Sunday, November 13, 2016

East Dam of High Island Reservoir (萬宜水庫東壩)

The East Dam of the High Island Reservoir is an impressive engineering feat set in beautiful, relatively unspoilt scenery.  But most people go there to see the hexagonal rock columns, particularly the S-shaped ones.  Some hike, many take taxis, I ran.  Specifically, I ran from Pak Tam Chung (北潭涌) to the East Dam, and back.  I have to admit, however, that after 16 kilometres, both my calfs were cramping, and I walked the rest of the way back.  

The north side of the dam is where many of the most interesting columns are.  

The columns are humongous, dwarfing the people gawking at them, myself included. 

The S-shaped columns are at the north side of the base of the dam.  

The lava gushing up the volcano cooled, solidified, shrunk, and fracture into polygonal columns. 

Strong horizontal pressure forced the rock columns to tilt.  Even stronger pressure twisted the rock columns into a S shape.  Finally, unimaginably strong pressure sheared off some of the columns. Wow!

Many of them have now broken off.  

Standing underneath some of them, I was hoping they wouldn’t fall right at that moment. 

On the south side, one can see Po Pin Chau (破邊洲), an island cut off from the land by erosion.  On the inside of the island are more beautiful columns.  But using the camera on my phone from such a distance and angle it is difficult to see them clearly. 

Hong Kong does have some impressive natural sights.  One does not have to go very far to enjoy them.  In the end, my legs cramped; but I am glad I made the effort.  And there are more leisurely ways to go there.  

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