It feels like I haven't posted for ages, but I'm actually only a couple of posts behind! Last weekend was a 4-day super-long-weekend so I decided on one day running and one day climbing. The climbing was organised for Monday, so I locked in Saturday for a run.
I decided on a route from Tai Po rd in Hong Kong's west, through the mountain range that effectively divides Kowloon from the New Territories, and finishing down near the coast in far Eastern Kowloon. Although I'd either ran or hiked the individual sections of this route before, I'd never done it in one go. The title of this post is a reference to the fact that I wasn't really moving along at a whirlwind pace (I was quite happy to take it easy and enjoy the scenery) but also to the fact, that along the course there were numerous "creepy" sights.
Monkeys! Yes, not really that creepy, but these little thieves will chase you down, leap onto you and swipe anything that looks like a plastic bag from your pack! Better make doublely sure everything is packed inside!
The weather was pretty good for running. Not exactly ideal, since temps were a little high (~25oC), but with heavy cloud cover and a little bit of wind to cool you off.
A pine cone sits in a puddle
Electrical Hazard... You're telling me!
As I climb higher onto Kowloon Peak (Fei Ngo Shan) the clouds move in
This view would normally look down across Kowloon to the old airport site, and across the harbour to Hong Kong island. In these conditions, things were disappearing 10m in front of me!
My self portrait.... When I reached the highest point on the trail at Kowloon Peak, I spotted a short post and decided on a self portrait. So I set the 10sec timer and moved in front of the lens. Just as the timer was set to go off, a particularly stern gust of wind pushed the camera off it's post, capturing this wonderfully dark self-portrait. I tried to re-set the camera, but the wind kept intervening so I just gave up on it.
My trail follows around this corner, entirely obscured by mist... ooooooo, creepy....
Coming down off Kowloon Peak, you hurdle down a loooong flight of stairs (think nearly a km of descending!). So, as I was cruising down these stairs, one crumbled and gave-way beneath me! arrgh... luckily I didn't tumble down the entire mountain, and managed to snap this shot of the broken step
A tree I passed on my way down, splashed with red paint. No idea what it says
And when I got to the bottom, there's a little stream crossing there. As the water was still, but very clear, I thought I might have a chance to photograph another freshwater crayfish/yabbie like some time ago. So I rock-hopped down to a suitable looking spot and peered into the water.
And low and behold, I spotted two of these little guys! The first was munching on (what looked like) a leaf, and promptly disappeared when I overshadowed their little pool, but this one seemed quite content for me to snap a few photos of it!
Judging by the flattened tail, these guys are made to live under water. Maybe some kind of newt? Hmmmm.... I would guess a Hong Kong Newt and judging by the Wikipedia article, I'd say I was quite lucky to get a photo of one!
This is an accidental photo while I was trying to shake the excess water off the camera after dunking it in the stream. I think it's kinda cool!
A bright red bush as I head through Tseng Lan Shue village
And a red door as I make my way south
Another cheap water reflection shot!
And now we're seriously getting to the creepiness.
As I was climbing Black Hill (I think that's what it's called) through a dense section of jungle, the clouds moved in and these creepy sculptures appeared along the trails!
Slippery Road Be Careful! I eventually figured out that this statues were related to some small shrine nearby, but a little freaky nonetheless!
Misty hills as I approach the final section of trail from O King rd to Yau Tong
Awesome trails and awesome running conditions
Hong Kong disappears into the mist and low clouds
Devil's Peak, the final uphill section before descending into Yau Tong
It looks to me as if the route and elevation profiles aren't from the same run... the route looks very long while the elevation profile looks like it's from a <10km run! They are, in fact, both plotted from exactly the same GPS file! The steep steep descent from Kowloon Peak (the one big mountain) is clearly visible on the plot and looks a bit scary actually!
Despite in retrospect, talking about creepy, freaky and scary things on this run, none of that struck me at the time, and I had a wonderful cruise along some trails that I'm quite familiar with and some sections that were rather new!
Hope everyone else is having as much fun on the trails as me!