17 October 2012

From Misty Monsters to Off-road Races - Part 3

Contd. from - From Misty Monsters to Off-road Races - Part 2

It's been ages since I last updated about our trip to Wasgamuwa in June 14, 2011, so thought of wrapping up the story with this post.

After our heart-racing adventure at Pitawala Pathana we headed to the place where we were supposed to pick up our lunch. It was past 1pm so naturally we were tired and starving too, since the breakfast and snacks have disappeared long ago. But to our dismay by the time we go there, the place was closed and our lunch packs have already been sold off! So when the time was little past noon our bus took off once again combing through the countryside backdrops looking for a good eatery by the roadside.

But we only found one after 1.30pm, a place tucked away in a rural town. It wasn't anything sophisticated, a small space with a few tables and chairs, barely suffice to fit in our starving crew. Since it was past the eatery's usual lunch time, they said it'd take about half an hour to ready our meals. And directed us to a nearby stream, flowing under a bridge we just passed, to get a cool dip before the lunch.

* The pics were taken from my old mobile cam, CTRL + Click on them to zoom in.

The view from under the bridge

 We got off the bus and strolled along the road until we reached the bridge. A foot path next to it led us down to the stream below. It was a beautiful stream meandering its way wrapping around smooth rocky terrain. The guys went on further up and started their own water games, making a big ruckus and splashing water in all directions. We girls simply relaxed right beneath the bridge on a smooth flat rock and freshened up with the chilled water. After chatting heartily and a round of snaps we started collecting smooth pebbles. We saw time to time the village folks gathering around the stream to wash clothes or bathe.

A village folk washing clothes

After getting back to the countryside eatery we were starving once more, but was soon drawn by the tempting aroma of food coming from the cinder shaded kitchen. We savored the delicious rice and curry still puffing steam off the plate. And it was complemented with sweet yogurt for dessert. After the hearty meal we got back into the bus which was parked near a lush paddyfield.

Paddy field by the roadside

And this time our bus headed towards the much desired destination - The Wasgamuwa National Park! And so let me fast forward the time to 4.30pm. We reached the place a couple of kilometers away from the park and boarded two safari cabs. After zooming past a rural hamlet we finally arrived at the park's entrance.

Our safari ride was nearly two hours long, and ended right about the park's closing time. We were first greeted by a pack of spotted deer and later we spotted a variety of birds including peacocks, peahens, cormorants, egrets and even eagles (or hawks). We also encountered mysterious sightings like crop circles and twisted grass, and got to know they were created by foraging elephants who twirled the grass to pull them out.

Well.. if I go on about it, I'll need another post or two to finish so now I'll let the photos do the talking along with their captions.

 Abundance of water

 Mesmerizing skies

Grazing wild buffaloes

Serene backdrops

 Solitary giant

Sturdy guards of a herd

Golden savannah

Track through the jungle


And that winds up the story of our Wasgamuwa trip. By the way if you wondered what was this title going on about some off-road races, well it was actually the safari ride itself. Cause there were times we felt like we were flying instead of driving through the jungle, as the cab went up and down speedily zooming past the tricky terrains and winding tracks. So this made most of my pics to come out with motion blur, and only a handful turned out clear.

There were couple of times we felt shivers down the spine. One was when we came face to face with a solitary elephant and our guide was explaining us to be very very quiet in their presence when observing. But that advice didn't get through to the four year old twin girls of my colleague who was also with us. And one little girl went on in a loud voice, "ammi... aliyaaaa... aliyaaaaa" (mom eleeeephant, eleephaaaant!) and the other too chorused with her, but was soon muffled by their terrified mother. We were lucky since the elephant gave only a glare and continued grazing.

The second time was when we came face to face with a herd of female elephants who were guarding one or two young elephants. The young were almost covered in tall grass and we were only a few meters away from them. The guide told us to be motionless and silent and got off the cab to remind the other cab. Just then one elephant guard became restless and blew a big puff of dust into the air and trumpeted, as if to warn us to retreat. We were totally frozen, as we expected one of them to come charging at us any moment. But all they did was give a good glare and leave the site in a hurry. It was a sight to behold seeing all the adult elephants surrounding the little ones and rushing further into the jungle.

We left the park past 6.30pm and I think I got back home past 1am! We made tons of memories and had loads of fun, but the most unforgettable are those encounters with nature, which I'm sure can be relived even after decades have passed.


See the rest of the pics of our Wasgamuwa safari over here.

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