The Moontrekker hiking event is taking place on October 25, 2013 this year (you can find out more on the Moontrekker event website) and while I’m not participating in the actual race, I’ve joined a few of the training sessions, run by the Hong Kong Hiking MeetUp group.
I’ve done two recent training sessions – one on a very hot and sunny Sunday in June and the other on a rainy and cloudy Saturday in July. Guess which session was easier? Saturday’s by far. Still, I took the nicer picture on the Sunday, so let’s share those.
We started off at 8.30am at Mui Wo ferry pier and walked along the coastal path (which is the end of the Lantau trail, that I’ve written about here) and then you bear left downhill and follow the coastal path all the way to the Chi Ma Wan Road. That’s about 5km to walk.
At the beach, is a house where the owner sells cold drinks – if it’s a very hot day make sure to stock up and get some extra water.
At this point don’t be surprised if you see some cattle in the background – they tend to stay away from hikers and just watch from a safe distance, especially if they have babies.
We followed the Moonlit 26 path, so we turned right and followed the road for 800m until we reached the steps that would take us all the way to Nam Shan. This is a tough part, especially in the sun as there is not much shade. It is ‘only’ 270m to climb, but it can be very tiring – we often have a group members that leave after this stage, as they are exhausted and ready to go back home.
At Nam Shan we take a break at the public restrooms and stock up at the drink vending machines (careful: they only take octopus cards) and then walk all the way along the side of Sunset Peak to Pak Kung Au. This part is 7km long with little elevation and it is partly shaded, passing along waterfalls and streams in a dense, green forest and with amazing views over Cheung Sha beach.
On the Sunday we hiked, we saw quite a few paragliders – they all took their gear with them, hiked up to Sunset Peak and started from there.
There is a nice waterfall at the end of this part, where we always stop to plunge our feet in and some hikers jump into the pond completely but you have to be careful with the sharp rocks and slippery stones.
Then it’s just another 20-30 minutes until you hit Tung Chung road, where checkpoint 3 will be located (that’s the one I volunteered at last time, at the Moontrekker event 2012). From there the official Moontrekker goes along the old abandoned Tung Chung Road and hits the nature trail that leads up to Ngong Ping through Tei Tong Tsai. We’ve done this on the hot and sunny Saturday and once we reached Ngong Ping, we stopped there. We were too tired!
Yesterday, on a cloudy Sunday, we did it the other way round. After checkpoint 3 we decided to climb Lantau Peak straight away – we decided to tackle the 934m head on. We climbed upwards in 45 minutes (there was no view, just clouds) and then made our way back down to Ngong Ping. Climbing downhill took as long, as it was very slippery. After 6.5 hours we reached Ngong Ping and figured, we’ll just stop here and take the bus home. That’s what we did – it was still tiring and good exercise.