Two (clean) Trails Are Better Than One
Choosing is a lot easier than you think
Do you want a delicious slice of pizza with some extra cheese on it OR do you want a cup of mouth melting ice cream with some extra dark chocolate on it?
I know what you’re thinking — do you really have to choose? If you have the ice cream, you’ll miss out on the pizza and if you have the pizza, you’ll miss out on the ice cream. Why not just have them both? And, that’s exactly what I did today! Oh, hang on, I didn’t really eat anything for the most part of the day but what I mean to say is that I chose to run not one but TWO of the best trails in Hong Kong in one day — Sharp Peak in the morning and Plover Cove in the afternoon! Why choose between them when you can run both of them in one day?
Sad to see my home on Sharp Peak being dirtied
And so, I parked my motorbike in Pak Tam Chung at about 10.45am (yes, late start) and took a bus to Pak Tam Au. I reached the summit of Sharp Peak in 51 minutes and was disgusted at what I saw.
A repulsive waft of stinking smoke on top of the peak was my welcome into my own home!! There were two guys smoking their lungs out and exchanging one cigarette between them. Repulsive. I looked around and the place reminded me of a big garbage dump. Cigarette butts lay strewn all over. Plastic bags were omnipresent and a conspicuous eyesore. Chocolate wrappers, tissues and other waste material were dispersed all around. I was appalled. My love with Sharp Peak began around 10 years ago when I was mesmerized by the views and loved being on the summit. I read my newspaper there every Saturday. Today, the place looked more like a public rubbish bin. I was deeply disappointed.
I decided I wasn’t going to point fingers at anyone. Bottom line — the place needs to be cleaned up and an appeal needs to be put up on that Trigonometric Station at the top. An appeal to fellow hikers to remind them that we are truly lucky to have these beautiful trails in Hong Kong. The least we can do as hikers and nature lovers is to keep them that way. That doesn’t just include *not* dumping garbage ourselves but it also includes picking up any garbage that’s been irresponsibly strewn around at the top by others.
I invite all readers to join Hong Kong Trail Runners in a Sharp Peak clean up event. Let’s join forces to rid our peaks of garbage. Please see the details here.
I barely spent a couple of minutes at the peak. I couldn’t stand the cigarette smoke. I couldn’t stand looking at the garbage. I decided we would launch a Sharp Peak cleanup event and eventually extend the event to other peaks — one peak a month. I planned the event in my mind while running to Ham Tin. I then ran to Sai Wan and finally back to Pak Tam Chung to conclude my Sharp Peak Circuit in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Pizza eaten, now for dessert
The “dessert” (Plover Cove) was supposed to be a 20-minute motorbike ride from Pak Tam Chung via Ma On Shan. Sadly, my navigation went awry. I spent around an hour on the motorbike touring parts of Hong Kong I had never heard of before. Around 40 miles and an hour later, I was (somehow) back on Tolo Highway and reached Wu Kau Tang at about 2.30pm to begin my Plover Cove run.
Plover Cove, being much harder and exposed, was relatively cleaner compared to Sharp Peak. But, like Sharp Peak (minus the garbage), the trail never ceases to amaze. It ALWAYS feels like a gift to be back on the trail.
I overtook some random hikers along the way and reached the halfway point in about an hour. I was already experiencing the trail runner’s high. (No, I don’t mean the kind of high Lance Armstrong felt — I mean the natural kind). In 2 hours and 10 minutes, I finished the run at the helipad at the end of the dam.
What a great day out! And, Sharp Peak is going to get sharper after we’re done with the cleaning. Please join us on the cleanup event and let’s bring back the cleanliness to our trails and (hopefully) civic sense to the community! Details here.