Saturday, October 20, 2007

sai kung to tai wai with mike and helen

Yesterday was Chung Yeung festival and a public holiday here in Hong Kong. The festival is also known as "Fall Remembrance Day," sort of the autumn counterpart of Ching Ming -- people clear, maintain, and bring offerings to the graves of their ancestors. And I found out from Sal that it's also traditionally a hiking holiday. No wonder there were so many people up in the hills!

I had the rare privilege of hiking with Mike and Helen, who also happen to be training for the Trailwalker. I don't get to hike with them much, because our days off don't often match up (though I'm still looking into getting Mondays off...;)). Seeing as it was such a special day, I even brought my camera along! Here are the shots I took:

This is the only photo I took on stage 3 (the fun trail I blogged about last week). I heard some rustling in the leaves nearby and saw this beautifully colored lizard. After doing a little research in a HK wildlife book, I now know it's a blue-tailed skink.
Yesterday was the first day I'd attempted stages 3 and 4 together. This is a view of Ma On Shan (beginning of stage 4) after we'd already gained some elevation. It's quite an intimidating mountain... thankfully the trail doesn't go over its peak.

A view of HKUST from Ma On Shan.

The fearless Tozers.

A view of City 1 and Shek Mun (new school location!) from Tait's Cairn. Not a fan of the air quality, but this was pretty clear compared to the view we had of Kowloon and HK island...

We opted not to finish stage 5 because of time constraints. Instead, we took the horrendously marked Wilson Trail down to Tai Wai. Sai Kung to Tai Wai = about 30 km. Not bad!

3 more weeks till the Trailwalker...

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