Hiking pictures are here.
The brave ones:
Despite Francis’ deadly threat of stripping down to his underpants for a swim, an unbelievably large number of psychologically strong Trampers (close to 40!) joined today, putting utmost faith in the powers of the Shui Lo Chu waters to cleanse their minds of any lasting impression of that sight.
In fact, I was so overwhelmed by the large turnout that I even forgot the customary check of Lutz’s backpack for explosives (he is known to carry Yau Ma Tei batteries that explode randomly). Winnie who rarely shows up was present, Peter was there carrying a handmade Chinese fan to cope with the heat, Chris who joins about 2 hikes in a year showed up, Wendy joined us sporting a stylish new backpack, heeding Francis’ advice of showing up for hiking with a backpack and not with shopping bags.
How we got there:
Given our large number, we had to take two buses to Tai O; 23 including me in one bus with Ringo, our Senior Vice President for navigation leading us in this bus and about 17 in the other bus with navigation-in-chief Alex in charge of them. Destination was Sham Wat road.
After a nice long 1-hour bus ride to Sham Wat road, we started to climb our first and highest hill for the day – Keung Shaan in Man Cheung Po (550m). Given the scorching heat, the pace of the walk was expectedly slow – in fact, so slow that its pace could be compared to the progress of the ongoing Nina Wang court case.
Fast-forward to 2PM and we were ready for our descent to Shui Lo Chu waterfalls. Excitement was building up and cameras started clicking. The path down was so steep that it mandated intermittent rock climbing and boulder hopping.
I could hear Amanda shouting to me from somewhere behind – “[this time] I am behind you Vince!” Of course, she was playing safe after remembering an occasion back in history where I “allegedly” set off a boulder that gathered momentum, sped downhill and hit her legs causing her to collapse to the ground instantly (she hasn’t been able to produce proof of this incident since).
The weather surprisingly turned cloudy in the afternoon providing much needed relief from the stinging rays of the sun. We were all captivated by the sheer beauty of the waterfalls. The climb was well worth the effort and the scenery was an absolute treat to our senses. Several of us couldn’t resist taking a dip in the water and enjoy the natural massaging feeling of mineralized water hitting against our backs from an altitude.
The “aha” moment:
Regular readers should know by now that Francis is pretty popular for his hiking wear. In fact, I have suggested to him several times that he should start his own brand called ‘Nature Wear’ and I am sure his products would sell so fast that shopkeepers in Mong Kok and Wanchai would beg him to manufacture more. Take for example, his ‘khaki’ shirt, the 100% natural cloth for which was bought in India and carefully designed and stitched in the middle of a jungle in Burma by a gifted lady known to live up to 200 years. His hat is nothing short of a true masterpiece. Something I like to call ‘Flap Cap’ (trademark) because of its eerie resemblance to a kangaroo’s long ear tied to a made-in-Bhutan strap and worn along his forehead.
Today, when everyone was wearing the usual boring cotton shorts and conventional swimmers, Francis put on his Indian/Chinese collaboration Green shorts AND a red headscarf (made in India). In fact, Lisa who is already familiar with his idiosyncrasies was more surprised than usual which prompted her to ask a question..
“Why do you have to wear that???!!!” she asked puzzled and chuckling, referring to the headscarf.
All eyes were on Francis as he jumped into the water, enjoyed a swim and climbed out of the water. There was a slight problem though – his trademark Green colored made-by-some-old-lady-in-some-remote-location shorts evidently didn’t do the best job of retaining its opaqueness once it started to absorb water. In fact, it became translucent and even bordered on being transparent. And thus came the headscarf to his rescue. It doubled as a made-in-Malaysia sarong that he spontaneously wore around his shorts to guard his privacy.
After soaking up the beauty of the waterfalls, we were off to a nice downhill trek to Tai O where we boarded a speed boat to Tung Chung. Catherine, who lives life to the fullest, grabbed a front row seat on this thrilling high-speed ride back to civilization.
We departed our own ways upon reaching the MTR station, marking the end to another great Tramping weekend adventure to sink into the beginning of yet another long workweek.
Thanks go to Alex, Ringo, Nerissa, Francis, Lisa for all help with navigation.
Also, I can finally tell where we have been, thanks to my state-of-the-art GPS receiver. You can see a map of the route taken today on http://techotek.com.
Tags: Everyday life
, Hiking walk reports
, My Shui Lo Chu!
, Tung Chung