Star Beds and Bush Baths. Belihuloya Sri Lanka

COVID-19 disrupted a lot of my travel plans throughout 2021. The frequent lockdowns and travel restrictions meant that pre-booked destinations had to be postponed indefinitely. One of which was my trip to the Ahaspokuna in Belihuloya where I was to go in April 2021. Now, nine months later, I am finally on my way.

There is no road access from the main Rajawaka road to the campsite. Therefore we park our vehicles in the garden of a villager’s home and meet our guides from the campsite. Raj and his co-workers from the Ahaspokuna Bush Walks Campsite advise us to put on leech socks.

We shoulder our bags and proceed on a 20-minute trek off the beaten track. It is not too difficult, although we have to step over fallen trees, wade through some shallow waters and avoid getting smacked in our faces by stray branches. And all the while looking out for the opportunistic and loathsome leeches that are out for our blood. But we have to pretend that leeches are “cool” because we have an impressionable 3-year old kid with us and don’t want to scar her for life! We did eventually teach her how to pluck off a leech, roll it into a ball and flick it off.

In the center of this 20-acre forested land is a clearing that comprises a large tent used for dining purposes.

A fair distance away are the three “treehouses” hidden behind the tall trees that act as a suitable façade. I am in the middle treehouse, a two storeyed wooden structure, leaning on a massive boulder.

A small wooden stairway leads to the first floor which has a little sitting area illuminated by lanterns. A second steep wooden stairway leads up to the second floor. Tastefully decorated with another little sitting area that leads to a tent with a double bed. Behind this tent is a second large tent which serves as the bathroom complete with a hot/cold shower. Thick carpets are laid out to add to the comfort. It’s the small pieces of knick-knacks that add to the charm of this abode.

Leading out to the back is a delightful outdoor “bush bathtub”, lit up by colourful lanterns hanging from a tree. I did fill it up with hot water and let my body soak in it for a while.

Aside from this is the ‘star bed’. Placed on a wooden deck, this outdoor four-poster bed is such a romantic thrill!

Trekking in this property is not too much of a challenge. Our first bush walk was a 2-hour jaunt that took us along the edge of this property and ultimately led us to a look-out point.

This is where we stopped for tea and watched the mist roll in over the mountains far away.

The morning we decided to visit a waterfall, (instead of a bush walk) was fun.

The secluded rock formation has ample spots for bathing and gave us privacy. Some of these spots are perfect “fish spas” as we stuck our feet in the cold water and let them nibble at our feet.

Despite claims by the hosts of sightings of wild animals, we did not see anything other than some dancing peacocks, trying to please some disinterested peahens. Their lamenting call can be heard constantly but not a peep from any other creatures of the wild.

Belihuloya is also home to the beautiful Pahanthuduwa Falls. I may need to visit this area again to explore further. But for now, I aim to head elsewhere.

Good to Know:
There are leeches. Plenty of them.
Good hiking shoes are required for trekking.
Might not be suitable for the infirm and elderly.
Great service by Raj and his team and delicious meals.
There is no electricity in the campsite. Generators are turned on from 6a.m-10 a.m. and 6p.m-10 p.m.

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