which beautifully complemented the sun set scenary at the river mouth. A fisherman who was using a traditional net caught got our attention
Again it was impossible to get any one moving from the beach until it was completely dark. The fisherman moved from place to place, repeating the same sequence. The sun set was so dynamic, the photographers just couldn’t stop clicking!
Even after the sun set, the twilight zone kept us clicking on….
As the night fell, we returned to BOB. We went to sleep with plans to visit Ussangoda on the following morining
Day 3 – 1st Day of Year 2012.
As usual we left BOB before sunrise. On our way we spent a bit of time exploring two lakes, one just outside the BOB and the other about 1km down the road. There was considerable bird activity in those two water bodies.
Once on A2 we drove towards Nonagama junction enjoying the early morning beauty of the surrounding.
As per the directions given we had to turn right from the main road at a point between Kalametiya turn off and Nonagama junction (about 600m before Nonagama junction). View Google Earth Trail Map
We were told that there is a large sign board indicating the turnoff to Ussangoda. Even though we were looking for it carefully, we missed the turn off and ended up at Nonagama Junction (where A2 and A18 meets). We were suprised and started to track back.
Once we found the turn off we were not surprised that we missed it! There was a giant hording which prominently said “Ayobowan” but the word “Ussangoda” was not given any significance!
We were further amused to see that the main image of the hording had nothing to do with Ussangoda and later realised it it infact was an image stolen from Lakdasun, posted originally by Priyanjan in the thread with a red arrow to mark a point of interest in Connections to the Rama – Rawana Legend !
Finally we arrived at Ussangoda. Time was 7.30 in the morning. It was bright and sunny. As we entered ussangoda plains the contrasting color cobination of Red, green and blue caught our eyes. Soil was unmistakably red, some what similar to the colour of the gravel road at Kalametiya, but we flet that the red clour was more prominent here. Green grass, well lit by the morning sun, and the deep blue skies, created a very beautiful contrast.
After walking across the vast open area, we walked through a forest patch to reach the place where the Ussangoda plateau drops to the Indian ocean creating an interesting cliff. This place is called “Punchi Ussangoda” (Check Google Earth Trail Map)
After spending some time at the edge of the platue we returned to the entrance. One of the little shops at the car park was open by that time and the owner kindly offerred us Kiribath reminding us that it was the January first! “What a way to start the new year” we thought!
From what we had heard about Ussangoda and its popularity as the “Galle Face of the region”, we expected the place to be full of litter but we were pleasantly surprised to see it was very clean! The shop keepers told us that after Ussangoda was declared as a national park, Wildlife officers visit the place frequently and actively manage the place during peak hours. A job well done is what we could say.
We were back at BOB by 9.30 a.m. We spent couple more hours at BOB before leaving after lunch and reached home with colorful memories of Kanhandamodara and around. The colorful boats we saw at Weligama fisheries habour provided some last minute photo opportunities on the way back, adding more color to a remarkably colorful expedition!