Adventure Tour in Sri Lanka, Sinharaja
This is a guest post sent to seerendipity tours (the organizers of the Sinharaja adventure tour).
The adventure tour to explore Sinharaja rainforest was one of the most exciting activity we undertook during our 14 days Sri Lanka Road trip. We planned the visit Sinharaja well in advance and experience its rich bio-diversity. Basically, our adventure tour in Sri Lanka included many places such as Sinharaja, Kutilgala, Adam’s peak, Uudawalawe, Marissa, Galle and Bentota. Sinharaja exploration tour was an important part of our Sri Lanka tour and beach holiday package and we were considering it as we were planning our trip at home.
Sinharaja forest reserve in Sri Lanka is a paradise for its depth endemic fauna and flora. Birds both resident and migratory flock the canopy especially between December and April. So I thought of exploring Sinharaja during my holiday in Sri Lanka. We got ready with map-out trails for biking and kayaking around the Sinharaja. Accommodation, bike, kayak, food items were arranged by Seerendipity tours.
There is at least a 4 hours trek in the Singaraja rainforest during most the adventure tours. Our nature expert guides you through the forest while giving you insight into fascinating fauna and flora of the forest.
Weddagala was our research station where terrain, duration, landslides and climatic conditions were discussed. Next morning with higher levels of water due to the persistent rain overnight, we decided to commence our river descent. The water was awfully cold although the sun was shining. The tree canopy did its very best not to send down the rays, even in the middle of the river. However, we did not need sunlight to warm up as rapid after rapid had to be negotiated with a strong current.
Skill and luck were required to what we named as the Sinharaja falls, an elbow bend with a 15-18 foot drop. One has time to admire the variety of colourful birds, the contour of trees vines that spread themselves across the river. At times the river gets shallow and sandy where one gets time for a leisurely bath and snack on a sandy beach. Scattered villages and their inhabitants cross the river on a rope or log bridges that require a lot of luck and acrobatic skills. we halted at one such point and had some wonderful boiled jackfruit with firework chillies and fresh today. It was so refreshingly delicious I’m planning a come-back sometime soon, but had to depart, as there was the great unknown ahead!
The river gets narrow and deep where even a 15-foot bamboo cannot reach the bottom. At times one has to negotiate across the swampy mass of islands steering across the correct channel to avoid the difficulty of back padding. Sometimes the jungle in the midst of the river makes kayaking an experience. The river journey ends ironically with civilization or a bridge to be exact. To continue hereon would require a death wish, as there’s a 50-60 foot drop that ends in a huge earth slip. Getting back to a decent roadway takes around 3 hours of difficult technical driving that’s best in a good 4WD vehicle. This complete, it was time for mountain biking. Complete with our backpacks but sans any protection of a helmet and so on, we were heading for perfect trail.
Pathways and Roads are ideal for biking as muddy, rocky, steep climbs and endless descends are the perfect ingredients for mountain biking. A decent fitness level is also required if you were to negotiate these parts. Portage across streams and a hop across a river is also required hence a lightweight bike on your shoulder is a blessing compared to a steel dinosaur that may take man and machine into the waiting waters. we were fortunate to witness a sambhur deer, hare, porcupine and vividly colourful birds crossing my path.
The brakes of my bike was a cause for concern as the brake rubber was finding it difficult to grip the muddy rims, especially during descent. we camped one night beside a stream on a grass patch with jungle surrounding me. Wild boars came very close during the night to keep me company. The morning alarm was a symphony of the bird call. One simply can not sleep through the racket they make, even to someone like me been told that I slept with an avalanche outside! A morning swim before making breakfast was most refreshing before re-packing and riding.
Finally, we came to the roadway, as planned. It had been a very successful, well invested 4 days. Both these trails would be well accepted by both local and foreign tourists who look for some more than the ordinary.