Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Hong Kong hike during which I saw no other person except for my hike buddy!

How my hiking shoes, socks and lower parts 
of my legs looked towards the end of today's hike :S

The result of hiking on narrow, muddy -- and 
most definitely unpaved -- trails like this one

The only other person I saw out hiking 
in the area today was my hike buddy!

"Remind me why I go hiking again," I said to my hike buddy midway through today's hike -- one that was on the difficult side. (So difficult was it, in fact, that after three hours hiking uphill, we decided it'd be best if we backtracked to the hike start -- something that took another hour of hiking (with much slipping, sliding and occasional falling) downhill.)

His suggestion of "seeing new things" and "to get good views" had me laughing because the level of visibility today was not as high as I'd have liked, and we spent quite a bit of of today's hike struggling through the underbrush and thus not looking around us all that much.  (Worse, when I spotted interesting bugs, I found that my hands were shaking so much -- from exertion or what have you -- that I couldn't get clear photos of them!)

On the other hand, his suggestions with regards to "being out in nature" and "being in a place where there weren't many other people" certain rang true this afternoon, as what portion of the planned route from Hoi Ha up to Nga Kwo Lo and Mount Hallowes we were on definitely did have us deep in the heart of the Hong Kong countryside and so far off the beaten track that my hiking buddy was the only person I saw on the trail all afternoon!

For the record: this was the first ever hike where my hiking buddy and I didn't see any other person along the trail that we were on.  It also was the first ever hike that we didn't see a single sign or marker (besides the ribbons that certain intrepid hikers leave to help other hikers find or stay on a trail).  With no modicum of regret, I also have to state that this was the first hike I've been on in Hong Kong where I felt we ought to abandon midway and backtrack to where we had started the hike.

In retrospect, I should have chosen an easier or more popular hiking trail to go on this afternoon when weather conditions also weren't ideal. (It had rained in the morning and I had trusted the Hong Kong Observatory's forecast of the rain being limited only to the morning today... only to encounter some rain over the course of the hike.)  But I had been emboldened by the note on the Hong Kong Adventurer website that this hiking route "is pretty easy and yet very beautiful" and that novice hikers "may find [it] a little bit exhausting but it is not dangerous at all"!

Ah well, one lives and learns -- including the fact that the route up Mount Hallowes from Hoi Ha most definitely is one of those that deserves its "dotted line" (i.e., "difficult/indistinct or seasonally overgrown") designation on the Sai Kung & Clear Water Bay Countryside Series map that I have! ;(


Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, yikes....that sounds like a very difficult hike.

Looks like you and your hiking buddy had quite the adventure. Glad you all are okay.

YTSL said...

Hi Trekcapri --

I just got off the phone with a friend who is a serious, seasoned hiker... and she told me she's never found a way up Mount Hallowes. So that sorta makes me feel better about my failed attempt today.

And yes, adventure is about right. More proof that Hong Kong is not just all concrete jungle and cushy shopping malls! ;O

sarah bailey knight said...

hi ytsl,

Wow your shoes did get really muddy.
Around here if I meet someone walking in the woods it's unusual. So when are you going back there?

YTSL said...

Hi sarah sbk --

Am not sure when I'll try going up Mount Hallowes. But *if* I do so, it will have to be on a clearer day than yesterday! ;S

ewaffle said...


Memory is selective and I must admit to the possibility of having missed a few of your hiking Hong Kong posts, but this trail is the first one I can recall that wasn't marked (if not well marked) and well maintained--a surprise since the Conservation Dept. seems to take such pains with the trails.

With all the other hiking opportunities available, Mount Hallowes must be at the bottom of a very long list of those to try again.

YTSL said...

Hi ewaffle --

It's the first trail I can recall myself that wasn't marked. As I wrote in the entry: "It also was the first ever hike that we didn't see a single sign or marker (besides the ribbons that certain intrepid hikers leave to help other hikers find or stay on a trail)."

The thing with Mount Hallowes is that its name is so... enchanting. And it isn't as high as quite a few of the other hills I've gone up... But yeah, I think it'll be a while before I attempt to go up it again! ;S