Section 3 of the Maclehose Trail begins with a hike up
a steep slope but the splendid views make up
for all the sweating and straining it requires :b
Largely unpaved, sections of the trail can resemble
a river of rocky and pebbly bits!
This afternoon, I arrived in Sai Kung town in not the sunniest of moods because of certain goings-on at Hang Hau, where I boarded the green minibus to Sai Kung. For one thing, although the queue for the minibus was on the short side when I joined it, it ended up having become thrice as long by the time a minibus came over and began accepting passengers some 35 minutes later.
Frustratingly, this looked to have been the result of a whole bunch of minibus drivers had decided to take a lunch break at the same time! Adding insult to injury, one shameless man (who I got the distinct feeling came from the territory to the north of Hong Kong) who had arrived late on the scene refused to queue up along with everyone else -- and after stopping him from getting into a minibus when he tried to do so the first time, the guy in charge gave up and allowed him to jump the queue the second time he went about his weasely act!
Things took a turn for the better though when the friend I met up with in Sai Kung town and I didn't have to wait long at all for the green minibus that'd take us from town to Pak Tam Au, from where we'd begin today's hike (which started off with our going along the beginning portion of Section 3 of the Maclehose Trail). And my black mood soon lifted after we got to higher ground and became privy to some stupendous views on this high visibility, beautiful blue sky day (which was actually hotter than I expected it to be but thankfully not super humid).
Much has been written about exercise making people happy, including by way of releasing "happy chemicals" (i.e., dopamine) into your brain, and I can safely say that my friend and I definitely got in a good workout this afternoon -- seeing that we hiked for four hours in pretty hilly terrain! There's also something to be said about there being innately calming effects to being surrounded by greenery (something I learnt years ago when taking a joint psychology-sociology course at Beloit College and being shown a padded room in a mental institution which had been painted entirely green that agitated inmates were put in to regain their composure).
What I know can make me inordinately happy too when out hiking is to look around and find myself being treated to beautiful views -- and this section of the Maclehose Trail that goes through Sai Kung West Country Park most certainly has that in spades! Indeed, I'd go so far as to state that all the grand scenery on view this afternoon made up for there being far fewer critter spottings than I consider ideal, and the most interesting critter spotted (a small lizard similar to ones I've spotted elsewhere in Hong Kong, but cool to come across all the same!) today having quickly scurried away into the bushes before I was able to get my camera out of my shorts pocket! ;D