Day three was another day of rest (recovering from jet lag, eating, eating, eating, and seeing Yvonne’s family), but we decided to head to the eastern part of Hong Kong the next day to visit one of Yvonne’s favorite places for hiking. Sai Kung is a fair distance from the city, but there’s plenty of countryside to explore there.
|High Island Reservoir in the haze and clouds.|
The bus ride to Sai Kung took about an hour, but by this point in the vacation I was already happy for any amount of time we could spend in air conditioning. It was a relatively cool day (high 70s) due to the overcast skies, but the humidity was still oppressive. When we finally arrived in the town of Sai Kung, it was a thoroughly grey day. We missed the village bus to the trailhead, but were able to catch a taxi with a very friendly driver who knew the way.
|Walking along the shore on the MacLehose Trail.|
Our trail for the day would be a section of the MacLehose Trail, one Hong Kong’s long-distance hiking trails. As with our earlier hiking on Cheung Chau, the trail was entirely paved, with steep ups and downs becoming more difficult due to aching feet. But despite the low clouds obscuring most of our views and the hard surface to walk on, it was a pretty walk through dense forest– nearly a jungle, although I don’t know exactly how the flora here is classified.
|Before we drop down to the beach village, we’ve got a bit of a descent (see the trail on the mountain there).|
The trail wound around steep coastal mountains, taking us along the ocean shore and over rocky cliffs. About an hour into the walk, we passed through a tiny coastal village with only a few small houses, a cafe, and what looked like an ocean kayaking school run by Australians and Kiwis. The village had no roads– only the paved footpath and the waterfront for access to the outside world. It was a strange contrast to the big city only an hour or so away.
|Very mellow pooches.|
In the town, as well as the second small village that we passed through, there were several dogs laying out in the streets. I couldn’t tell if they were strays, or owned by people in the village. Regardless, they were the mellowest dogs I’ve ever encountered. The same goes for all the dogs and cats I’ve seen all over Hong Kong so far. Maybe it’s the heat, but they are the best behaved animals I’ve ever seen. They just sit around and relax, and seem not to care one bit about all the strangers walking by. They’re awfully cute, too.
|Yvonne really liked this bridge.|
The clouds remained low all day, so our views were much less spectacular than Yvonne had remembered them from her last time here. Still, I was very happy with the walk. We kept a steady pace, and had a nice, peaceful walk in the woods with some misty ocean views. The lack of sunshine made the hiking easier, too, since the heat wasn’t as sweltering as it had been in the past few days.
|Continuing along the shoreline.|
About three-quarters of the way through the hike, the clouds got lower and lower until it started to rain. By this point we were mostly through with the mountains, and we were able to walk through the dense forest until we arrived at the road with a bus stop. The bus arrived moments after us, so we had a quick ride back down into town, where we proceeded to stuff ourselves with ice cream, mango pudding, egg waffles, and other tasty food. Every day that I’ve been in Hong Kong so far, I’ve eaten so much that I can barely walk by the end of the day. The food is so good here, although I doubt I can eat like this for very long– we eat very few vegetables, and lots of greasy stuff. I just tell myself I’m bulking up for a summer of heavy backpacks and hard hiking.