Monday, October 01, 2007

waterfalls and maclehose stages 7 & 6

Yesterday was another public holiday (happy Chinese National Day!), and I had the opportunity to do some more hiking. We started out beyond Tai Wo, at a village called Ng Tong Tsai, hiked to some amazing waterfalls near Tai Mo Shan, and then did Stages 7 and 6 backwards. It was a pretty challenging 20 km hike, and I was hiking with two very serious hikers -- Jacelyn and Cindy -- which meant it was a struggle to keep up, especially whenever I stopped to take photos. Regardless, I'm really glad I had my camera with me yesterday, because I saw some of the most beautiful scenery (in HK or anywhere else) that I've ever seen.

We hiked past a series of about 5 waterfalls. The first one paled in comparison to the latter few, so I'm not including any photos it. I think this one was #2. Beautiful!

Some interesting little plants along the trail.

A monstrous fern.
This is waterfall #3, I believe.

The hike to the upper waterfalls was very steep.

Waterfall #4. This one was by far the most spectacular. You can see Cindy at the bottom, my unknowing height reference. I couldn't even fit the whole waterfall in one shot.

The top of the falls. The next part of the trail took us up there...

...but we had to go through a closed portion of the trail, where a landslide had occurred a number of years earlier.

Did I mention that these two ladies are hard core?

Jacelyn at a particularly leafy part of the closed trail.

Here's the top of the previous waterfall. There was another waterfall above this one, but I was so distracted listening to a story about 2 hikers sliding to their deaths that I forgot to take a picture of it. I think that's Ng Tong Tsai (the village where we started) down below.

The trail above the falls took us through an old abandoned house. I was surprised that anyone would have ever lived up in such a remote place, but Cindy said that there used to be tea plantations up in these hills, and we did see some evidence of terracing.

This is where we met up with the MacLehose trail. A nice resting spot for people and cows alike.

Tai Mo Shan, HK's tallest peak. We opted to go the other direction.

Lion Rock and Beacon Hill in the distance.

A view of Tai Po and Pat Sin Leng, where my dad and I hiked last Wednesday. (Link)

Then I got tired, and put my camera away for a while. I was having a hard enough time keeping up, especially when we got to the steps on Grassy Hill and Needle Hill.

Stage 7 and 6 meet at the Shing Mun Reservoir, where we found many holiday BBQ-ers and some friendly refreshment sellers -- what a welcomed site! And I wonder where I can get one of those Dairy Farm shirts...

I've always liked Stage 6 of the MacLehose -- it's not too difficult, and the hike takes you past quite a few old WWII bunkers. The tunnels are named after famous London streets. You can barely make it out, but this one is Shaftesbury Avenue.

We saw lots of monkeys again. I thought these clay ones were pretty safe to photograph. I didn't want another monkey attack on my hands...

This might be my last hiking post for a while, we'll see. As the training gets more intense, I'm not sure how much I'll be able to take my camera out for random shots, no matter how picturesque...

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