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|Year and Month||February, 2010|
|Number of Days||Two day trip|
|Crew||4 (Two of us and two guides)|
|Accommodation||1 night at Hatton (there are many places for lodging at Hatton)|
|Transport||Public Transport up to Hatton, Bogawanthalawa & Three-wheeler up to the Cabana(800/=).|
|Activities||See Wildlife, Scenery, Photography & HIKING!|
|Weather||Sunny day with clear sky|
|Route||Colombo -> Hatton -> Bogawanthalawa -> North-Cove -> Nagrak(Kariwatta)|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
This was a hike that we were planning to do since few months back, but lack of information was the main problem. At last we decided to this however, so on Friday we got into a Hatton bus at around 4pm and left to Bogawanthalawa but because we got late we decided to stay somewhere in Hatton(Hatton has many small places offering lodging services). Next day early morning (6am) we left to Bogawanthalawa & from there took a three-wheeler up to North-cove Cabana at around 9am. The Cabana was a wonderful place; we loved the place a lot. The caretaker was helpful in finding some guides who were Gem miners & we are thankful for the hospitality showed by the young assistant manager of the estate who we bumped into by chance!
At around 10am we left the Cabana, the foot path through the jungle starts just above the cabana, from here onwards it’s a rapid ascent up through jungle terrain for few Kilometers. On the way we came across a junction the road to the left took us to a small shrine where Rama was worshiped and there was a deep hole, where a giant 7 headed snake lives according to locals! After the walk through the jungle we reached a more open grassland terrain, similar to the landscape of the famous ‘Horton Plains’. We took the downwards route at a junction towards the Gem mining sites near the Turpentine forest and had a break until the guides had a chat with the miners! This place is called “Mahaeliya” by the locals, since we didn’t have much time to waste we didn’t explore the whole of Mahaeliya!
After a 45 minute walk we reached “Mahadeniya” which was another open land and people were mining there as well, we were offered tea by them. After a cup of tea we started our journey towards “Poodeniya” the foot path after Mahadeniya is difficult to trace due to the undercover and it is almost lost. There were plenty of water streams on the way so we had a refill! We followed a stream until we entered scrub jungle area where the next part of the trail was purely hectic we were wounded by thorns and bushes, we had falls too because it was so covered that we couldn’t see a thing. We ultimately ended up at another open land this was “Poodeniya” we enjoyed the journey through Poodeniya despite the mist it was simply fantastic! We were told by the guides that this region is a good Illama but it’s difficult to mine because the wildlife people petrol the area frequently and they are permitted to shoot them!
The next part was through the typical wet mountainous Horton plains forest, we had many slips during this part of the hike, ultimately it was a decent until we reached Belihul Oya (somewhere above Galgama Falls), after having a quick wash and refreshing our selves we started a journey though the forest this time we were following a small water stream which has been created to divert water to the tea plantations at Nagrak, at one point we left the water stream and came downhill until we met the road which was going up to Nagrak Managers bungalow(Kariwatte area).
We were relieved because we were out of the forest. All our pains vanished once we witnessed the spectacular view of the Samanala Wewa area and surrounding hills! Now we were on the Nonpareil path to worlds end. We climbed up on the jeep road track few hundred meters until we came to the bungalow which was closed! This bungalow was situated on the perfect place on earth, the view was simply fascinating, and my first question from the locals were “can we book this?”
From here we left our guides and decided to do the rest 3.2Km alone.
Quote from Belihul-oya to Horton Plains Trail Guide
5.8 km to 9 km: From the manager’s bungalow the trail becomes a foot path through the dense cloud forest of the Horton plains nature reserve. You will have to walk through the dense undergrowth of “Nelu & dwarf bamboo. Even though the inclination is negligibly small in this section, walking through the dense undergrowth is an extremely challenging exercise. One thing you will most regret will be a big back pack. Quite frequently you will have to crawl on all four legs to go underneath “nelu”. This is where a back pack or (any bag for that matter) becomes a big burden. Continue until you hit the edge of the plateau. You are now at the edge of the Horton plains. Enjoy the exciting drop of nearly 800m to the balangoda.
The experience was 100% similar to the description in the trail guide on lakdasun: P. We were at the highest place (higher than the Worlds end observation point) and we were blessed because there were no mist so Samanala wewa , Nonpareil estate & the factory was clearly seen! We walked along the edge enjoying the scenery until we arrived at the observation point where we rested a bit and walked 3.5Km until we reached the entrance, where we had something to relieve our hunger and enjoyed the Evening colorful & Extravagant sky! We were lucky to get a lift up to Kandy, where we took a bus to end our tiring journey on a Sunday morning at Colombo!