Over Easter, my husband and I spent the long weekend hiking up in Northern Hong Kong, in the New Territories. We did half of the Maclehose Trail, a huge 100k trail that crosses the whole of the New Territories from East to West. Some
nutters athletes do this all in one go for the annual Trailwaker race. A friend of Will’s holds the record with his team for doing all 100k in just over 15hours. I know, I don’t get it either. It makes me want to lie down and have a snooze.
The hike was really good fun, and the views were breathtaking. On the first day we did 17k, on the second day 22k, and 16k on the third day (we had aimed for 28k but our legs gave out. Again how anyone does 100k in one go is beyond me). We climbed up around 1k of elevation a day, and descended about that much. I don’t know if what we climbed are big hills or small mountains. I’m going for small mountains because it sounds much more impressive.
What was incredibly though was the sheer variety of the views. At times it felt like we were going from one country to another, what we were seeing was so different.
We started off at High Island Reservoir, where the water was an incredible turquoise colour:
We went all the way around it and up to Tai Long Wan, the most beautiful beach in Hong Kong: We had to cut the first day a little earlier than planned, we hadn’t eaten enough before leaving, and we didn’t have any food with us. Not a good idea, we both got quite shaky by the end. To be fair, we climbed up 700m and back down 500m, so a decent elevation. But I managed to get some beautiful end of day photos before we left:
The next day was completely different, it was like we were in a different country. We started off in a small bamboo forest and then wound our way across hills that felt like something out of the Shire in Lord of the Rings.
It was late, and the sun was setting (the sun sets really fast in Hong Kong, it would be more accurate to say that the sun plummets) . To make matters worse, not long after I took the photo, clouds started rolling in, and because we were high up we found ourselves in the clouds, and what little sunlight was left disappeared really quickly. By the time we finished it was almost pitch black, and the last part of the hike was incredibly creepy. We were in a forest, and there were odd burial pots and a couple of tombs. Very Blair Witch Project. Oh and earlier in the day we’d seen a 1m long snake, so if creepy wasn’t enough, we were also quite conscious of what could be crawling around our feet, hidden by the dark.
Needless to say that we ran most of that last bit, I was creeped out enough to forget all about my tired legs.
The third day was tough. Really tough. I had massively overeaten at breakfast (who knew that pancakes and blueberry muffins weren’t slow releasing energy foods?) (Ok, I also had a doughnut covered in cinamon sugar. I am powerless when faced with a breakfast buffet!!) and it turns out there’s a reason you shouldn’t eat just before exercise. It makes you feel dreadful. For the latter part of the day we struggled on tired legs, my left foot was sore, Will’s knee started giving out and my back started seizing up. We sounded like a little old couple, we kept asking each other about our aching joints.
It did prove the old adage: you can keep on going long after you can’t. Mainly because we were in the arse end of nowhere, and the only option to get out was to carry on by foot. So not much of a choice.
The views went back to the more Hong Kong / urban style as we were approaching Shatin – I’d like to say one of the larger ‘towns’ of Hong Kong, but Hong Kong itself is a city, so not sure how to describe it. ‘An urban area with sky scrapers’ will have to do.
(Btw, all the photos were taken on the iphone. You’ve got to marvel at technology, it’s amazing to have such a good camera in a phone!)
PS: I have no idea why there is a massive blank space here. WordPress won’t let me remove it. Anyone else ever get that?