Saturday, November 26, 2005


Drugs, beaches and monkeys!

It's hiking season here again! Troy and I decided we didn't want to torment ourselves by hiking in 90 degree heat and 90% humidity!

A lot of trails around here are really long so they are divided up into stages. About a month ago we did stage 1 and 2 of a trail called Maclehose Trail. It was nothing special, although it walked along an incredibly beautiful resevoir. Of course it had the obligatory Hong Kong torture steps up the steep hills. We did come across an amazing discovery: an absolutely gorgeous beach called Long Ke. It had incredibly soft sand, clear and clean water and great views of the South China Sea. One of the best things about it is that the only way you can get there is by hiking or by boat. The closest taxis can get is still a 20 minute walk away and private cars are not allowed along the road. So that pretty much guarantees that the beach is desserted most of the time.

Two weeks ago, Troy and I took advantage of the warm weather in November, packed up our towells and sunscreen and spent the day there doing absolutely nothing except reading, sleeping and hanging out in the water. I told Troy I never had such a great tan in November!

Funny thing though, the property is right next to the beach is a Christian run drug rehabilitaion center. We found it interesting that the best beach in Hong Kong is saved for the druggies.

Farther along the trail is stage 6 and 7 which we did this past weekend. More tortuous steps involved (just look at that steep profile). The parks and recreation department here is just sadistic.

Anyway, friends had told us there were monkeys along this trail and they were not kidding. When we got off at the bus stop, there were countless macaques monkeys hanging out right next to the busy road. Some of them were actually very cute where as others were just nasty. Red, swollen bottoms, cuts, bites, missing chunks of hair. You definitely did not want any of these approaching you, not to mention scratching or biting you. It would probably mean instant death. The first part of the hike was not very pleasant because there was monkey shit everywhere, not to mention the overwhelming smell of it.

Throughout the rest of the hike we intermittenly came across groups of them. Some would be in trees throwing seeds down at us or they would be digging in trash cans having a feast on what they were finding.

At one point on the hike, Troy sat down to rest when a group of cows came down the trail toward us. A large female made a beeline straight for Troy where she proceeded to rub her nose against his face then started to lick him. I guess she thought he was a giant salt lick. (Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me). I was terrified that she would get spooked or something and would hurt Troy. We were miles from help and there was no one around if something happened.

We thought the hike was going to be 6 or 7 miles but ended up being 11.2 miles. The guide book failed to tell us that to get from the end of stage 7 to public transportation is a 4.3 mile hike around a reservoir. The entire walk back I'm looking through the guide book for an address or something so I could send hate mail to the author.


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