Today didn’t work out as planned. After I finished work I planned a walk. My intended route was from Kau Lui Ha, passing the Botanic Union down the path onto the Lam Tsuen River. Along the River to the Ngau Kwu Leng bridge. It was my intention to continue past Fong Ma Po (the Wishing Tree), and follow the single lane road through the villages to San Tong. I have actually done the latter part of this route several years ago.
I failed to take several things into consideration. They were:
My age, I’m not as young as I used to be.
I was not familiar with the first part of the route, and,
the 31 degree Centigrade temperature!
The Best Laid Plans…
In order to get to the start of the route I had to walk for 2 kilometers. Normally this would not be a problem as I have done this walk on numerous occasions. The problem was, the heat. Although I had brought water with me, it was obviously not going to be enough. I was already feeling the onset of exhaustion by the time I arrived in Kau Lui Ha.
Whether it was due to the heat, or my poor planning, I completely missed the route. At the Botanic Union I should have turned right and headed in the direction of the Lam Tsuen River. Confused, I carried on along Hang Kai Lane until I realised that I had made a mistake.
I then turned back in direction of the Botanic Union and found the correct path.
The problem was, at this point in time, I was exhausted and definitely feeling the heat. The first part of the route along the Lam Tsuen River was a commitment. Once started, the nearest exit point was the Ngau Kwu Leng bridge. If I had gotten into difficulty though exhaustion during this stretch, my only choices would have been either carry on, turn back, or, in a worst case scenario, seek assistance. This would clearly have been irresponsible on my part.
The following is an excerpt from my walk to the Tai Po Contour Sitting Out Area which you may read here:
It has been a long hot summer with week after week of hot weather warnings, interspersed by torrential downpours. Sadly, the hot weather has resulted in several fatalities due to people ignoring the warnings. We chose to be more sensible and waited until the weather was more conducive.
In previous posts I have mentioned the cavalier attitude of some hikers, many of whom should have known better. Sadly, within days of my attempt there was a series of rainstorms, one of which resulted in the death of a hiker who, incredibly, decided to visit a popular waterfall area near Tai Mei Tuk.
So, it was without regret that I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and made my way back to the Botanic Union. Where to my delight, I was welcomed with open arms and cold refreshments.
I had visited the Botanic Union in previously and you can read the report here.
The Botanic Union Hospitality
Entering the Union I made my way to their small but well appointed tuck shop. They served me with a cold drink which I enjoyed in the unique surroundings.
With the onset of the warmer weather it is vitally important to plan your outings carefully. Plan your route and study the available maps. Not all of the routes are clearly shown so do your homework.
If you are hiking alone let someone know where you are going. Regardless of the temperature take some munchies with you and WATER! I can’t over-emphasise this last requirement. In the past I have had several outings ruined due to not taking enough water. Once you get thirsty you just want the hike to be over and hurry past what should have been a pleasant route.
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