Another lunchtime run and another super hot day. Having just a short run on the weekend had left me excited about the Monday run, and for the first km I was feeling great! So great in fact that I tackled a very tough climb at about the 2-3km mark that I normally go around. Aside from the fact that the "over" trail is basically a set of paved stairs straight up, then a set of paved stairs straight down (boring), while the "around" trail is a wonderful tree lined dirt-single track, there's a reason I normally go around it, and about 15mins into the run, I was already feeling beat. But more about that later, on with the photos!
Bright hot sun and an interesting donut-like cloud formation!
As I was running along, I came upon a huge butterfly laying in the middle of the footpath, so I coaxed it onto my finger and put it on some roadside vegetation...
As I stepped back onto the footpath, I felt something against my leg and looked down to see:
A huge stick insect making it's way up my leg!
My first urge was to knock the thing off my leg, but I resisted worried that I'd hurt it. It was moving kinda fast (in that weird "wind-blown stick" way that they wobble about) so apologies for the blurry photos...
Arms fully extended!
So I coxed it onto a small stick and placed it in some nearby grass. I was planning on getting a better shot after putting it down, but their camouflage is awesome! I don't have any photos where it obviously stands out!
So I headed out on my way, turning onto the trail and taking on the hill.
I ran mostly along this roughly paved stone trail, avoiding the dirt tracks I normally favour, just for a bit of variety.
The usefulness of this scenic marker is somewhat diminished by the crowd of trees growing in front of it!
Looking down towards Hang Hau with the High Junk Peak Trail ridgeline visible on the left (High Junk Peak itself is hidden from this angle). The "green box" at about halfway up on the left is a construction site next to the Tseung Kwan O Hospital which I ran past around half an hour later!
An inviting looking respite from the heat illegally built along the trail
A more serious looking shelter, although I think this one was officially built as part of trail upkeep. I couldn't resist but to test out the seat for a few fleeting seconds: very comfortable and a nice view!
The Tseung Kwan O / Tunnel highway intersection visible between residential towers
A little stream that I'm sure is unhealthy (but it looks nice) before crossing into Hang Hau Village
I wasn't quite feeling up to blasting myself up the hills so I took it easy. I decided that when my heart rate reached 170bpm, I'd slow to a quick walk, and when it dropped below 150bpm I start running again. An average heart rate of 160 is quite a good number, so I figured this strategy wouldn't make me too guilty about walking up the hills!
As I got to the top of the hill, construction crews were repairing part of the cutting here. I'm sure that this OH&S is a little sub-standard! While all the crew were wearing full masks, only a half-height short piece of plastic wrap was stopping myself from inhaling the same (I'd guess) unhealthy liquid concrete mix. Terrible!
On returning back to UST I felt like I'd been out on a much more serious run than it had been. While I will dearly miss the trails around Hong Kong, I won't be missing this tropical heat!
The countdown is on!
PS. The gear page has been updated, so feel free to check it out! (You can also get there by clicking the "Gear" tab up the top)