Wednesday, September 26, 2007

climbing the eight fairies

Here's my dad at the spot where we got off the bus and started walking. You can see the Eight Fairies in the distance... and if you count carefully, it looks like there are nine (?!). A view from a flattish part of the trail.

Flat part is over -- stairs begin!

Here are the other seven fairies as seen from the top of the first fairy.

Another view from fairy #1. You can see Ma On Shan in the distance. And below is the dam separating Plover Cove reservoir from the sea.

Tai Po in the distance. The village down below (Tai Mei Tuk) is where we started walking.

Here's my dad walking towards one of the smaller fairies.

This is fairy #7, the only one whose summit we did not reach (very disappointing), as it's actually off the trail.

Another view of the Plover Cove reservoir, which is one of two (I think) HK reservoirs occupying area that was once sea.

A view from the final and tallest fairy. This is the mountain we went over next...

Though the trail is part of the Wilson trail, sections of it were very overgrown. I would've given anything for a machete or a weed-wacker at the place below. I am allergic to grass, and when I get little grass cuts on my skin, they swell up into little welts.

Walking through lots of tall grass + wearing shorts = lots of little welts = both of my legs swelling up a lot. But more on that later...

Mountains and islands in the distance in Tolo Harbor (I think...).
Check out this cool quartz intrusion! (At least, that's what I think it is, but it's been a while since my intro college geology class)

A marker along the way. Hok Tau reservoir is where we ended up.

A view of peaceful Sheng Shui (HK) meeting the wall of high-rises in Shen Zhen (mainland China). Shen Zhen is the poster-child of city-planting. It was originally a tiny border village until the Chinese government decided it should be a huge metropolis... and it definitely is.

And the trail continues...

I'm not sure about the name of this place, but apparently it's one of the last untouched valleys in Hong Kong. Developers wanted it, but thankfully they've been denied... for now at least.

A zoom-in from the last shot. You can just barely make out a tiny village at one end of the valley -- the only sign of human presence. I think the village is now abandoned... it would be cool to check out at some point!

The Hok Tau reservoir, aka the smallest reservoir I've ever seen. Really beautiful place though!

After the reservoir, we had a few km of road-walking until we found a minibus that took us to Fan Ling. My allergies were making me pretty uncomfortable by this point... but more on that in the next post...

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