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.)