Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hiking in Hantana

For most university students, what ever university or faculty they may be studying in a trip to Hantana is seen as their inauguration in to local varsity culture. As tradition has it at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, a hike in Hantana is always the first batch trip and a medical student that has not climbed the famed mountain range is viewed as not being properly assimilated into the faculty tradition.

As per the tradition, our batch of new entrants embarked on our soon to be epic first "batch trip", little did we know what lay waiting for us. I was of course offered few words of advice by my parents who had undertaken this journey as well (both of them being products of Fac. of Med Pera) and also words of wisdom from our seniors. According to my parents the trip is supposed to be a lot of fun a fact that was seconded by our seniors. Our 'learned' seniors had plenty to say on the subject, according to them the reason to climb Hantana at the onset of our medical education is so that it would train us to guide others along the strenuous curriculum, they also said that it is customary for at least ten new couples to profess their love for one another on this journey.

In any case, commeth the day of the trip we were major psyched, minor hiccups like the Dean not granting us permission etc. did not dampen our spirits. The journey itself was difficult and amounted to about 4 hours, add to this severe over crowding as many people who had earlier said that they would not be coming decided to reverse their decision at the eleventh hour. No doubt enticed by the tall tales of our seniors.

We should have guessed the hike was not going to be plain sailing when we stopped at Peradeniya campus and were roundly blackguarded by their seniors for wearing shorts and three quarters...
A remedy was quickly found and I togetherwith a couple of my colleagues donned jeans and trousers that were loaned to us by our generous batch mates...

The trousers did cause us a couple of problems like tightness in the groin area, inability to get the fly up and several other mishaps that i would rather not mention... Our ill fitting pants soon became the butt end of every joke with many( even the girls) joking that we can forget about continuing the family name!!

Fortunately (or unfortunately) as soon as the hike started many were far too exhausted to comment on our pants and were finding the steep terrain extremely difficult to traverse. Now I understood what our seniors told us about the couples...

Many of the girls ( I do not intend to be sexist just a realist) were finding the hike difficult and had enlisted the help of numerous 'willing' guys to help them up the steep rock faces and down the sharp descents... Some if not most of the guys were also getting into this with great gutso and were eager to help the fairer sex even when it was absolutely unnecessary...

Jokes apart the hike was difficult!!! Added to this our 'tight pants' clique now had the added responsibility of helping out three girls which started off with carrying their back packs and steadily progressed towards lifting them up over rocks and guiding them through the leech infested trails...

To cut a long story short... I am as were my two other colleagues committed , thus nothing exciting or scandalous took place on our hike but for many of our single friends the so called ' Hantana Dream" did come through.

After nine hours of continuous walking, lifting, crawling and picking off leeches in the damp and cold mountain range we began our descent at 8 pm. It was pitch dark and the trails were almost impossible to see, one false step and we would have fallen into the canyon below. Some one actually made a joke ( if ti could be called one) that if we fall that the issue of finding dead bodies for anatomy practicals would be solved.

In any case it took us almost two hours to complete our descent and well that's where my Hike in Hantana ends but for many others their 'hike' has just begun...


  1. Hey :)
    Lol- the Hantana Dream... nice :D
    So you're Lankan? (Your post is tagged Sri Lanka)
    Ah well, I like your blog... hope you don't mind a if I put up a link?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. i think she was referring to the blog..nyways bawa nice post..i hope that its not like your "Um at Hikka now" story..lolz. As you are quite popular to be a RELIABLE person..