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|Year and Month||October, 2010|
|Number of Days||Second day of the 3days journey (Day 1 Report | Day 3 Report)|
|Crew||5 (25 to 38 years age).|
|Accommodation||Uva Management Training Institute @ Passara|
|Activities||Photography, Waterfall hunting, Hiking|
|Route||First day: Colombo -> Avissawella -> Balangoda -> Kalupahana -> Bambarakanda -> Udaweriya -> Ohiya -> Boralanda -> Diyathalawa -> Badulla/Passara. (Day 1 Report)
Second day: Passara -> 4th Mile post -> Wewassa Estate (Upper Division) -> Namunukula Peaks Nos. 9 to 5 -> Deyanegalla Division -> Glen Alpin Division -> Spring Valley -> Badulla -> Passara.
Third day: Passara -> 5th Mile post -> Wewassa Estate (Upper Division) -> Glane Alphine Estate -> Namunukula Peaks 4 & 3 -> Spring Valley -> Badulla -> Passara (Day 3 Report)
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
All of us were got up while the sun emitted his first rays to Passara. We were willing to explore Namunukula – the giant raised to catch the sky in front of us.
Existence of nine peaks was caused to name the range as Namunu- Kula. It was the 12th highest mountain in SL. The highest peak out of 9 was climbed by many hikers each year; but from Spring Valley side which was considered as the formal path. Our ambition was to explore the whole 9 peaks from Passara side which was not popular trail and even done by nobody in popular travel forums.
Since we were gone misunderstand with false information, no local guide was arranged for the hike. The false information received last night was that existence of a clear trail to the top; starting with a stepped path from the main road. As a result we got mad when we met the canteen keeper at our breakfast. (We already got to know him through a personal contact). He explained us the necessity of an experienced local guide for a safe & successful hike at Namunukula from Passsara side.
So we gave a try to hire an experienced guide, but failed. Some had engaged with other works & some refused saying not sufficient time remained to complete the journey before the dusk. As per them, the hike should be started at the dawn. But finally a recondite character was agreed to guide us. As per him, he had been to the hilltop more than 12 times. We were much happy, but it was too late when we realized the hidden agenda of the guide.
It was almost 9.00 am when we left from the institute. The guide took us along the main road towards Badulla for more than 3 km which was a significant descending. Further; he asked us to empty our excess water bottles so that to reduce the weight & could fill them up from water sources available on our way to the summit.
Since the group of hikers was a strange site to the villagers, some of them were daring enough to ask where we were going. Since they were answered that we were heading Namunukula, they impressed two things. One was the shorter route was started from 5th mile post (the Institution we started the journey was located at the 6th Miles post) and the other was that we were too late to complete the journey. But our guide was taking us to the 4th mile post, as a deaf.
Just after the 141/4th culvert of A5 hi-way, (commonly known as 4th mile post) we found a trail head. The trail was a high ascend & burnt a significant amount of our energy within the first 500 meters. Passing some barriers such as slippery rocks at almost dried water ways and walking along an edge of a moderate cliff in a forest-like non cultivated area; we came in to a gravel road (estate road). The bendy road was leading to the upper divisions of the tea Estate. We used rock paved drains at the tea estate as short cuts and proceeded without grumble. Having climbing nearly an hour, we reached a 3 way junction at the estate road. The uphill was towards the upper division of Wewassa plantation, where we should proceed. But the guide was kept silent on the destination of the downhill road when we inquired.
Then a tractor of the estate was arrived & since it was driven uphill for collecting tea leaves, we were given a lift for nearly a kilometer with narrow, steep & bendy estate road.
After having another half a kilometer climb, we reached another three way junction; located at a gap. There was a Hindu shrine. From that point also, we took the road lead to uphill. (Actually the other route was also descending towards 3rd Mile post)
There was an important thing even our guide did not mentioned us. That was the last (the 9th) peak of the range was just few meters above the said junction. Providing evidence for the same; we could observe the Uva Management Training Institute through the gap of 9th and 8th peaks; within the first 100m uphill from the said junction.
Again and again using rock paved drains at the tea estate as short-cuts; we reached the upper most part of the tea estate while our water bottles were getting empty. Even a thin water source could fulfill our requirement since we were armed with water purification tablets. But no water could find yet. May be; due to the dry weather condition applied for the area those days.
How ever we entered in to the forest patch which covered the upper most parts of the mountain, with half a liter of water for all. We had to limit consuming water to a dirnk for each, in a nominated moment/round.
At first we entered in to mixed forest. The trail became steeper & hard in each step. In the next moment we were moving through a thick bamboo forest. The trail was disappeared and we stick in dead ends several times. Our guide was also confused and as the first time we were distrusted on the knowledge of the guide. We were loss our way in the thick jungle so that one could not see the sky, and wander for nearly 45 minutes until get in to a proper trail.
The trail led to the summit of 7th peak which was full of dung of deadly wild buffalos.
We were much tired, hungry & thirsty; badly wanted water. But there were no sign of a water source. So we proceed further towards the 6th.
At the 6th, we got the same result and no water. We had no option unless proceeding forward. This time the trail was laid along the margin/ perimeter of a tea plantation at the opposite side of the range we started our journey that day.
Though our aim was to explore the whole 9 peaks, we had to re-consider the same with the limited time available, when we reached the 5th peak. Since we were not armed with suitable light sources, it was impossible to return through the thick forest patches in the night.
We had no water and still moved forward with the hope of water source. Since we had water purification tablets, even a little source could fulfill our requirement. After the 5th peak we observed some signs of civilization in the base of the valley. There were some shelters with a Kovil. That was a good sign indeed. With the lost confidence on our guide; we decided to give-up the exploration for the day. We climbed down searching for water.
When we climb down to the village, we could observe a tiny waterfall in the other bank of the deep valley. At the first sight we realized that she would break all the records if she gained a bit more in volume. Even in such a drought, she was smiling with the evening sun. That little beauty was known as “Nilini Fall” & left a little delectation to the disappointed hearts.
We had climbed down to the opposite side of the range. Our guide was also confused on directions & he was busy in verifying the same with Tamil villagers. With a trail of 5km showed by villagers, we climbed down to a bus driven road. It was the main road from Badulla to Spring-valley. When we were waiting for a bus, we were given a lift by a truck of the Telicom project. Afterwards having walking another kilometer more, we reached Badulla-Passara main road and got in to a bus for Passara. It was almost 9.00pm when we reached our hostel. We had walked nearly 13 km in a hard Terrain while the total journey was 30 km. for the day.
To see what happened the following day: Read the report - Achievement of the Hang on target at Namunukula