Dambatenne is the most famous tea estate since bought by Sir Thomas Lipton in 1890. This village has a colonial bungalow where Sir Thomas Lipton lived during his visits in late 19th. and early 20th. century. A very good but private viewpoint is a white summerhut in the garden. From there you can see all Dambatenne road to Pitaratmalie and Thotulagalla but also the southwestern plains of Sri Lanka. They have a beautiful garden with old trees as you can find them in botanical gardens only. Only problem, photographers need a special permission from the main office in Colombo. Contact: Mr. G. D. V. Perera, Lankem Tea Director, Tel. Colombo office: 011-2381508 or 011-5388388. Our cache waterfall is 300 m under this bungalow.
Short distance walk:
Walkers need some good condition cause you have to surmount altitudes of some hundred meters. Shortest walking distance is from the managers bungalow road (220 m behind 8-km-post Dambatenne Road). Waypoints A1-A2. Turn right and walk next 250+130 m downstairs. Thereafter follow the zickzack road 800 m downwards. Last 400 m follow the river bed right hand.
Long distance walk:
It was our goal, to follow the lowest outskirts of the tea estates of Thotulagala, Pitaratmalie and Dambatenne. We started from Dambatenne Road km-post-3, climbed down to Eaglerocks, Thotulagalla waterfalls and Dambatenne 11 B. While walking down the last row of bushes we came closer and closer to Lipton Seat and it´s giant cliff wall. We passed some farms, vegetable gardens, streams, bridges and nature trails.
We had a short rest - 300 m behind the Thotulagala waterfalls - at a lonesome farm house in Pitaratmalie Gama. The family was little bit strange but friendly and welcoming. I guess they did not have much guests there. They had less drinking water only but gave us some (and got this photo from us). In February 2011 there were no more people in this house since the father died after a deadly accident.
Always following the tea bushes we passed a stream and vegetable gardens with some simple houses. There were some friendly farmers shaking arms to show us the right way. Our walking sticks were a good help to jump over the little river. Watch out for blood sucking leeches! We took the estate road to the right. After 400 m came a car turn and some very simple houses made by mud, stones and thatched roofs. Another 200 m took us to a vertical forest line. A boundry between Pitaratmalie and Dambatenne tea estates. You can pass by two ways. 75 m upstairs are steps passing a cosy temple area with a big Banyan tree. 75 m downstairs is a simple forest path. Both ways end at a road close to the cache area.
Behind and below our dambatenne 11 B waterfall is virgin forest only. On dry days you can climb around to the left and right top of the waterfall, also some meters down but be carefully, it´s slippery. Interesting here are trees with 20 m long air-roots or liana. This forest has a big choice of colorful trees. We placed our cache somewhere around this waterfall but you don´t need to climb down. Just try to encrypt our additional hints.
The main stream from Dambatenne can be seen from our cache place. It comes down from the high valley behind Sir Thomas Lipton´s former bungalow. It supplies the Dambatenne households and vegetable gardens with water. Further down there are lot of cascades on the way in the jungle. Inside the jungle it becomes a big river, together with all other streams between Lipton Seat and Thotulagala.
Start from Pitaratmalie tea factory, Dambatenne Road (waypoint B1-B4). Drive 2 km down to a village with some large tea labourer homes. The main road turns right but drive straight ahead. After 800 m comes another right turn but go straight ahead. Drive another 1.5 km and stop on a river. Walk down this river bed next 200 m to our waterfall.
One of my children is worried about Jimmy-Blue. He is a hungry beatle with blue wings, white body and yellow dots. Jimmy likes to travel to one of our Eaglerocks caches. If somebody will find him?
Common needs: Walking stick, bush knife, food parcel, 2-3 l water, tool knife with scissor and saw, torch, all weather dress or umbrella, jersey, good shoes, long shirts and trousers - cause of thorny bushes, bur and sharp gras.
Cache problems? Please report to Shirodh's White Monkey at 3-km-post, Dambatenne Road, Thotulagala, Haputale.