All our lifetime we live with this amazing views from Eagle Rock to the lowlands and thick forest down under. Somewhere between the trees are some overgrown tea bushes from a 1950s Kelburne estate (80 Acres). Some locals have vegetable gardens, small pepper and tea plantation. Nothing to be worried about. Till 2010. Nikapotha estate removed some hectars of virgin forest to build a new tea estate. A nature treasure with hundreds of years old trees got lost. We decided to keep a cache box close to this area and hope it will not fall with the next trees.
Top: View from Eaglerock. Climb down to 80 Acres and Nikapotha. Down: New Nikapotha Tea Estate.
Off-roaders/hikers: There is no any road to this cache! You have to leave your off-road vehicle somewhere and climb last some hundred meters up or down. The shorter and easier way is by the A4 Colombo-Wellawaya highway near 194 km-post. There is a little white drainage post signed 193/9 km. Somewhere upside is an old rusty iron gate. Upstairs is a white house and a tree with a wooden bench (waypoint N1). Right behind the house are steps, a black water tank and a path. It´s going up next 350 m through a private tea and pepper estate. On top is a light hill with sharp gras. A foot path goes inside the jungle (N2). My cache is nearby.
Another road is the Dambatenne Road from Haputale to Lipton Seat. Nearby the 2 km post turn right side down to the Mountain View bungalows (N4). Pass them and follow the left left estate road next 2 kilometer downwards to the last car turn (N5).
Walk from Kellibeddie: We started this tour from Kellibeddie viewpoint about 2.6 km east from Haputale (N3). Some hundred meter down under is the end of the Kelburne estate road (N5). Two of our caches, "Kellibeddie and 80 Acres viewpoints" are in this area. Walk downstairs and follow the zigzag path inside the forest. In this forest is a junction, right side up to Kelburne lower devision, left side down to 80 Acres. Take the left road, pass a cement watertank and climb down to the village 80 Acres. Shortly before this village is another watertank and a half-wall building from 1956 with two old cogwheels. A relict from a past era when a cableway transported goods between 80 Acres and Kelburne estate.
80 Acres, watertank, cableway cogwheels, Hindu temple, tamil family and honey bee bag.
"80 Acres" village, that is nothing more than two large estate quarters and a farm house for few families, some cattle and chicken sheds, vegetable gardens and a temple (N6). They make themselve mud bracks from the soil, keep them drying and repair the shedsand homes. There is a rarely used road behind this temple turning right to Mothuana, Golcanda, Sherwood and Haputale. (There is no forest in Sherwood but some locals know about the good activities of Robin Hood). As poor as this people look like, they would need such a bowman too.
On the eastside of 80 Acres is our jungle path to the forest junction (waypoint N7). The left path is used by locals only collecting wood from the forest area under Eagle Rock. There is a dangereous forest with some wild animals and lot of rolling stones. Dears, boars, monkeys, wild cats, bears and buffalos shall be there. (In this area is also our new cache "Avatar Banyan Tree").
The right path goes down to our cache in Nikapotha forest. After some minutes walk comes a small muddy slide area with rolling stones. Have a last view down to the new Nikapotha estate. It gave us a heartache to see how many trees they have removed just to build another tea estate. Once a thick forest with large trees, now an open, wounded land. Further down was thick forest. Suddenly I was surrounded by so many big trees. Much bigger than further up. It became more dark in here but also more life. There were so many different sounds of birds, monkeys and insects.
Our Nikapotha cache is nearby. Follow our additional hints to the cache. Our cache is a white film box. It contains a welcome message. Bring your own pen please. Found the cache? Thereafter follow the path to the end of the forest (N2) and down to the A4 mainroad (N1). This path ends 1 km east from Nikopotha Estate at the A4 Colombo-Wellawaya highway. Walk 1.5 km west to Nikapotha estate and village. Last bus to Haputale 5:30 PM (30-35 Rs.), 3-wheeler (700-800 Rs.), 17 km (02.2011).
Please send us photos from your tour.
Nikapotha jungle scenery. Find this broken tree and climb on the rock.
One of our team leaders came here once alone: "I climbed on a rock and made a rest just to listen and relax in this amazing wildlife. I don´t know how long I looked for some playing monkeys and parrots. Suddenly there was a move about 70 m to my left. I saw a black animal under a rock watching in my direction. I couldn´t identify it cause of twillight, thick flora and distance between us. I thought to get a photo of it but what could be the reaction? I didn´t like to move to my bag. A new sound came from further down. A group of three tea pickers. They passed me in few meter distance only but didn´t see me. I thought to call and ask them for this animal but I didn´t. Possible they would get fear to see me sitting in this remoted area. Meanwhile the unknown animal left deeper inside the jungle. Was it a vision of a Bigfoot in Sri Lanka :-) ? Locals told me later it could be one of rare black jungle cats, a bear or one of this most dangereos jungle buffalos. I don´t know, but however a nice memory for sure."
Our team members are 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 next caches. If somebody will help him to travel around? But this film box is to small for him.
Common needs: Walking stick, bush knife, food parcel, 2-3 l water, tool knife with scissor and saw, torch, jersey, good shoes, long shirts and trousers - cause of thorny bushes, bur and sharp gras. Weather and climate will be very different on this tour. From cold to hot, from sunny to windy, misty and rainy. So better to keep all weather dresses or umbrella with you.
Cache problems? Please report to Shirodh's White Monkey at 3-km-post, Dambatenne Road, Thotulagala, Haputale.