A mamoth task ahead, and we only had 3 hours of sleep….
This article is a continuation of Unexpected Journey to Summit of Piduruthalagala via Mandaramnuwara Part 1. If you haven’t read that, go through it first !
The Second Day
With first rays of sunlight, we started to eat our breakfast and embark on the journey ahead.
“Kodigahana Mountain Summit”
This mountain is famous among village boys, more often they trek there to chill out. The summit is surrounded with a 360-degree view of the surrounding area. The view simply makes you happy. The hardships that I felt from village to here was totally worth it. Especially forgetting to fill our water bottles before the second day begin. It was long 3 hours of walking and climbing without drinking any water. Gladly Kasun had a pomegranate to water our mouths.
Special Note: Up to Kodigahana Mountain Summit from Manadaramnuwara is suitable for one day hike (got to start early) as well as 2-day camping hike. But from there onwards, if you are planning to reach Piduruthalagala summit, please make sure that you have permission from Ministry of Defense and have informed the Piduruthalagala army Camp (else they have the power to charge you for trespassing into a high-security zone).
This Ella is situated deep within the jungle and many villagers don’t know how to get there. Only a few has the knowledge about the existence of this. This gem that is hidden from human eye reminded me the “Violet by the mossy stone” poem by Shakespeare.
First Peak of Piduruthalagala Range
After taking our time at that waterfall we started the ultimate test of our endurance. With big packs on our back, we started climbing an almost 90-degree (more of 70 to 80) path towards the top. The adrenaline rush, existing feeling and also fear of falling kept us alive. The risk was real, and we only had small trees to grab on to. Even that was risky, I double checked to make sure the roots had enough strength to carry my weight.
The view from the first peak is one of a kind. I was staring at “Piduruthalagala Potato Farm” which was parallel to the peak I was on.
Lunu Kola Pathana (At least that’s what they call it)
Next, we arrived at a place which seemed to look like a small scaled replica of Horton Plains. The path to Lunu Kola Pathana was easy as walking on the moon on a fresh day, but our water cans were empty and our food stock was already in our bellies and it was almost 2 pm and we were tired sleepy and hungry. So, that easy walk felt like the hardest path on earth and I was saying to myself “baby steps Vinura, don’t look up just take one step then next step”. It was a mind game! And the path started to descend which only reminded me if there is a descend, ascend is a must before you reach Piduruthalagala summit and you got to walk the meters that you are descending right now.
With all of my heart, and mostly with the strength of my mind (it was same for Kasun I guess but the villager …..well he was solid as a rock and charging in front making us run after him) I arrived at heaven which had water and onion leaves (not the same onion leaves we buy in supermarkets). And I literally ate fresh onion leaves and drank water. (We did not plan lunch for the second day!!!)
So yeah, we rested for like half an hour before starting the final ascent.
Eating FRESH BEE Honey for Lunch!!!
Well as I mentioned earlier we did not plan for the lunch on the second day. So, our energy was drained and we felt like zombies. The villager was more resourceful on the other hand. He found a bee hive and started working on it asap.
Steps to get honey from beehive,
1. Make a Fire using leaves so that it will create a lot of smoke.
2. Use the smoke to drive the bees away from the hive.
3. Ignore the bees that try to sting you.
4. Quickly pluck the bee hive.
5. Get the hell out of there!!!
Well then, we ate honey with bee eggs (I had no choice, I was hungry and tired), and to my surprise it was good and I felt energetic and alive, Sore legs felt like new and I was ready.
Reaching Piduruthalgala Summit.
After that whole new experience, with the help of GPS tracker, we found our way to the Summit, even the villager had forgotten the path since he hasn’t come to the summit since it’s a restricted area. We arrived near the fence of Piduruthalgala Camp and soon Military personnel saw us and asked us to come from the front gate and explain ourselves. Then after talking to senior officer we were told to eat and freshen our bellies. Also, he told that please make sure to inform them prior if we are coming on the same route again.
(Taking photos of the tower is prohibited sadly :/)
Reaching the summit felt like dream, it was a strange feeling, when I look back, the new experiences from guarding at night to eating bees honey for lunch and the friendships I made was totally worth the hardships that I overcame.
Special Note: Also Please don’t pollute this untouched beauty by throwing polyethene or any other artificial substance.