Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hiking revelations along Maclehose Trail Stage 3

Maclehose Trail Section 3 begins with a long pull up a hill
but the sights from the trail make for a great reward

The trail passed through landscapes that I almost have
a hard time believing are actually in Hong Kong!
 And the clouds in the sky really added to the
overall natural beauty on display this afternoon ;)

Every year since 1986, the Oxfam Trailwalker has seen its participants attempting to complete the entire 100km Maclehose Trail in 48 hours or less.  At this year's event, the winning team took only 10 hours and 58 minutes to go the entire distance, one that also involved going up and down several hills and mountains.
I personally know at least three people who have taken part in the Oxfam Trailwalker and have a couple of other friends who have talked about taking part in the event one of these days.  But I have to say that however admirable its fundraising component, I simply cannot envision myself ever taking part -- because I truly would find the going way too arduous for my liking.
This fact was hammered home this afternoon when a friend and I hiked along a section of Maclehose Trail Stage 3.  More specifically, our route took in the first seven kilometers or so of it but detoured down to Pak Tam village and the Lady Maclehose Holiday Village rather than also include the ascent up Kai Kung Shan (that's made more challenging than it otherwise would be because the trail descends down a valley before necessitating a haul up a few hundred vertical meters up again) and then down it that comprises the final portion of this stage of the Maclehose Trail -- and even so, it took us some four hours to complete.
And it's not just that the first couple of kilometers of straight uphill climbing were on the challenging side.  For the truth of the matter is that, like many other sections of the Maclehose Trail, this portion passed through some landscapes so beautiful that I couldn't help but pause every once in a while to admire and plain enjoy them -- and of course take plenty of photos along the way!
Put another way: I hike to exercise and I often do get a sense of accomplishment upon completing certain hikes -- but those are far from the only reasons that I love hiking so much.  For I really do love how hiking allows me to see so much more of Hong Kong -- and appreciate its natural beauty -- than I would be able to if I only stuck to sections of the territory accessible to motorized vehicles.  And, as was the case this afternoon, it truly is amazing to temporarily remove oneself to a place where the loudest sounds are made by birds chirping and one can behold vistas with not a single building in sight! :)  


Bill said...

Hi Yvonne,

It seems that every time you post hiking photos, I have to decide if they are your best yet. So, I'll just say that I equally like all your landscape photos (and also your beach photos). With your good eye for composition, this Maclehose Trail Stage 3 photo-essay is among your best.

If Constable came across this scene in the bottom photo, he would be in blissville sketching these clouds...This photo-essay makes a good case for Sai Kung being a true wilderness area!


StephenC said...

Yeah. Hong Kong can be much more beautiful than we realise. Often it is the juxtaposition of mountains and water that does that.

YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

Thanks for appreciating my landscape and beach photos. Will keep them coming -- but next up will be pics from Vietnam (where I've been recently!). :)

Hi Stephen --

Agreed re the juxtaposition of mountains and water making for great sights. I also sometimes like the juxtaposition of country and super urban for visuals. :)