September 20, 2012

Hike to Uthuwankanda and Bathalegala- part 2

Continuing from Hike to Uthuwankanda and Bathalegala- part 1

Then we came back to Mawanella, had our lunch and luckily after getting some directions we could catch the bus to Bathalegala junction when it was just about to leave, there was only one bus for few hours in that route otherwise we had to get off at Gevilipitiya and travel 4km to Bathalegala junction which we had to do after returning. From Bathalegala junction there was 2.5km to the trail head, it was a small concrete paved way and starting from the junction it was one continuous climb.

The concrete paved way
A glimpse at our destination

September 14, 2012

Hike to Uthuwankanda and Bathalegala- part 1

After the off-season journey to Sri Pada this is our next hike, climbing Uthuwankanda and Bathalegala (aka Bible Rock).

Our first destination, Uthuwankanda; this is famous for a hide-out used by a local hero named Deekirikevage Saradiel better known as Utuwankande Sura Saradiel who fought bravely against British colonialism. Actually our destination was the Saradiel Rock located in Uthuwankanda area.

So it was 7 in the morning when we got off the bus at Mawanella with a crew of three, had our breakfast and hired a three wheeler to Uthuwankanda junction (1.5km from Mawanella), turned right at the junction to Uthuwam Mawatha. It is possible to travel in a vehicle along this road to get closer to the destination but since we needed to see the surroundings we started our journey on foot from the junction, after about 1km turned left to a concrete paved way which was heading toward Saradiel Gala and about 500m ahead we found the trail head.

The trail was through a small rubber estate and from there it was a continuous climb to the peak, not too hard but not too easy either. Within 45 minutes we could reach an open area where the peak was located in a side but the moment we saw it what was on our minds was how the hell are we going to climb this. It was just like a cuboid with a stone  fist carved on the top(about 10m in height, 12m long and 5m wide). This part of the hike was really challenging. Three of us spent some time in the open area enjoying the scenery. It was quite windy but had some fine weather. At first climbing the peak was not in our minds since it seemed quite impossible but that's when another crew of three arrived one being a local guy. He showed us the way to climb the peak and with the help of him we could get to the top. It was  a pure 90 degree climb and when we stood on the top there are no words to express the thrilling experience we just witnessed.

A glance at our destination..