North Cove Cabana II

MapCrew: 11

Transportation: Personal Vehicles (Kandy – Castlereigh), Personal Vehicle and a Hired Van (Castlereigh – Northcove cabanas)

Duration: Two days

 

 

It was a cold weekend in December, 11 of us started the journey from Kandy heading to North Cove Cabana for the second time, which was planned couple of months back. (Read more about our first visit)

We started the drive from Kandy around 8.45 am and decided to stop for the groceries at Gampola. Drizzling which started early in the morning was almost stopped at that time and we spent one and half hours selecting groceries for just three meals! We were going by three personal vehicles, two Cars and a good old jeep. So we loaded all our backpacks to the jeep and packed the groceries in to cars.

We used Peradeniya – Gampola – Nawalapitiya – Ginigathhena – Hatton route to reach Castlereigh area. The road is too bendy and we kept our speed low as the weather conditions were not too favorable for such a road. Few of my friends wanted to purchase jerseys, so one car and the jeep took a break in Hatton. The other car was already at Castlereigh at that time. 😛
It took only around 30 minutes do the jersey shopping and we were passing Dickoya when we got a call from the friends who were at castlereigh. Since it was a poya day they were unable to find a place to order our lunch. So eight of the team decided it is better to go back to Hatton for the lunch. Three, including me were not hungry at that time and thought of roaming around while others have lunch. There is an old Chapel overlooking beautiful castlereigh reservoir and it was surrounded by a graveyard. It looked mysterious and elegant at the same time. Me and other two friends took sometime walking around the chapel and the grave yard for the perfect spots to capture a better view of the reservoir.
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It took longer than expected for the team to travel back to hatton as well as to have the lunch. Finally it was around 4.30 pm when they reached the place for our cars to be parked and shift to the hired van. All backpacks and groceries were shifted to the jeep and nine of the team seated in the hired van. Two of us drove the jeep loaded with Food!

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The van stopped at Norwood Fuel station to top up and started the climb. The road has extreme bends and narrow sections, but it is not too bad in condition. Therefore, even a car with good ground clearance would easily take you to North Cove Cabanas. Since we started the drive from castlereigh later than expected time, it was dusk when we reached the “Loinorn” tea estate. There was another 45 minutes drive as we were ascending on the 1st gear. The sun hid behind adjacent mountains as we reached the Cabanas and one of the caretakers was there with a torch to welcome and give us a hand to unload the groceries.

It was cold already and the surrounding tea plantation was covered in mist. The waterfall provided a mystique background music to our chatter. We took our backpacks to the cabanas and settled in, when the caretaker announced the most important news of the day!
They have hot water…..
It took around 1 hour for eleven of us to take showers using two bathrooms and a hot meal was waiting for us in the cottage kitchen. We ate too much appreciating the culinary skills of the caretakers. Then started the roasting sessions and we had much to talk as we met after long “trip-less” months.  It was after midnight when we went to sleep on the comfy beds. There were three triple bed cabana and one Four bed cabana, which was more than adequate for our group.

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It was around 8 am when we woke up and a steaming hot tea was waiting for us. We had more to talk before the breakfast and had plenty of time to walk around and admire the surrounding. Sun glanced upon us for few hours and again hid behind the thick cloud cover. We took a walk down the tea plantation to take a look at the waterfall from another angle. The Cabana looked as a part of the environment, vines and bushes covered most of the walls and a wooden bridge with a roof connected the two sides of the waterfall. There was a furry friendly dog at the Cabana and he won the attention of us all.

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Soon a delicious lunch was ready and there was Papaya and Yogurt for dessert. The lunch was heavy and two of my friends decided to take a dip in the ice cold water to balance it out. Caretakers directed us to the man made pond above the main waterfall for safety. Some time later another few decided to join them and others (including my self) had our fun, laughing at them who were shivering in that cold water pond.

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The van was there when my friends decided to come out of the pond. Caretakers made us a hot ginger tea and we thanked them before departing the comfy cabanas. We had more to admire about the surrounding when going back, as it was dark and we didn’t see much when traveling up. Every hill top is covered by lush green tea bushes and it was mesmerizing. We arrived at castlereigh around 5.30 pm and got back in to the vehicles that we came from Kandy. The caretakers at North cove had packed us some sandwiches and we had it before starting the drive back to Kandy. We drove really slow as the drizzle over the darkness blurred the bendy road. It was around 9pm when we reached Peradeniya and departed with hopes for another adventure in near future.

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