A Day Trip to Knuckles Five Peaks
I wouldn’t call myself a usual hiker or even fit enough to do it. But I wanted to try because I've always loved nature and long walks, I decided to give hiking a shot with Rapid Adventures, and I'm so glad I did it!
It was a truly spectacular day for me. Still, I am eager to talk about that experience. If I had a chance to know earlier that hiking is more amusing, I would have tried this earlier.
It was last weekend. The crew planned to leave around 1:00 am from Colombo fort. So, I had to wake up at midnight. Otherwise, they informed us that it would be difficult to reach all 5 peaks by evening. Waking up in the middle of the night felt a bit awkward, but the euphoric feeling of the event had already kept me awake. We took the bus from Miriswatta junction and started our journey there. I tried to break the ice by talking to the people next to me about the weather. Along the way, we met new faces and we talked and got to know each other.
By 8:00 we were able to reach Thangappuwa village. As it was a little late, we were advised to get our breakfast quickly and get ready for the hike. The guides briefed us on the rest of the event and what we needed to know. And also, they told us that we were lucky because it was a sunny day. Otherwise we wouldn't have seen Knuckles Peaks.
Afterwards, we began hiking. The first part of the walk was really tough as it was through the tea plantation. Moreover, the sun was shining brighter than we thought. Therefore, it was boiling hot. Sweat was dripping down my face. I felt like I'm less fit than I thought, but I didn't want to give up on this at the initial step. I slowly started climbing the hill with all my strength. Finally, the edge of the tea estate was visible.
After that, we stepped into the knuckles forest reserve. The cold environment with trees helped to wipe away our fatigue. The trekking route was full of natural beauty and gifts such as many leats, various types of plants, birds, and animals. We walked slowly, cherishing whatever we saw along the way and remembering the special landmarks along the way. After one and half hour walk, we reached the viewpoint of the knuckles. It was a flatland gal thalaawa. From there we could see all 5 peaks of Knuckles. As it was a sunny day, the leeches didn't bother us much.
Every time I would ascend the next hill and be met with a new glimpse, the magnificence of the surroundings would literally steal my breath away. I paused and took photographs of the mind-taking views I've never seen before. I wished I could have taken pictures of the vistas with my eyes because within a second the wonderful views disappeared into the mist.
Hunger was unbearable so we had our lunch on the way to the 2nd peak of Knuckles. Then we started to walk again. Even though I said I went on foot, I had to crawl and creep under shrubs in many places to reach the end. From the 2nd peak, which was the highest peak in Knuckles, we could see the other peaks as well. The scenery was so alluring. I thought it would be better if the safety, comfort, joy and emotional detachment experienced at the top of the hill could be achieved in other places as well.
We took a short break there and climbed the 3rd peak as per the group's request before turning back. Rapid adventure crew wanted to make this event pleasant for each and every one of the team. So, they decided to let us go to the 3rd peak and take the risk of getting down the mountain at night. A few people in the group went over the 3rd top and I'm delighted to say I was one of them. When we looked along the road we came from, there were too many grasses and leeches. It might be because fewer people are going there. We enjoyed the landscape from the mountain's summit.
After taking photographs we started to get down from the top. Time did not allow us to go to the rest of the hill. I felt a little sad about it because to get to the other peaks I have to come back and go through the difficult part of the hike again. Nevertheless, I was quite proud of myself for making it to the third peak. We could go down faster than we went up. It felt a little easier, but my legs started out to shake from the difficulty of walking. From that point, one of the team members took care of me and helped me down the slope. On the way back I saw that they were treating the other members as well. No one was neglected. Each and every one of the rapid adventure crew was very supportive and friendly. I was happy to say that even though they knew us that morning, the rest of the team helped a lot and had a great time with all of us.
It was possible to descend half of the mountain before getting dark and the rest of the mountain got down with the help of the torchlight. Mist with cold wind and darkness gave us a ghostly impression. I felt dehydrated as the water bottle, we had was empty. I had to wait until we met the leat (diya paara).
On the way down the hill, I felt very tired and felt like I didn't have enough strength to go forward. Also, I had terrible blisters from the shoe cutting my foot. It was excruciatingly painful. Going down in the dark, I tripped and fell in two or three places. However, I managed to descend the mountain with the aid of others.
I won't lie; it was at times challenging, but overall, it was a wonderful, adventurous experience. I'll always remember that as a significant life experience. Even now, the euphoria was still present. The pleasant memories and enduring friendships will remain, while the blisters and pain will heal and soon be forgotten. Now I know that everybody who likes having adventures should try Knuckles.
Manohari GunathungaTravel Blogger
Hello! I’m Manohari writing about my travels in Sri Lanka with Rapid Adventures. A wanderer who loves to discover hidden gems on our ravishing island. Traveling is one of my hobbies, and I currently work as a Junior Executive for a Sri Lankan life insurance company. Welcome to share my experience. Hiking, travelling, camping - anyone can do it.