Saturday, April 28, 2012

Run to Shatin through Shatin Pass (沙田坳)

The route from Kowloon to Shatin through Tai Po Road is currently not practical due to the roadwork at Lung Cheung Road.  So I tried an alternative route this morning, through the Shatin Pass above Wong Tai Sin.  At around 8 AM, I noted that the rain had stopped and the roads began to dry, so I set off.  Within 5 minutes, however, the raindrops started.  I hated to be defeated by a few raindrops; so I persevered.  Then the drops got bigger and more frequent, and soon I was quite wet.  Since I was wet already, it didn’t really matter if I continued, I thought.  And I was getting angry at the rain:  “So you are trying to stop me?  Well, you know what?  I am not going to give in to that.”  It actually rained harder for a while.  And I almost regretted it.  But by the time I got to Wong Tai Sin, the rain had slowed to a trickle.  I think there is a lesson in there somewhere.  But I am not sure what it is. 

Shatin Pass Road is really quite steep, more than 10 degrees at some places.  I had to stop a few times, to catch my breath, and to let my legs regain some strength.  There were people walking up and down along the way, so I felt safe.  Even when I saw those monkeys.  I had seen a lot of them on my run several days ago along Tai Po Road.  I did not know that they would be here as well.  There were only 3 of them this time, but they were much closer, and they were on both sides of the road, so I had to walk through them.  I really don’t like them, and I know they can be aggressive, especially when there is food.  I hid my water bottle in my pocket, lest they mistook it for food.  They did not bother me. 

The view, looking back towards Kowloon and even the Hong Kong Island in the distance, was really very good, even in the rain.  At the top of the Shatin Pass, however, I made the mistake of taking the shorter path down, which turned out to be a hiking trail - not something that I could run on.  Next time, I shall try the longer path going down to Shatin, which, hopefully, is more suitable for running.  Even tough, however, running downhill, particularly in rain, is probably not a very good idea anyway.

But, this time, I was rewarded by some very nice and refreshing streams along the way.  They reminded me of the hikes we took when we were in secondary school.  We hiked every Saturday afternoon, usually for about 3 hours.  I think we probably covered most of southern Hong Kong Island.  We would often “fish” for small fish and shrimp in the streams, using our handkerchiefs as traps, disguised with little peables. 

Soon I could see Shatin from above the trees.  It was not a completely satisfying run, mainly because I had to hike part of the way.  I should have followed my own judgement and not listen to the people who suggested the shorter hiking trail.  But I am proud that I was able to complete it, despite the rain, and the uncertainty about many of the turns. 

And I love these simple pleasures of Hong Kong. 

1 comment:

Mark Benson said...

Visit is required through flights to Hong Kong in order to explore this marvellous land in Asia. Truly magnificent and elegant it is for a holiday.