Hong Kong Trash Removers – Ma On Shan Edition – April 2014
April 5th 2014 is Ching Ming Festival – according to Chinese customs, that’s the day when you’re supposed to go bai san. (Give offerings and seek blessings from ancestors).
Hong Kong Trash Removers (TM) sought blessings from the Hill Gods today by ridding Ma On Shan of trash. My co-host, proud Swiss National, Hannes and I, got 11 people together and asked them to come armed with large garbage bags to aid in our effort.
We started off in Ma on Shan and climbed up to the Hunchbacks using the power of our thighs and ropes on many occasions. Hannes explained to us that the ropes that were installed were only for weaklings. So, to prove to everyone how strong I was, I used only one finger (my pinkie) to hold my heavy trash bag and the same finger to pull myself up the steep slopes.
Michael showing us that our “clean” trails ain’t quite so clean
That’s Tilly hauling herself up those ropes with her trash bag
The views were great too. Check out my reservoir (Plover Cove) to the right
Upon reaching the top of Ma On Shan, our promising candidate for our widely-advertised CGO (Chief Garbage Officer) role, Melanie, made a startling discovery. Using her keen powers of sight and observation, she not only picked up loads of trash but also discovered a secret message carefully preserved in a bottle. Here it is.
Group reading the secret message discovered by Melanie
We were expecting some juicy gossip about Hong Kong Celebrities or better yet, some secret treasure map to an isolated location that would surely contain several kilograms of gold, but, much to our disappointment, all we gathered was this message left by one hiker for another in a carefully preserved plastic bottle.
Tilly holding up the message
It read something like “Dear Q, thank you for the hike, I have left this message in this bottle for you to find [blah, blah and more boring blah]“.
Not very interesting.
Nora decided to write a reply which went something like “we found your message and hope the intended recipient of this message also does so, but please don’t litter our hills”.
We left Ma On Shan and got divided into two groups — the first group led by Hannes went over Pyramid Hill and ended their garbage collection hike in Sai Kung whereas I led the second group consisting of Tilly, Roy, Melanie and myself, and I sort of “mis”-led our little group by somehow taking us back to Ma On Shan! (I wanted us to go to Sai Kung too!) Well, let me explain. Hannes said “take right at Marker 86″ but forgot to tell me which way “right” was. Was it “right” as in “right” coming down from the Maclehose trail or “right” as in looking back at the trail from the opposite direction (which would indeed make it “left” not “right”). Anyway, after some serious deliberation, I figured that I had a 50% chance of being “right” (no pun intended). So, off we went to the right, in the direction of a certain place called “Mui Tsz Lam”.
Well, much to my credit, like a homing pigeon, we sort of ended back where we started, i.e. Ma On Shan! In the process, we discovered a nice and green trail and removed a lot more trash. Melanie discovered our biggest catch for the day, a big bucket!
Tilly, Melanie and Roy collecting more trash – Melanie showing of her bucket!
And, finally, we emptied several trash load of bags into the dustbins in Ma On Shan!
Trashing the trash
We finished at a cha cha teng in Ma On Shan. Tilly made every use of her spare moment by practicing her Cantonese in the restaurant. Melanie proved her skill not only in garbage collection but also in teaching her some Cantonese!
Tilly practicing her Canto
And, here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Without any further ado, let me announce that our “Chief Garbage Officer” award goes to Melanie for not only picking up the most amount of trash today but for also spreading her enthusiasm about keeping the environment clean and healthy for everyone to enjoy! Round of applause please!
A big ‘thank you’ goes out to all the Hong Kong Trash Removers who joined us today. The Ma On Shan Gods will be pleased with us! :)
Tags: Hiking in Hong Kong, Samaritan Activities