Pat Sin Leng + Cloudy Hill

I told myself before attempting the 100Km race last week that I would rest the ankle for a solid two weeks after the event. So, was largely grounded yesterday and resisted the temptation to put on my hiking shorts and tee shirt today … until about 1pm! Suddenly, at 1pm, the trails started beckoning harder than usual and I could no longer resist the temptation to go for a trail run. Besides, I was telling myself that the best way to cure a swollen ankle is to go trail running! It’s like this: when a snake bites, one needs anti-venom for the cure. Anti-venom is essentially more of a snake bite! An ankle injury is similar. Hardcore trail running might have caused it, so some gentle trail running will cure it! So, armed with that logic, I decided on Plover Cove or Pat Sin Leng (if I couldn’t get the bus to Plover Cove from Tai Po).

The Tsim Sha Tsui pollution and incredibly slow walkers got to me when I stepped into Kimberly Road. So, decided to run to all the way to Hung Hom station. I had to run on the main road as pedestrians on the side walk just wouldn’t give way!! Besides, having watched Transporter 3 in the morning, I felt I could pull off a few Jason Statham kind of stunts myself. So, as I was running on the main road, a car started honking from behind. The car caught up to me pretty quickly and the driver – some Indian guy lowered his glass window and asked me why I was running. It went like this:

Indian Driver: Bhai.. why are you running?? [Bhai is brother in Hindi]
Me: (thinking I am wearing a friggin’ hiking tee shirt and shorts, what does it look like I’m doing?!)
Exercising! (I shouted)
Indian Diver: (puts his hand out the window, has a sarcastic smile on his face and asks me:) Why don’t you run right in the middle of the road? I won’t “crash you”
Me: (trying to think of a witty reply but could only come up with this one)
don’t worry – I have insurance (wondering if I really have insurance?!)
Indian Driver: Ok Bhai! [or maybe it was Ok, Bye!]

Anyway… so after that little Jason Statham kind of fast run, I took the train to Tai Po. Had to go to Pat Sin Leng (no surprise) as the bus to Wu Ku Tang (Plover Cove) was ages away

From Tai Mei Tuk bus stop to Pat Sin Leng to Hok Tau to Cloudy hill beginning: 1 hour 41 minutes

Now.. the past few times I have done this, I have ALWAYS ended up missing the Cloudy Hill trail. Today, I was determined to apply my brains. So, reached Cloudy Hill and saw two turnoffs. One to the left (I took this before and was wrong) and there was this narrow trail to the right. I took that. MISTAKE!! It was steep as hell and I was attempting to follow the ribbons hanging from the trees on the side and missed one of them. At 150m above sea level, I found myself bush whacking. I could hear the traffic and noise from the village below, yet it seemed far, far away as I wasn’t going to get there because of the thick overgrowth. So, Plan B was to go back up!! I didn’t want to lose sunlight so went back up to the nearest telephone pylon. As I was preparing to go back up to Cloudy Hill, a ribbon flashed before my eyes. I lowered speed, kept my eyes on all subsequent ribbons and ended up at some village! Had to get a mini bus from there to Tai Po station.

Cloudy Hill -> Finish (some village): 1 hour 15 mins (should have taken <60 mins had I gone the right way..) Garmin.