Friday, December 23, 2016

Hong Kong Trail: Sections 1-4

Those SWIC hikers can get me to do anything...including hiking 25k in one day! I met up with my Shenzhen friends to hike sections 1-4 of the Hong Kong Trail. I did section 8, known as Dragon's Back, with them in January and again with the AWA hiking group last month. I guess it was time to branch out.

Section 1 begins at The Peak, which is a great starting point since there's a Starbuck's for the coffee lovers and toilets. Some hikers might even start late enough to enjoy the shops in the mall. We took a bus from Central, but there are many options to get up to The Peak. The Peak Tram is probably the most popular, but also more expensive.

The Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island so the hike starts with the best views of Central and Kowloon. I bet the first 3km offers varying views like this.

Although this section is categorized as easy, it is still 7km long. We were prepared with plenty of water for hiking all four sections, but we used a mini filtration system to refill our bottles when we could along the trail.

Section 2 is a fairly easy 4.5km walk through the woods. This section is popular for quick hikes because you get a lot of nature in a short time and it's easy to start/finish at either end.

The trail heads toward Aberdeen and along the way you get some great views. If you opt out after section 2, the hike can end by continuing down into Aberdeen and past the large cemetery ---> center of photo below.

This section is mostly concrete walking paths and steps, but it's all very manageable. Although most of this section is shaded by foliage, walking along the catch water is open to the sun.

The last part of the trail is a flight of steep steps, but off to the right is a shelter perfect for a quick rest or even lunch. There's also a great viewing area of some of the outlying islands like Lamma, Peng Chau and Lantau. I could even see Discovery Bay!

Section 3 takes about 2 hours to cover the 6.5km because like section 2 it's mostly an easy walk through the woods. We passed by lots of small waterfalls, but much fewer people.

Best hiking material = linen. My tank was so comfortable all day!

Dirt trails mean a lot of happy hiking, but there are also a lot of rocks and roots in the path. So while feeling closer to nature, my neck hurts from looking down so long and occasionally I trip  or stub a toe. Like I said, happy hiking!

We stopped for lunch along this section and one of the girls shared these amazing gluten-free pumpkin muffins (she modified this recipe). I can't wait to make some of my own.

Section 4 is another 7.5km of comfortable hiking trails with a brief climb near the end. This part of the trail was probably 50/50 paved/unpaved and took about 2 hours to complete.

There's nothing better on a hike than enjoying some unexpected scenery. We were thrilled to come across the occasional poinsettia, especially since it is nearly Christmas.

We knew the end was near when we started getting glimpses of Ocean Park, a marine-life theme park with animals and rides divided into zones. The main attraction is the pandas.

The end! We made it! From here we hopped on a bus back to Central. My friends went back to Shenzhen and I caught the ferry to Discovery Bay.

I'll mention here that I did this hike right after returning from Phuket and catching a cold (probably on the plane). I was feeling, meh at the beginning, but by the time the final photo was taken I was feeling pretty miserable. Somehow I still finished my longest hike so far!

Coming up: Hong Kong Trail: Sections 5-7!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments!