Day -13 - 30-Dec-2015  (I continue From Here )

When Khairul from Malaysia posted on Couchsurfing website that he was planning on trekking the second highest peak of Sri Lanka - Kirigalpoththa (2,388 m; 7,385 ft) and that he was looking for company, I could not resist this invitation. I have been in touch with Khairul for a month now but I only met him the previous day at the Hill Safari Eco lodge. It was his planning all the way through, I just joined in and I am so glad I did. 

We left the lodge by 6:30 AM after breakfast. Sunny and Gamini have packed us 4 thick spicy rice rotis and two boiled eggs for lunch. We go to the Horton Plains and pay a entry fee of Lrs 2800. I don’t get any discount here for representing SAARC country. We spot a few Sambar deers on the way. Some are so friendly that they allow you to touch them. 

At the visitor center, we try to find Somapal who is supposed to be our guide or at least so were we told at the lodge who have booked us a guide. Apparently nobody knows who Somapal is or where he might be. We decide to go to this place where the guides sleep. On our way we meet Somapal walking towards us. He is not a guide but an officer at visitor center. He tells us that nobody had called him from the lodge. Anyways, he helps us find a guide named Kumar. 

We start our trek at around 7:00 AM. Kumar is really fast. He leads the way by cutting the grass and branches that obstruct the path. I realize that this is a road less taken. There is absolutely no one on this trail. Everyone wants to do the much famous World’s end Trek. The views here are spectacular as expected.

A bear monkey is probably following us as I can hear it jump from one branch to another following the trail. But I am unable to spot it. Almost close to the peak, we spot fresh Leopard footprints. This scares me. Kumar who speaks Tamil ensures me that there is nothing to worry about and that the leopard will not harm us. Well, one wishes so!

The trek is very raw and it gives us a feeling of actually exploring something. At some places we pass marshlands, plains and then enter the forests and then climb a rock. It is very interesting. Leopard footprints are seen until very close to the summit. I am still looking around and pray not to spot one.

We reach the summit in 3 hours (after 7km trek). The summit is covered with mist and with several wild flowers. It’s beautiful up here. There are several wild flowers on the summit. Unfortunately we don’t get a view of the surrounding but the feeling of being in the clouds dawn us. On the summit is a rock with some ancient scripture carved on it. Some traveller from a long time ago has left a note in his now extinct language. 

Well, Khairul has a surprise for us. He pulls out a birthday cake and candles reading 36. It’s his birthday. He has a pact that on his birthday he climbs th highest peak in different countries. Since the highest peak of Sri Lanka, Pidurutalagala can be reached by car and has a TV tower on the summit, he chose the second highest. I think that’s a very impressive and interesting pact to make. We cut the cake and wish him. I share my lunch with Kumar and we relax there for a while. This place is so untouched by humans that it really makes me feel in the wilderness. 

We slowly make our way back. I unwillingly bid this incredible place a farewell. Like that traveller from an ancient time, I leave my note here in my blog about this incredible journey I have made to the second highest peak of Sri Lanka.

Continued Here