20th July, 1997
Stage 12 and part of 11 of Lantau Trail
New: Allan's Effort
A truly all-round experience
Other pictures from this day: Setting Out, More Charlie's.
Well for those who didn't make it on the weekend, I'm afraid to say you missed something quite special. But fear not, we can do it again - read on...
8am saw Sark, Allan, Echo, Yvonne and myself climbing abort the steel hulled rust bucket which passes for a ferry to Silvermine Bay, still glancing over our shoulders waiting for any late arrivals. There were none. Travelling deluxe, we poured over the newspaper whilst sitting in the air-con, looking for anything interesting in the press. Once again the comics shone through as the most appealing section, and once again the Money section had not a single page turned. Maybe that would be different if some of you bankers showed up!
On arrival we took a quick snap <photo to come> and set off looking for the end of the Lantau Trail, our goal to follow it to Pui O and then on to Shek Pik reservoir. Following the road behind McDonalds, we walked down toward the water looking for the entry to the trail. Allan, in his infinite wisdom, spotted the start but decided to keep it a secret while we all walked on for another ten minutes or so to a dead end. Thanks mate.
Backtracking, we were soon on our way encountering large killer snails just after getting onto the track. Five minutes in the heat and humidity and we were all dripping wet - it was going to be a hot one. Sunglasses were a really good idea, and most of us remembered them .... how's the eyes Sark?
Sark, Allan and I split up from the girls. We had decided to travel further than they on this day, and with mobile phones in both parties we arranged to call and try and meet up again later.
There was one moderate hill in the trail to Pui O, and after passing the radio tower (with the radiation warning sign on the fence) we made it to this small village in a comfortable two hours. Somewhere along the way Mr Social (alias Allan) pulled (and I kid you not) a solar powered pocket radio out of his pack and plugged in the earphones to listen to the cacophany of civilisation again - I think he is turning native. Just prior to our arrival in Pui O we came across some local wildlife in the form of some very muddy Water Buffalo <photo to come>.
A quick refuel and we were underway again. Twenty minutes later we reached a small water drain where Sark and I upset a rather large serpent. Fortunately it made haste in the opposite direction to us. Five minutes down the track we came across a small dam, catching water from a creek that flowed all the way up to the mountains in the background. This creek proved too much a distraction and we abondoned the track in favour of a hike over the rocks up the hill. This walk was extremely interesting (if only for the plethora of spiders). We were constantly having to think and plan our path over the next set of rocks - I can see where rock climbers get their inspiration.
It was not long before we found a series of small pools, and one in particular appealed to us so much that we stopped for a swim and theraputic massage from the cascading waters spilling over the rocks. This has to be one of the most special places I have found in Hong Kong, and am thoroughly looking forward to my next visit.
A phone call to the girls and half an hour later and we were back at Pui O, having had enough of the heat for the day. There we ate at a little place called Charlie's. The food and service were good, and the beer was cold. They also have execellent milk shakes. It's the last place on the right hand side as you're heading out of Pui O and can be recongnised by the large bottle filled tree out front <photo to come>.
All in all we only hiked around 10-12 klms on this day, so rather than a serious work-out it was more like a whole lot of fun. Hope to see you on the next walk - you just never know what is going to happen.
!!!FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH DISCOVERED !!!
Last Sunday three intrepid guys made an amazing discovery on Lantau Island, finally solving one of the mysteries of peoplekind by locating the mythical Fountain Of Youth (actually a waterfall). In a very secret spot,about twenty minutes walk past Pui O as you go along the Catchwater Track looking to the right hand side, exists a magical wonder of the world.
It all started while drifting along in a 34 degree heat delirium walk. All of a sudden we spotted what seemed to be an insignificant pure and pristine pool of water. Led on by cries of "Lets point Percy here", we jumped the fence next to the sign which read ~Public Drinking Water Keep Out~ and were about to let it all hang out when unexpectedly we felt an undeniable presence. Looking skywards we saw a towering green behemoth of a mountain and cascading down it was a winding waterfall. Instantly we decided to climb, each of us drawn on by an unexplainable feeling to discover the source.
We knew it would not be an easy task as before us were huge boulders that must of been put there by gaints of yesteryear to hide the secret path. Clambering over them we discovered the Guardians of the Gate, horrible and frightening creatures with eight legs apparently called Arachnids by the Romans, which strung up these things I can only describe as webs to trap us. But we would not fail our mission and pressed on until finally it was there in front of us.
In an unusual sight for Hong Kong lay a large pool of water which quite unbelievably contained absolutely no McDonald's wrappers.We frolicked in the clear soft water for ages, sitting under the waterfall in ecstasy. It was bliss, but at the same time we became aware other things were happening. Shane started picking up huge boulders and throwing them at me with super human strength. I suddenly found I could remember what I did the night before. Sark was looking even younger than previously, so much so that now we have to buy his round at the pub for him because the bar girls keep asking for ID.
It was the discovery of a lifetime and in typical Hong Kong style we now plan to exploit it to the max. For the benefit of others and with absolutely no thought of profit we now offer to you water bottled at the source ~ the elixir of life. In a clever marketing campaign we will be using bottles and labels identical in all details to the ones used by Watsons so that you the consumer feel no confusion. And for our special introductory offer one bottle will cost, yes you guessed it, only ninety seven dollars.
In another coup we will be hiring the muscle heads at California Fitness Club to be our sales emissaries. Of course we only have limited supply at the moment, that is until we get the chance to raze the surrounding area of this oasis and build a filthy big bottling plant. However guided tours may commence shortly for those who missed the walk and a good time for all is guaranteed. Please feel free to contact any of us at the Well Nice Water Co. for more details.
....And in other unrelated news ~