Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Green Power Hike

In keeping with our trend of signing up for lengthy athletic events not matched with our meager training habits, I competed in the Green Power Hike last weekend. The hike was a 50 kilometer hike up and down and around Hong Kong Island. I have done some training as of late including a hard hike up local mountains called The Twins, notably with another mother of twins and a 20 kilometer parish walk but still called the event itself a “hike” on good days and a “walk” on bad ones. I knew something was up when the friends of friends I was sharing a cab to the start with kept referring to my hike as the “race.” With my new group, I found myself running the down hills and the flats and only walking up the hills. The pace was quick, the conversation was good, and the views were stunning. One of the biggest pluses- we ended up finishing hours ahead of my anticipated finish time.

The hike itself started at Hong Kong Island’s highest point, the Peak. From there we looped down to Pok Fu Lam, through Wong Nai Chung Gap (the central point dividing the island into north and south section, and the location of crucial battles in WWII), over a couple of mountains (Jardine’s Lookout and Mount Butler), on to the Dragon’s Back (a popular and scenic hike) and into Big Wave Bay Beach. It is amazing to walk this entire distance primarily on unpaved mountain trails. We crossed a paved street with traffic only twice and ran along paved catch waters a few times. I was familiar with about 50% of the trails, including the Dragon’s Back trail. This trail is well known for its short climb up onto the ridge of a mountain and then a nice rolling walk on top with views of the South China Sea on either side. We were moving- or trying to move- too quick to linger but the clear blue skies, blue seas and green islands all around were memorable. Actually, my mind at this point was more on the beast than the beauty. One of the last times, I was up on Dragon Back, I came across a very large green python. The memory of that guy quickened my steps more than my speedy team mates.

The hike ended at Big Wave Bay Beach, a popular beach with us and many other families. Though its name is a vast overstatement, the beach does collect a crew of surfers and with them, gear, food and an audience. Basically, the beach has a little going on and good amenities. A very nice place to relax afterwards, though getting up off the sand proved difficult. Throughout the hike, Adam called me a couple of times. Usually, he heard me breathing hard and my fellow hikers chiding me for the slow down. During a call, Adam asked “where are you? Is it a play date?” Sitting on the beach afterwards, I don’t think Adam was convinced I had not been at a play date all day. I am not sure I am convinced either!


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