It sounds benign enough. “I went for a hike.” I used to walk the Dish a few times a week with my mom, I like occasionally going on long wilderness walks, etc etc. So, going for a hike sounds relatively innocuous.
Lies. It turns out that I may just be crazy.
I went out yesterday (Sunday) morning to the New Territories to meet up with this hiking group called the Hong Kong Trampers that I read about in Lonely Planet and researched online. It seemed like a good way to see more of the area and meet some new people. In the end, it was both those things, and so much more.
First of all, I was not adequately prepared. I knew it was supposed to be a 7-hour hike, and the most hardcore shoes I have here are my Converses (Chuck Taylors), so I wore those. I was moving hotels, so I couldn’t bring my good backpack, as it had all my clothes and stuf f in it, so I brought the big pink shoulder bag that we’ve had my whole life and wore it like a backpack. I fortunately had my yoga pants and a sports bra, so I at least had semi-adequate clothing. Also, I was running late, so instead of getting myself a real lunch, I grabbed a sandwich from the Starbucks across the street and hoped it would suffice.
Secondly, I don’t know the last time I went on a real Hike. You all know that I may be “sporty” and play soccer obsessively and be addicted to yoga and sometimes go to the gym too often, but I am not particularly outdoorsy. The Dish is not hiking. I think two summers ago my dad and I may have hiked up in the hills at some point? I do “urban hiking,” but, let’s face it, that’s my everyday life in a city.
All of these factors, in combination with the fact that it was insanely hot and sunny yesterday, and the fact that the trail was way harder than I anticipated, resulted in 7 long hours of hot and sweaty semi-discomfort, dirt, screaming (now sore) muscles, a few blisters (only two – not as many as I’d expected), some scrapes, a sunburned back (I got everywhere else with sunscreen), and really, really sore shoulders. Several times, I thought I was going to trip and slide down the mountain. I was pretty much consistently convinced of my own insanity at somehow thinking this was a good idea. But, in the end, it turned out to be. I got some amazing pictures/saw some amazing views (I saw mainland China!), met some really awesome people with whom I hope to stay in touch, had some amazing Thai food, and, when all is said and done, had a great time.
Definitely not your typical trip to Hong Kong. But so definitely worth it.
(More to come about Saturday – haven’t finished that post yet.)
5 Replies to “I went hiking”
This sounds amazing! I know the feeling too – when I was in Austria, I had my converse high-tops, my dress jacket (I ended up borrowing a friend’s sweater at least) and jeans. Talk about the wrong outfit for a climb in the Alps! I’m loving the blog, keep updating and speak soon!
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Ah, what a day! I’ve found that so often traveling abroad involves experiences that are both terrible and wonderful. I’m glad that things are going well right off the bat and I’m looking forward to following you through this blog :)
Haha our “urban hiking” adventures don’t sound like they prepared you very well. Although we really only walked for 20 minutes and then ate a rocket pop on the grass for the remaining 40!
This is Teri (from SVSA women’s soccer). I stumbled across your blog via Gmail. I am glad you are having such a great time traveling, though we certainly missed you on Sundays =D