Monday, 13 September 2010

Cheng Tzuk Sae - Monday 13th of September, 2010

Back in the Mizunos today and torrential rains yesterday, enough to dissuade me from tackling one of the trail runs, left me with only a few options.

Still feeling optimistic after Saturday's run, I choose to run down to, and around Hang Hau before heading back to UST. A fully paved route where I (hopefully) wouldn't have to worry about slipping over and could push my pace a little for the first time in a long time.

After two days on then a rest day, my legs felt strong but still remembered the pace necessary.

Down, down, down...

Felt great at the start and went perhaps a little too fast down the hills. I took a brief detour through Shiu Bin Village (scenery: yay, stairs: grrr).

Shiu Bin Village

Village houses stand like fortresses overlooking Hang Hau.

When I got to Hang Hau I coasted along, preparing for the climb.

Only watching the ground directly in from of me I slowly chewed the hill back to UST.

Oh crap... snake!

Looking down the hill after I'd already passed it.

I half lept ahead but had already really passed the snake anyway. It was a very skinny green snake. I stopped to take some photos and meanwhile some person came up behind me. When I motioned for him to stop he seemed a little agitated that I couldn't just let him pass, but after I pointed out the snake he jumped back, stood 5m away and proceeded to repeatedly tell me that the snake was a Cheng Tzuk Sae (direct translation: Green Bamboo Snake - Wikipedia Link) and how unbelievably poisonous it was!

Just chillin' collecting some rays.

Eventually the snake moved on and I continued up the hill, struggling up the steepest part of the hills and cruising back to UST.

Despite running a lot of trails, so far it seems that the best place to spot snakes is pedestrian footpaths, where they're often sunning themselves! After browsing the web for photos of Green Bamboo Snakes (more commonly known as the Bamboo Viper apparently), I'm not convinced this is the same snake. The Bamboo Viper is a pit-viper, and this snake doesn't seem to have that classic diamond shaped head. Ah well... better safe than sorry!

After mapping the run I was surprised how far I'd ran. I thought the course was about 8km long, and when I finished, just thought that I'd been moving really slowly, but after mapping it, it turned out to be ~10.5km. Not bad for a lunchtime run!

See you on the trails (hopefully not you Mr. Bamboo Viper!)

~ Joe

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