Sunday was the big day – all the examiners going for a tramp on the Dragon’s Back!….
All three of us…out of the eight here…. 🙂 Here are the other two, Joel and Lindsey (the organiser of this foray into the wilds of Hong Kong Island)
So over to Hong Kong Island and to meet inside the turnstiles at the Wanchai MTR station. Eventually we all arrived and took off to places unknown – well unknown to me! Then it was a ride on a bus – the road was so narrow that I thought we might need to back up if we met a car on a corner. Not quite though on the return our bus did have to stop very hurriedly to avoid being scraped by another bus driving in the other direction!
Arriving at a fairly nondescript sort of bus stop, we hauled ourselves out. We knew when it was the right place because all the Hong Kongese started to jockey for position at the exit about two minutes before we arrived. They were soon to lose their enthusiasm however as the “walk” begins with about 15 minutes of steps uphill. I am sure it would have been easier as a more winding path. However we made it to the upper part, having left a number of people “eating our dust” – hardly breaking into a sweat – despite the 16 degree day.
It was a perfect day for this – a slight breeze and clear blue skies. the view through the haze was pretty good and the path did resemble a dragon’s back – the spine a little like the waves on the heads at Kawhia and the bends like the road on the approach to Kawhia! 🙂
At the top of the walk we stopped to watch some hang-gliders, who were taking advantage of the updrafts up the mountain to entertain and receive the plaudits of the watching visitors – most of whom appeared to then retreat back down the steps, rather than go on as we had chosen to do. I liked the view looking back towards the buildings of the Island with the Hang-glider soaring above
There were still rather a lot of people though and it seemed a little like walking along the Great Wall of China. Most of them moved out of the way as we mowed them down though. 🙂
We looked down on the beaches of Shek O and the slightly MIS-named Big-Wave Bay, before making our way down the slope again to the inevitable concrete path sign of civilisation again. On the way we came to the Hong Kong Trail post number 100 (The Hong Kong Trail begins with number 1 at the Peak (Mt Victoria) and finishes at Shek O with number 100. we started on about number 87 I think was the first one I noticed.
Big Wave Bay (the left of the above pictures. Shek O is on the right) is a little village nestled in between two hills and with a small beach with white sand. It was pretty busy when we were there – a beer and a salad to celebrate completing the track. Ironically there were numerous shops selling surfboards here and numerous signs saying “No Surfing”. In fact there were many prohibitions – no dish-throwing being one of them (frisbee?). I did venture to suggest that domestic quarrels could be better worked out away from the beach! It was also interesting to notice that they advised that people should not swim because the waves were too big – maybe 30 cms high…? !! Most seemed to be ignoring this warning.
When we left Big Wave Bay, it was to find that the hoped-for bus service did not happen on a Sunday (probably the busiest day of the week here!) but fortunately one of the private minibus services was doing a great trade shuttling back and forwards between Big Wave Bay and Shek O. I am told they are run by the local triads, but I do not know and paid the $7 for the trip along with the many others doing the same.We could have walked it in about 15 minutes I think.
So we found ourselves back in Shek O, which is a fishing type Village. It was busy with people at restaurants and markets, so we decided to return to the “delights” of Hong Kong Island and took the first bus back – almost eventfully as I said earlier.
So I guess the tramp only took 2 1/2 – 3 hours but importantly it allowed us to clear our heads – hopefully our lungs – and maybe to pick up a few negative ions as well. Thankful for clear skies and the great HK public transport system, this was a very worthwhile Hong Kong adventure.