Outdoor Activity, Outlying Islands

MoonTrekker 2012 test hike: First half of the Sunrise 40

Even if I am not part of the actual race, I am still supporting the Moontrekker event and therefore it makes sense to familarise myself with the hike. I joined the MeetUp group and together we went on a training hike last Saturday, walking the first part of the Sunrise 40 (until Checkpoint 3, so not Lantau Peak). We agreed to meet in Mui Wo, so first of all I had to get there.

I took the small kai-to ferry that leaves from Nim Shue Wan bay to Mui Wo. It still runs about seven or nine times on a Saturday, but the rest of the week the ferry service has been cut to only two times (7.15am and 3.05pm if I remember correctly).

It just costs 12 HKD and takes about 30 minutes to get from Discovery Bay to Mui Wo, which is a really enjoyable ride.

At Mui Wo I met with the fellow hikers for the day. We started off being 18 hikers, but throughout the hike more and more dropped out, so we were only 8 left at the end.

The first part of the hike is just around Mui Wo, to the top of Chai Ma Wan peninsula. It’s about 5km and a fairly flat and easy hike, passing in and out of the forest. It’s nice to walk in the shade, especially on such a sunny day.

Once we came to the Chai Ma Wan peninsula, there is no way back. You have to go round the 11km, as there is no exit point.

The only good thing is that it is a fairly flat and easy hike. Lots of tree cover kept us well-protected from the sun and we enjoyed some great views.

After 16km we hit the spot where the first checkpoint will be during the night. After the checkpoint, it goes steep up hill, above Pui O village. A tough hike, steps after steps in the sun, really exposed. To me, that was the worst part of the hike and it kept going and going. Just 4km, but steep uphill. Once at the top, there were many steps downhill again. Luckily in the shade, but still difficult to work and very tiring.

We hit the spot for checkpoint 2 and had a little break. There was even a toilet and a vending machine (that’s the great thing about Hong Kong, public toilets are pretty amazing – most of the times very clean and spacious). So we recharged our energy and continued our hike, for the final 6km of the day.

The path took us along the side of Sunset Peak. A long but gentle incline passing a number of refreshing waterfalls and streams. We took a little break to refresh ourselves in one of the pools.

We followed the signs for Pak Kung Au heading West. At this point, my feet felt like they are walking on their own.

We finally reached Tung Chung road, after almost 26km and 6 hours on the road. A tiring walk, but I felt good to know that it is doable to hike the first part of the Sunrise 40.

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