2 weeks ago we were out on other Sinhalaya Travels journey, this time to the mountains of Rambukkana where we were to climb Potato Rock, which was actually called ‘Alagalla’ before we named it that. It was the first time this year we headed away from the coast and also for the first time we had Mr.Kirigalpoththa himself traveling alongside us. We started off at 10 from the Fort Railway Station and reached Rambukkana during the early hours the next day, where we had to wait to catch the morning train to ‘Ihala Kotte’ which is 12km from Rambukkana.
Of course for lack of accommodation we had to commandeer a train to sleep in.
I’m pretty sure foxhound was the only person who slept comfortably in the train thanks to his..err…lets put it as ‘modifications’. We made it to Ihala Kotte at 6am where we got our first glimpse of the potato and it was one BIG POTATO!! and the summit seemed so far away.
We started the ascent at around 7am, the first few hundred feet were up oddly shaped rocks and the climb was gentle, any adventure noob could have done it.
Even thought this was the start of the climb, we were over 500 feet above sea level and were starting to feel the hill country air.
There are no sign boards, so it’s easy to take the wrong road which would probably get you onto a another less significant mountain.
The next stage of the climb was along a winding road that went through the tea plantations with the peak in the background.
After this came the forest of leeches. At this point the climb got steeper, the trail became smaller and the path got rockier. But more than anything what made it bad was the leeches which were just everywhere! Also at this point we ran into a severe shortage of water but there was no turning back.
Soon after our escape from leechville, we were greeted by the steep climb up the side of the rock and it had no proper path which we could follow, plus the lack of water made that phase all the more daunting.
This was the toughest part of the climb because the peak just seems to be moving away as you climb but then you look back and realize how small that distance is compared how much you’ve already covered.
But once you make it to the top, you know you’ve conquered the potato! the view from the top is just spectacular. There is nothing quite like lying on that cold rock and looking at the distance you just covered. It’s highly rewarding and of course, also the perfect spot to click a few photos to have as your dp and profile picture.
Leaving the top was sad, but there was a storm coming and only God knows how the wind might get at the top so we descended as fast as we could. It was too late thought, we got caught up in heavy rain but it was a good thing after all that heat we had endured on the ascent. In all the climb was epic because it was challenging yet rewarding to the same extent. At the bottom you can just look back up and say”yeah bitch, I’ve been up there”.