On Sunday, after a lazy Saturday, I felt ready for another beating so wanted to tackle a couple of running ideas / challenges I've had for a while.
The first was a tour of Old Kowloon. For those that don't know the history of Hong Kong, the British used to own Hong Kong Island and a fair chunk of the Kowloon Peninsula, right up to the aptly named Boundary Street, which basically marks the north end of Mong Kok now. Eventually, I guess the British were feeling generous, and the signed a deal to change their ownership of this land into a lease from the Chinese Government for 99 years and in return, Hong Kong was about tripled in size (by memory).
Long story, short, I wanted to cover the circumference of what was essentially "Old Kowloon", from Hung Hom, up to, and along, Boundary St, out to the western edge of the harbour and down the coastline, around TST back to Hung Hom.
The second goal was a large hill that I'd spotted in a park. Every morning, the staff bus route I take to work travels along Boundary St and past a park that plays host to a naturally forested rather impressive hill. So I thought, I'd like to at least go check it out to see if there's a good vantage point on top or something.
I started out late in the afternoon to avoid the heat. The sun's already getting low here as I pass the Kowloon City Ferry Pier.
Golden light filtering through the branches.
I rambled along Boundary St, eventually making it to the park. I found a small trail heading up the hill which consisted of stairs that zig-zagged backwards and forwards, looking like they were constructed of old shelves and other random bits of wood. Pretty standard for a HK trail really. And at the top I found.... nothing
A patch of grass and a few trees. Not even a good view to be found from the top of the hill!
Heading down the hill I found a proper looking set of stairs that neatly deposited me onto a back-road. But which damn back-road was this?! In the confusion of trying to find my way back to Boundary St, I pressed the "compass" button on my watch to follow a south heading, but... oh, no! The compass button reset my stopwatch as I didn't cycle back to the main screen first. Doh! Ah, well... I guess it was about 45mins so far... at least I found my way back to Boundary St!
After the end of Boundary St, I headed south, through a park and over a bridge crossing the train lines.
This lead me to a road alongside the harbour that I thought would deliver me to the West Kowloon Harbourfront Promenade.
Puddles along the south bound road.
Eventually leading to... a dead-end and some path leading to a cargo area??
I ran back up the street a little till I passed a family walking south along the road and stopped to talk to a couple of HK teenagers sporting huge cameras. They too were planning to head to the park, but this was their first time in this neighbourhood as well! A local worker set all three of us straight: just head straight through the cargo area!
Deserted. The sun had long disappeared and the light was quickly fading.
Apologies for the grim image, but my mind kept remembering the Batman paperback title: "A lonely place of dying".
Eventually, after a few dead-ends I (thankfully) found my way into the Waterfront Promenade. Plenty of bikes, families and photographers here!
A large concrete circle just designed for cyclists to ride around and relax on.
The run was wearing on a bit, but from here, it's a well worn path down to TST and back around to Hung Hom.
The Mid-Autumn Festival displays at TST all lit up.
Well, I would consider this successfully ticking both the to-do's on this run and I think with a little course smoothing, this could be quite a nice 19-20km run.
What a great weekend, with 20km+ runs on both Friday and Sunday. Can't wait for the cooler weather to arrive and let me push it out to more serious distances!
See you in Old Kowloon!