Falling a bit behind in the posting (sorry guys!), so the next few will be mostly images!
A long weekend meant time for a long run... So I decided on the extended (and rather difficult) run from Sai Kung to Hang Hau via Ma On Shan, Tate's Cairn and Tseng Lan Shue.
The start to this route is a particularly hard one. A nice flat 1km warmup running north out of Sai Kung, before gaining just about 700m (going from smack on sea level to the 702m peak of Ma On Shan) in the next 5km. This photo is where the road I take out of Sai Kung joins the official MacLehose Trail route.
A beautiful butterfly that sat still long enough for a photo
A photo from on top of Ma On Shan. I took a 5min break up here, but even so the time for the 1km at this peak (300m up the hill and 700m down it) was super slow: more than 30mins!
A flash, very heavy rainstorm making the descent rather tricky and slow, thus the 30min+ / 1km time!
After getting off the top of Ma On Shan, I have my favourite section of the trail: a windy dirt single track with magnificent views on both sides
Looking back up towards the peak I just came off. This section of the trail is about at 550m so I had a 150m up and back to tag Ma On Shan's peak
Blessed with unbelievable views from the Ma On Shan massif
The Ma On Shan Country Park where this long, beautiful and difficult trail unfolds
This is a spot frequented by hang-gliders, but I'd guess the thunderstorms turned everyone away.
Slowly making my way towards Tate's Cairn and the Fei Ngo Shan ridgline.
One benefit of being too tired to move fast is the ability to notice the small details.
After switching to the Wilson Trail, the path literally falls off this mountain. As hard as the uphill battles are, the long steep downhills always seem worse.
A hitch-hiker on my shoulder!
As I grind out the last 5-10km the day wears on, getting hotter and hotter
I cross through Tseng Lan Shue village before descending Little Hawaii Trail into Po Lam. The red debris is from a recent firecrackers / a festival in the village (I guess!)
Back in a Suburban environment in Po Lam and (thankfully) almost finished.
In the end this turned out to be a very slow time. A distance of only 28-29km but it took me just over 5hrs to complete the route. Part of that is surely the difficulty of the course, but the 1-3pm sun beating down in the second half made things really tough... But it's good to know that I can still be moving after 5hrs. Hopefully in better conditions, I'd be covering twice as much ground in that time!
See you on the trails,