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Experience the majestic of Kalugala Geradi Ella

Similar to the previous event, it was a Saturday early morning. I had a pretty hard time thinking of an adventure after a tough week. Even in the morning, I had the impression that I needed more sleep rather than taking a hike.

To be honest, I barely managed to get out of my bed that morning to get ready for the Gerandi Ella expedition.

Around one o'clock in the morning, we got on the bus at Seeduwa. There were only the Rapid Crew members there at that moment. Still more individuals remained to get onto the bus. After chatting with them intermittently, I fell asleep on the bus because I was sleepy, and it was comfortable enough for sleeping. I had a good night's sleep and a fresh beginning because we had to travel for more than three hours. That enabled me to get rid of my fatigue.

By 5.30 am, we were able to arrive at Katugastota and collect the abseiling equipment. Later, around 7.30 am, we reached our destination after travelling along a winding route from Kalugala to Gerandigala.

In that village, a home-hosted our breakfast. When compared to the knuckles event, there were fewer facilities, yet their hospitality must be appreciated.

Our excursion began once we had finished our breakfast. There were green sights and a very cool environment. The first part of the road was straightforward, passing through the village. So, we were able to witness some of their crops on both sides of the road. The moist atmosphere was accommodating for leeches, but we didn’t get bothered by leeches as the road was clear. Yet, we had taken care when walking through the grassy areas because nobody wanted to get bitten by a leech at the beginning point.

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Whilst going away from the village, it was quite challenging as the slope was steep; we had to rely on each other and the branches and tree roots for support.

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Then we stepped onto the plateau in the following section. Giant mountains formed a dyke around us. Some villagers came there to feed their buffalo. In front of us, the Gerandigala peak was stunningly apparent. There, we took our group photograph before starting to climb once again.

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In order to reach the top, everyone stooped and crawled through the rocks. We were surrounded by grass that was taller than us, and that burning itch if I accidentally touch them. Although the distance was shorter than the "Knuckles five peaks challenge," there were some critical points that I found extremely impossible to get through on my own.

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It was hard to climb the swiftly rising steep slope. But whenever we glanced around, the scenery offers breathtaking views of mountains, valleys, and rivers. The sound of the water flowing was musical. The cocktail of hiking and nature there was a cure for clearing the mind of the superfluous and enabling us to concentrate on the wider picture.

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Finally, we reached the event's most arduous phase. Because of this, the majority of my friends who were thinking of attending this event changed their minds. Even though I arrived, I felt a bit hesitant about continuing beyond this point as I was afraid of dangling on a rope in a hazardous area.

At noon, we arrived there, and while heading there, we noticed some guys returning from the hill. Since we had to wait for them to descend, we entertained ourselves at the base of the waterfall. Trees provided shade over that area, and the level of water there was low. Since we could fill our water bottles by going close to the stream. It was a great place to be in nature. We waited there and got a bit of rest while enjoying ourselves and taking photographs. Miraculous sight created by flying dragonflies over water-spattered rocks. However, when I attempted to take a picture of them, they were gone in a flash.

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Still, just half of the mountain remained for us to climb, we didn't have much time to spend there. So, we hurriedly left that place. At that moment, the sun was harshly burning us with its sudden brightness. The space there only allowed moving one at a time, so I must wait till it was my turn. Aside from the members of the rapid adventure team, two people from the forest department came to assist us. All of them prioritized our safety. They brought a climbing rope, harness, carabiners, a belay device, and helmets for us to support while climbing over this rock. They initially prepared me by using these to ensure that if the rope slipped from my grasp, I would not fall and guided me to step up.

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Even though it was harder than I expected, I gained confidence by knowing I didn't fall and was capable of reaching the top. Despite the small height, it marked a crucial junction that we needed to cross.

There was a narrow space to switch over each other. From there onwards we had to walk for around an hour. When moving forward from there the sheer upward. We seemed to be standing on a cliff as we looked behind us. The landscapes were mind-blowing and magnificent. It was realized that I was higher up than I had imagined. I was lucky enough to spectator it that I had never experienced before. From there on, we could see the entire village. The deep blue of the sky inspired us whilst the vivid colours of the lawn, tiny plants and flowers overwhelmed our sensations. Even though the sun was directly roasting us, the cold wind was able to lift our spirits.

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When we eventually mounted the hill, we were able to see the guys who had gone before us sitting near the waterfall. From the road we came from, the vicinity of the waterfall resembled to be grassland, but on the opposite side, there were lots of enormous trees.

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I took off my shoes and ran close to the waterfall so that my feet could feel the cold water. Where the water fell downwards looked like an infinite pool. I'm at a loss for words to explain how amazing it was. We had no trouble moving around on the rocks because the water was at a low level. There was where we had our lunch. The little birds serenaded us, and the fresh air was more energizing than coffee ever could be.

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After had our lunch we went up along the stream. Although the water was ice cold, we jumped into the water to refresh ourselves. When we spent time in nature, all of our perceptions were stimulated. We had a great time there. Regrettably, it seemed to me that the time was flying by.

As the sky began to get gloomy and it seemed to be raining, we had no way of pleasuring ourselves there for very long. Unfortunately, we had to go back at that time. Otherwise, we had cautioned that the mist would prevent us from coming off. Even then the tiny raindrops were falling signalling that it was time for us to head back. Apart from the one spot on the cliff, we arrived more quickly than we went up. Nevertheless, we were once more stuck at the turning point. When we came down through the rock, we got an abseiling experience. Therefore, it wasn't as challenging as climbing and we could easily land.

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After getting a couple of individuals down, we started to move forward because we could see the mist starting to blur the scenery. As we were getting down, drizzle and thick fog terribly disturbed us. Although I already said that I walked down, almost everyone kept falling and tripping due to the muddy path that the rain had created.

Anyway, we managed to come to the plateau where we took the photograph this morning. We were informed to wait there until others came. Waiting there in the heavy rain with thunder and lightning made us scarier. But the view there was amazing with the sunset. I felt extremely cold and was about to freeze because I didn't have a raincoat with me. With the rainfall leeches also came out and began to trouble us more.

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However, we managed to come down the mountain at approximately 8:00 p.m. and immediately had to start the mission of removing leeches. No one was able to survive without being bitten by leeches.

I had quite a tough day than expected. I'm glad I was able to have such an incredible experience, even though I ended up getting soaked in the rain and bitten by leeches. Though the leech bites remain itchy, I absolutely delight in sharing that experience. I'd definitely spend a couple of nights there to breathe in the mountain air and watch the majestic landscape.

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Going outside can assist you in acquiring some peace and clarity. Gaining the advantages of what nature has to offer can be done via hiking. Hiking allows us to relax and unwind. Thus, accept the risk instead of losing it. You will realize that you are smarter than you believe.

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Manohari Gunathunga

Travel 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.

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