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|Year and Month||February, 2013 (9th to 11th)|
|Number of Days||Three Day Trip|
|Crew||2 (Me & my wife, aged 30-32)|
|Accommodation||BOC Upper Glencairn Bungalow|
|Activities||Scenic drive, site seeing and Photography|
|Weather||Sunny with occasional drizzling|
|Route||Tissamaharama -> Pannegamuwa -> Thanamalwila -> 17½ kanuwa junction -> Balaharuwa -> Hambegamuwa -> Welioya -> Kaltota -> Rajawaka -> Balangoda -> Pinnawala -> Bogawantalawa -> Dickoya -> Maskeliya -> Delhouse -> Dickoya -> Hatton -> Colombo -> Matara|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
There are plenty of scenic roads around Sri Lanka offering breathtaking views intersecting different landscapes. This was such a “photo journey” along three scenic roads offering unique views where Hambegamuwa – Welioya – Kaltota through Paddy centered low country dry/intermediate zone, Balangoda – Bogawantalawa – Norwood through Tea centered mid/up country, Dickoya – Delhouse through Tea centered up country reservoir banks. Diversions on the way to see some cascading beauties were icing on the cake.
We started around 5.30 am from Tissamaharama and moved towards Tanamalwila. From there we took the left turn to Uda Walawe road. Travelling few kms along this road there is a sign board for the turn off at Bodagama indicating it is 40 km to Welioya. We avoided this turn off as it was early in the morning and driving through this isolated road through the jungle is an unnecessary risk. Hence we proceeded further up to 17½ kanuwa junction and then took the right turn towards Hambegamuwa/Welioya. This road connects to the road coming from the previous turn off after few kms.
This road is running through a famous Elephant corridor named Galkatukanda located between 17½ kanuwa junction and Balaharuwa junction. This stretch is through the jungle and possibility of meeting an Elephant is very high. So in this area, jungle is cleared up to 15-20m either side of the road.
Since it was early morning there were no vehicles coming from that area to inquire about Elephants but we slowly kept on moving forward. Fortunately a small bus came towards us. As the driver confirmed that there are no Elephants, we hurried up and very watchfully crossed Galkatukanda.
We reached the first landmark of the day, Balaharuwa junction. Road coming from Kuda oya (A2) is connecting Hambegamuwa/Welioya road here. Road we came so far was narrow, bumpy and badly washed away at many places. We had to travel very slow and drive carefully to prevent rocks and ridges hitting underneath.
After having a look around and having a chat with the shop owner there, we started moving towards Hambegamuwa. Road condition improved a little but was still a testing time.
At Hambegamuwa we did not forget to witness the morning beauty of Hambegamuwa wewa. At Hambegamuwa town there is a narrow concrete road towards right which is leading to Hambegamuwa wewa. It is just a walk of around 500m. It was indeed a lovely sight.
After enjoying the scenery there, we started moving forward in search of a relaxing place to have our breakfast. After a few minutes’ drive we found a nice shade close to a water body.
Then we started moving towards Welioya where we witnessed most eye catching “on the way” scenery. There were several water bodies full of Olu mal. Endless lush green paddy fields with mountains at the back drop were a wonderful sight which cannot be expressed by words and pictures
It was a drive through relaxing greenish landscapes blended with irrigation channels, water bodies, structures like Sapattu palam, etc. all the way up to Kaltota.
From Kaltota we took Balangoda road and after 2 km we took the right turn to see Kaltota Duwili falls. It is a 3.3 Km travel along a paved road but there were 4-5 damaged segments where it was difficult for the car to tackle.
Then we rushed to Balangoda and had lunch there. We started from 17½ kanuwa junction at 6.00 am and managed to reach Balangoda by 1.45 pm with plenty of stops to enjoy the endless scenery and slow driving along rough bumpy road. It has 39km from 17½ kanuwa junction to Kaltota and 28 km from Kltota to Balangoda.
After lunch we were ready for the second scenic drive of the day which was Balangoda-Bogawantalawa-Norwood and it was 2.30 pm when we turned on to Balangoda-Bogawantalawa road. Journey started without much scenery at the initial segment but scenic Dethanagala was moving around us changing the view creating a magnificent sight.
After passing the village Pinnawala, Dethanagala started unveiling the cascading beauty from her shaulder, Gerandi ella. A drizzle started blocking the view but we stayed until it settled to get some sort of a clear view.
After Pinnawala, it was the endless view of lush green Tea plantations. The road was narrow, rough and bumpy. But not much pot holes or heavily damaged areas. Only thing is, as we were travelling in a car with low ground clearance, very rarely we could speed up beyond 25km/h and had to reverse even for in coming three wheelers.
It was a fantastic ride all the way through the Tea plantations offering magical views.
It was 6.30 pm when we reached Bogawantalawa and around 7.30 we managed to end the day at Upper Glencairn bungalow, Dickoya.
On the next morning it was the beginning of another scenic drive from Dickoya to Delhouse through Tea plantations along the banks of Castlereah and Maussakele reservoirs. It was 8.00 am when we stared from Dickoya and was around 9.00 am when we reached Delhouse.
From Delhouse police check point (About 500m before Delhouse, along Maskeliya – Delhouse road) there is a turn off towards left, to Moray estate. This is the turn off towards Fishing Huts and plenty of direction boards available. Only thing is this road is running downwards and from the main road you do not see it properly. We took this road to see the two famous cascading beauties, Adams peak falls and Moray falls.
It was a typical estate road and it was in very bad shape for a car. Anyhow, my “4 wheel drive” tackled the road and took us up to the turn off to Moray Tea factory. It took 45 minutes to travel that 3 km. After parking the car there, we started walking up to the factory which was 900m away as I did not want to get the car damaged. A car with good ground clearance would have made it up to the factory. Turn off to Fishing huts is located on the way and from there onwards only 4WD is allowed.
From the factory, there are two concrete roads starting and the one leading downwards should be taken (Downwards at the start but ascending as it continues). Walking along this, there is a sharp bend towards right where a path closed by a gate could be seen towards left at the bend. We have to walk through the gate and a guard took down our names and vehicle number. After a short walk, the beautiful Adams peak falls could be observed. It was indeed a lovely sight.
To reach Moray falls there we have to walk further along the path. A small nameless waterfall too could be seen on the way. The path becomes narrow towards the end. End of this path opens door to this beauty.
Although hours passed by, we could not change our mindset to leave these magnificent creations of the nature. At the end, we turned back with the intention of spending some good time by the road side beauty, Mohini falls.
It was evening when we reached the bungalow at Dickoya and we have not even had our lunch. But the minds were full of happy memories all along.