Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dragon's Back

14 Dec 2016 Wed 23-18C

A good night’s rest managed to soothe our sore feet. Ibis’s double bed was an exaggeration but we managed not to push each other out onto the floor. The buns bought the night before for breakfast was mainly a mass of dry dough with a pinch of filling.

We took Bus 9 from Shau Kei Wan Station, with a busload of hikers to To Tei Wan stop where the trail head is. The 30 minute ride was uneventful and the scenery along the way was stunning already.

It was a challenging start the first 100 m or so with lots of steep steps. At many vantage points, we took in the views like many of the hikers. Our progress was very slow because I was out of  form and the band of hikers left us far behind. 

After more than an hour, we reached the Dragon’s Back, a summit 284m high with sweeping views of Big Wave Bay on our right and Tai Tam Bay on our left. The effort was worth it. After that, we proceeded downhill on the difficult uneven trail. 

Another hour later, we had to make a decision to take the Pottinger Country Trail or Trail 8 which indicated “Big Wave Bay”. We chose the later which was out of my original plan. It was a bush trail, steep, rocky and uneven. My new walking stick endured my body weight as I relied on it to make my descent. We did that for another hour, with fitter folks passing us by. I was full of regret for not doing my homework and missing the Pottinger which promises a sweeping vista once it emerge from the woods until it reaches the bay.

At long last, at 2.30pm, we reached the Shek O side of the beach and rewarded ourselves with lots of drink. We had our fill of muesli and nut bars, courtesy of my friends at CGH and were no longer hungry. Pat walked to the Rock Carving side of the beach some 400m north while I chilled out and let my legs recover from the ‘abuse’ earlier. It was an place  full of young surfers and there was no place for old folks like us.

We made our way past the convenience stalls and got up a mini bus ( 10 Hkd ) to Shau Kei Wan without many stops. It was pricey but definitely faster, considering that the public bus 9 wasn’t in sight. But our legs now having made 18000 steps were thankful that we were closer to the hotel.

At Shau Kei Wan, we wondered around the day market. Just when we thought we were really done for the day, I spied a dessert store that sold steamed egg desserts. We had one each, happy to have struck off ‘local dessert’ from our to-do list.

We had a little rest at Ibis and then went to the famous hawker stall Tung Po at Java Market for dinner. Food was pricey but innovative, the place rowdy with tourists and locals and the service was efficient and friendly, a rare find in HK.

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