Hitting up the waterfall trail near Taipo was a huge relief from the summer sun. Passing a small Buddhist temple, and running alongside a stream, the hilly, and sometimes steep trail was surprisingly green and unpolluted. Along the way up the trail, we encountered three waterfalls. As we know, I am not a fan of the heat and humidity and am very much looking forward to an Aussie winter, but finding this trail was huge. Except that we didn’t end up doing all that much hiking when we were there last weekend.
Doing the hike with a few of my colleagues and their families, Rich and I had intended to stay near the front of the pack, with one of the Directors and her husband. They are currently in training for a 100 kilometer race, so I had assumed that they’d be great for pacing off of. That of course only lasted so long. The searing heat and humidity set in, and my 7 kilos of rice started to weigh me down. We only got as far as the first waterfall, before I forced Rich to stop, and decided that running up this slippery trail wasn’t going to be worth it.
In my opinion, because we stopped and walked with the rest of the pack, we got to actually enjoy the trail. Something I definitely would not have, had Rich continued to drag me up the hill.
Despite hanging back, we decided to skip the first waterfall. To get down to it, you had to veer off the trail a bit and go down a sharp incline. Afraid of falling, I’d much rather climb for an hour, than spend 5 minutes going downhill, so we pushed on to the second waterfall.
The first and second falls were quite close to one another and the going was easy. But, by the time we reached the falls I was dripping in sweat and my sack of rice felt like it was on the verge of tipping me over backwards. So, doing what any sane person would do, I immediately stripped down and jumped into the shallow pool. It was fantastic. The water was so cold, but after the heat of the surface world, what I would have normally considered freezing cold was now just nice and, as my dad would say, “refreshing”. The above photo is a look at the second fall. Before getting out, I made sure to get all my clothing nice and soaked, in the hopes that I would stay cold and vomit free.
I did remain vomit free throughout the hike, but I definitely did not stay nice and chilled. Within a few minutes of climbing up to the next waterfall, I was bone dry once more and miserable. The hike up to the final fall was quite steep and some of our little group turned back quickly. There were points when I had to use my hands to pull me up because I thought I’d fall otherwise. I didn’t know how the two ahead of us were running this.
Eventually, after a lot of up and down and misplaced feet, we reached the top. Just as happily as before, I jumped right back into the water. I tried initially to walk across the rocks in the shallower areas to reach the deeper part of the pool, only to constantly get jabbed in the foot by rocks. It took me watching Rich and my trader’s daughter walking on their hands, bodies floating behind them, to realize the easier and quicker way of going about it.
I was so happy to be there and back in my element, that I was quite miserable having to hike back down the hill. But climbing and getting to soak it up under a waterfall was hugely revitalizing. For all the things about Hong Kong I don’t like, there are absolutely some great little wonders about this place.