Jardine’s Lookout Hike

We surprised many friends when we announced our first hike at this time of the season. It is almost the end of spring and we have just started our hiking activity. For the past 16 weekends, Harshad, Tracy and I were lazing around at shopping malls, cafes and movie theaters  Even the cab driver who took us to Jardine’s Lookout voiced out his concerns. “Hiking at 3:30pm? At Jardine’s Lookout? Are you late for hiking? It is late afternoon wor! Are you sure you can make it?”, he asked. “And you guys don’t even carry water with you? It is a long hike, you know.”

“Er…is it?… Well, it is heavy to carry water bottles. We decided to go light…” we answered. The cab driver was smiling in disbelief. He knew we were amateurs. Honestly, we have no idea how long or how difficult the hike at Jardine’s Lookout is. We saw the photos on the hiker’s guide book. It was a new trail that we haven’t explored. It is just a hike, how bad can that be, I thought. The cab driver counter-proposed other easier hikes but we rejected his offers. In the end, he drove us up the hill and dropped us at the entrance of the Wilson Trail. “Take this route, it is the shortest way to Jardine’s Lookout”, he said.

The cab driver is right. It isn’t a gentle hike but it is a very rewarding one. For 3.5 hours, we hiked 6km up to an altitude of 310m (elevation: Up 765m / down 1006m).

The view at Jardine’s Lookway offers an amazing panaroma of Hong Kong and Kowloon. Encircled by green mountains, we were at the midpoint between 2 jungles – concrete and nature. Facing north, we saw the buzzing skyline of Hong Kong (Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay) and Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Hom). Overlooking south, we saw the calm scenic forests, streams and reservoirs  From orange to green, the different shades of the vegetations revealed the changing of the seasons.

The hike took us to a cross road where one leads to Quarry Bay and the other leads to Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir. It was almost 6:30pm, the sun was setting and I thought we had hit the main road where we can take a cab home. Goodness, we were 3km away from the nearest public road! As I haven’t been hiking for the past 6 months, the steps uphill took a bad toll on my knees. Worst of all, I wasn’t even wearing the right footwear for this hike. I was in my sandals. By the time I reached the peak of Mount Butler, my knees were wobbling. Without any drinks or energy bars, I endured the aching knees and hiked down over 600 steps to Quarry Bay. (We ended up at a familiar trail that we didn’t complete the last time with Felicia and Elkan back in 2011!)

Despite the aching body, it was an awesome hike! In fact, I have never felt this good and fit! The hike was strenuous but it was very rewarding for both mind and body. (Yes, we also successfully tested our new toys – 5D Mark III!) Best of all, I received so many “likes” on Facebook and many friends requested to join us in our next Hong Kong hike.

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