Since beloved seniors from UCSC had made it a point to make it no longer possible go to Hanthana for our first year batch trip and come alive with all limbs intact and safe, our first year batch trip was to Haagala Mountain in Belihul Oya inside Sabaragamuwa University. Almost all of the batch went on the trip except for the people who were in the University Tennis Team, who had Inter University Tennis matches on the same day at University of Moratuwa, and some others who were sick and those who always have silly reasons to not to come on trips or anything not regarding themselves or studies.
The hike was some what not easy for everyone. Specially those who hadn't done anything but sit and study all their life. But the trip as a whole was fun and very well organized. Everyone got their breakfast, Lunch and Dinner just on time ( Which is the main thing about organizing!) lol!
And we got a team of guides from Sabaragamuwa University, who were very nice and helpful.
The hike was through, mainly three types of vegetations the different of witch was very distinct.
The first part was through a foliage cover as the photo below. Evergreen trees with huge creepers hanging from them. The undergrowth was very little.
The second part was through a patch of Pine forest. Lots of dry Pine needles were strewn everywhere which occasionally made hikers stumble and go in all fours!
Then comes the part with very few trees and Savannah like grass. The start of this part was not that hard to climb but eventually the slope got almost around 750 you just had to forget you are a Homo sapiens sapiens and go to the locomotion method of our early ancestors!
You can see the degree of slope from theses two photos.
We, about 20 of us, all started together but few of us being not slow walkers just got ahead and went on a bit faster pace than the rest. The trick of the hike, to be less tired, was to keep your rhythm and not make sudden stops unless you are tired and need a drink of water. To maintain which we had to go off the road. Being on a row and climbing step- hold- step - hold is not that good for your health!
This picture was taken when we were half way up, so we thought.
Pictures on the way up
A lot more left ! When you go near that tree far far away you see a distance as same as the amount we hiked!
When you climb to the top of one peak you can see another peak next to it, which you can climb. When you go to that you can see another,... and so on. Some of the guys and a girl climbed the second peak.We were quite tired when we reached the top of the first peak so we stayed about half an hour their and started our descend.
The photo below is one of the guys on the second peak taken from the first .
The four hikers at the top.
(From left to right: Me, Hasitha, Gayath, Muditha)
View from the top
Lots of people are still coming up in small groups.
The moon was already up when we were descending.
On the way down.
We couldn't capture the full sun set but only the beginning of the sun setting. We were already inside the pine forest when it really got dark.
On the way down the four of us helped other friends who had only climbed half way and had stopped, to get down.As I said before the trick of the hike was not to stop! It was already dark and around 8 O clock when we reached the buses at the foot of the hill. We had a wash and started our journey back. On the way we stopped and had our dinner which was pre ordered and all ready when we reached the place. We reached university around 4 am the next day(Sunday), so I had to miss my beach run which was supposed to start at 6 am. After a tiring trip just 2 hours of sleep is not enough at all!
The above photos were taken by me from Muditha's camera. :) Thank you!
The trip was tiring but it definitely was a hell lot of fun!
I think anyone can go hiking there, according to this article.
If you want to see more photos, visit my friend's blog.
or some of the albums
Thank you everyone for organizing such and awesome batch trip !