Showing posts with label SWIC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SWIC. Show all posts

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Hiking: Tung Chung to Tai O

About a year ago I did one of my first hikes in Hong Kong. A friend of a friend of a friend from Shenzhen took me on the Tung O Ancient Trail from Tai O to Tung Chung.

Recently, my SWIC hiking friends from Shenzhen were coming to Hong Kong and invited me to join them on the same hike only going the opposite direction. I invited some of my Hong Kong hiking friends and we made a day of it.

The Tung O Ancient Trail is an easy trail to hike but it is long. It passes through many small villages once you escape the mini city of Tung Chung. 

Here are some points of interest along the 15km hike to Tai O:

The beginning of the trail is paved and mostly tree covered as it skirts along Tung Chung Bay. Along this section we had many different views of the Hong Kong Macau Bridge, Hong Kong International Airport and the cable cars making their way up the mountain to the Big Buddha.

This section of the trail was home to small village. Some of the gated homes had tables of fruits and veggies for sale set out along the small road (pay via honor system). We passed some village shrines and then stopped to eat our lunches in the shade.

Before reaching our destination, a section of the trail turned over-grown almost jungle. This part is apparently known for the poisonous Golden Orb spiders (we saw a couple of dead ones on the ground).  The reward for braving the spider walk is the trail opening up to great coastal views of the sea.

Upon reaching the edge of Tai O, the first sight is the Yeung Hau Temple with all it's flag flying across the water inlet. To get there you have to cross the foot bridge that connects to the island of Tai O and walk back on that side. The path continues toward the village proper and around a corner the mountains of Lantau loom up in the distance.

Tai O is a fishing village built on stilts along the Tai O River. The Tung O Ancient Trail winds through the streets of the village and across the Sun Ki Bridge where the famous stilt houses become most visible. On the other side of the bridge are the markets and the Kwan Tai Temple located in the part of the village that is on the island.

Another footbridge connects the two sides of Tai O village. Crossing this bridge leads to the bus terminus, ferry pier and more markets. A large public toilet facility is right near the buses and ferry which makes a nice spot to clean up using my handy Shower Pill body wipes (affiliate).

After finishing our hike, we said good-bye to the SIC hikers and found a table at Black Pearl for a quick bite. We explored the markets and then grabbed a seat on the water at Solo Balcony for a beverage before catching the ferry back to Tung Chung.

Hiking to Tai O is definitely the better way to go. It was fun having my Hong Kong friends hiking with the SWIC hiking group. 

Have you ever had your old and new friends meet up?

Other Lantau Island hikes:

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Simple Sunday and Workout Recap

I feel like I waited all day for the big rain that never came. The rain that I was text alerted to last night. The alert that made me anxious about getting my run in. Anxious because of the whole knee situation and the last thing I needed was to slip and fall.

No worries. I ran while the street lights were still on. It started to drizzle right as I was finishing my first loop and over-cautious me went left to my building instead of right to start another loop. I was thinking, keep it nice and simple.

Even though the drizzle never turned into a down pour and I wanted to repeat what we did on Thursday (see below), I feel good about my decision. Better safe than sorry! On another positive note, I changed up my intervals: run 90 seconds (increased +30) recover 60. I set the timer to do 15 intervals, but after the 10th one I kept going another minute to finish at our building. Total 2.24 miles.

OOTD: shorts (Athleta) similar here / tank (Athleta) exact here /
hat (Athleta) similar here / shoes (Mizuno) exact here

I also did my five favorite stretches (post coming soon) and some planks.

It's all good, I ran today! ---> I'm so happy to be wearing this shirt again (I picked it up the first time I ran ZOOMA Cape Cod and met Dimity and Sarah from Another Mother Runner). When I wasn't running, it didn't feel right to wear it. Kind of like wearing a race shirt for a race you didn't run. Am I right?

For lunch I made some buffalo chicken quinoa which I have been craving and let's be honest I will have it for dinner too. It's one of my favorite quinoa recipes and so easy.

Here's what the rest of my week looked like:

Monday - I went on a REALLY BIG hike with my friends from Shenzhen and mrC came along too. I recapped it here.

Tuesday - We recovered from Monday's hike. Smoothies were involved.

Wednesday - I would have gone for a run, but I had a meeting in Central for a committee I'm going to be working on.

Thursday - mrC and I went for an interval run: 23 x 1 minute run with 1 minute recovery. The number 23 was based on the 2 loop route we did last time. It was just as good this time plus we added the promenade for a grand total of 4.65 miles! Another long run PB for year. And I played around some more with our GoPro.

Friday - Last Friday's class was cancelled because the instructor was sick and Monday I hiked, so I was really looking forward to Bodystep. It was a crowded class but that didn't stop me from burning over 600 calories!

I love this drawstring bag because of the pockets on the outside - really comes in handy!

Saturday - I was feeling a little under-motivated. I thought I would go to the Fitness Center but instead I went for a walk. It's nice to see the flowers popping color again, but it's been gray and overcast most days around here. I'm over it the way the Northeast is over snow in the US.

Speaking of the Northeast...the Boston Marathon is just three weeks away and I saw this floating around social media. I hope there is a way to see it online.

Do you run in the rain? 
What do you do after you run?
Do you plan to see BOSTON?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wilson Trail: Sections 9 and 10

I missed a few hard core hikes while mrC and I were in the US (thankfully there will be make-ups!), but I was happy to be able to join my SWIC hiking friends for the final stages of the Wilson Trail in Hong Kong and mrC decided to come with me, bonus.

Friendly warning: It was a long hike, so this is a long post.

From the MTR, we took a bus and then walked a couple of kilometers to the reservoir. Stage 9 of the Wilson Trail starts on the summit of Cloudy Hill, which the group had already done. We started where they finished, at the Hok Tau Reservoir, about 3.5 km into stage 9. After walking around the reservoir, we immediately began climbing up into the mountain range of Pat Seng Lin Country Park.

It's a good thing I ate those egg muffins I pre-made yesterday for breakfast because we had to climb and climb and climb! The rocky trail and stone steps pushed up into the low clouds that hung over the mountain range.

By the time we reached the top, we had stopped to refill water bottles, enjoyed some snacks, spotted carnivorous flowers and the clouds started clearing for us. 

I highly recommend carrying a mini water filtration system when hiking.

Snack time

These plants eat mosquitoes - love them!

Once on the ridge, the trek high above the tree tops began. This is where a lot of us started shedding layers. We had to follow the trail over several peaks, such as Ping Fung Shan, Lai Pek Shan, and Wong Leng, before reaching the most challenging and final part of section 9 ---> Pat Sin Leng range.

Loving the GoPro and chest strap just wish the battery lasted longer

At Wong Leng, the highest peak of the day at 639 meters and about midway on the ridge, we could look back and see how far we had come and look ahead to how much more hiking we had to do. Plus the panoramas over Plover Cove and the Guan Yin Statue at Tsz Shan Monastery were stunning.

Hill after gut-wrenching hill, we had to climb the eight peaks of Pat Sin Leng, known as The Eight Immortals named for ancient spirits in Chinese mythology. At the final peak, Hsien Ku Fung, 7.1 km from the reservoir, we reached the end of section 9.

My Eddie Bauer backpack was perfect for this all day hike

One more peak to go!

The start of section 10 with views over to mainland China into Shenzhen (our old expat home) was all downhill. The slow wooded descent past rock pools, streams, and abandoned villages was a welcome escape from the beating sun. At a small stream crossing we stopped for water refilling and lunch before making our way to the end of the Wilson Trail at Nam Chung Village.

Hello, Shenzhen!

The water filtration assemble line

Tired and sun burned

We made it!

The terrain of section 10 was rocky and sometimes slippery from the rain the day before (three of us took spills, me included), but the 6.8km went by much faster than the 7.1km of section 9. I was very relieved when we arrived at the bus stop for a ride to the MTR.

This was a looonnnng hike. Long distance, long day, long travel time. And it was totally worth it!

I am now more than halfway done with the Wilson Trail. You can read my previous posts by clicking a link below:

Hiking: Wilson Trail Stages 1 & 2
Hiking: Wilson Trail Stages 3 & 4

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