Commuting by Ferry from Lantau

Introduction

David Muir, our friend, and contributor lives on Lantau Island and makes a daily commute to Hong Kong for his work. Recently, in order to pass the time, on average it’s a 45-minute trip, David has started taking photos of the scenery along the way.

Getting to work

David usually travels on the back deck of the ferry as there is more to see.

The commute to work during the day on the back of the ferry

A Fast Ferry arriving in Mui Wo
Sunshine Island and Hei Ling Chau. In four years’ time, these beautiful Islands will be flattened to make way for the so-called “Lantau Tomorrow Vision” which will cost the taxpayers a whopping 800 billion to build 3 artificial islands to connect hong kong and Kowloon

You can learn more about Sunshine Island and Hei Ling Chau by clicking on the links.

Elephant Island
Stone Cutters Bridge
Getting home

And after a long day’s work, the nighttime scenes from the ferry go a long way towards relieving the stress of the day.

My commute back from work

The Convenion Centre
Great Eagle Centre
The Hong Kong Observation Wheel is a 60-metre tall Ferris wheel located at the Central Harbourfront, Central, Hong Kong. It has 42 gondolas, including one VIP Gondola with leather seats and a clear glass bottom floor. All gondolas are equipped with air conditioners and communication systems. (Information courtesy of Wikipedia)
Conclusion

Many of us have a long commute to and from work and it up to us what we make of it. In the 1970s a friend of mine worked in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon and moved to Mui Wo. He spent his ferry rides reading the bible from cover to cover. While it might be a good time to catch up on your reading, David has utilised his time admiring the scenery, which in Hong Kong, is ever-changing.

Thank you for visiting Stewart Goes Walkies. I hope you enjoyed this post. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like us to publish an adventure of yours, you can contact us here:

 

 

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Navigation and stewartgoeswalkies, or…

…The art of getting lost and enjoying it.

Introduction

I have always had a problem with the simplest aspects of navigation and I don’t know why this is. I understand the concepts of up and down, left and right. But when I am handed a map these simple ideas seem to go astray.

Early Problems

This only started happening in my 30s when I was a civilian employee with the (then) Royal Hong Kong Police Force. I was posted to Special Branch, a sort-after posting, so I was told. At some point in time, I was invited to join the Police Orienteering Club, known then as “Sneaky Beaky”.

Being a new member and not part of an established team, at every event I was placed with other runners who were not in a team or who had turned up late. On one particular occasion, I was added to a group consisting of a Chief Inspector and a Senior Inspector. Being the lowest ranking member of the team I was designated ‘navigator’. And it all went horribly wrong after that.

This particular run was in the area around the Lower Shing Mun Reservoir, known as Monkey Hill. The starting whistle went and I lead the team down this mountain path. The fact that none of the other teams were following us should have told me something. However, the two inspectors were quite happy to be running downhill instead of slogging upwards so they were quite happy to follow me until we came to a point where we realised that we had either missed the marker point or were on the wrong track. It was at that moment in time when I discovered that I was holding the map upside down…

Some of the local residents – Courtesy of Wikipedia and Chong Fat

I suppose I was fortunate that neither of the officers was carrying their service revolvers otherwise I might well have joined the ranks of an officer by the name of John MacLennan who became famous in 1980 for committing suicide by shooting himself in the chest five times.

We slogged back up the hill, found the correct route, and made it to the end of the run. But, I was never asked to navigate again.

P.A.D.I Rescue Diver


In the 90s, shortly before the Hand Over in 1997, I started scuba diving, and having passed my Open Water and Advanced Open Water certificates I then enrolled for the Rescue Diver qualification.

I won’t go into the complexities of the course but part of it involved navigating back to a point where an injured diver suffering difficulties would be found. After several frustrating attempts, all of which failed, we surfaced and the long-suffering instructor pointed to the dive boat and said,

“You see that anchor chain?”

“Yes,” I said, quite innocently.

“Follow it down and see if you can find the anchor,” she told me.

I managed to find the anchor and so passed that navigation part of the course. For the record, I went on to become a Certified Dive Master, Assistant Instructor, and Medic First Aid Instructor.

Diving at Little Palm Beach
Missing out on an entire mountain

The original caption was: Leaving home, blissfully unaware of what lay ahead.

In October 2020, in the company of my son, James, and good friend, David, we did the route from Fanling to Lam Tsuen. This was one of my most glaring navigational errors in that I missed out on an entire mountain.

I thought that upon leaving Fanling we would hike up Wu Tip Shan and down into Lam Tsuen. In my eagerness to set out, I neglected the fact that, having reached the summit of Wu Tip Shan we would then descend into the valley and climb back up towards To Tai Yan in order to join the Ngau Kwu Leng Path before finally descending into Lam Tsuen.

What I expected to be a two to three-hour outing turned into a five-hour epic. The To Tai Yan section remains to this day the hardest route I have ever done with the possible exception of Mt. Kinabalu.

Steps at 45 degrees seemed to go on forever
The demented octopus No.1

Having explored most of the Lam Tsuen Valley I decided to try Tai Om Shan. I downloaded the map from Google Maps and asked the advice of my friend, David St. Maur Sheil who spoke highly of the peace and tranquility of the route.

I set out, not completely committed to completing the route but it was my intention to check out the trail so that I might do it in the company of others in the coming weeks.

Things did not go according to plan.

I left Lam Kam Road and headed into Tai Om Village. My first error was not checking the route on my phone (I use Map My Walk). This resulted in me walking past the correct turn-off in the direction of the village parking area.

I doubled back and found the correct path that followed the river until I came to a group of houses. There was a very seductive path leading off to the right which I followed until I thought it wise to check the map again and found that, once more I was off course. I doubled back to the houses. Then convinced I was on the correct path (again) I continued along another path. Another check of the map on my phone revealed that I was still going in the wrong direction. I returned to the houses and examined the map once again.

By now I had a good-sized blister forming on a toe but was convinced that I had found the correct path. I was able to confirm this by starting along it and checking the route map on my phone. At last, I was on the correct path.

Finally on the right path – I think

However, it was time to make a sensible decision and I decided to leave the conquest of Tai Om Shan for another day. My foot was quite painful and I still had a long way to go before getting home.

Upon examining the recorded route map on my phone which is shown below, I thought it looked like a demented octopus.

The Demented Octopus No. 2

Another route that didn’t go according to plan, but turned out to be one of the most beautiful walks I completed in 2022 was along the She Shan River. You may read about it here.

It was completely new territory for me and I wandered happily along the path, in what I thought was the right direction. I managed to go astray twice before finding the correct route. However, it was a great day and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The route map shows the errors in the early part of the walk. It was fun.

Conclusion

While it is nice when everything goes according to plan it is the hick-ups that make for memorable outings. The point is to err on the side of caution. Listen to your body. There is little point in getting to the top of a mountain only to find that you are too exhausted to get down. It is situations like this in which Rescue Services are called out and I, for one, don’t want to become a statistic.

Thank you for visiting Stewart Goes Walkies. I hope you enjoyed this post. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like us to publish an adventure of yours, you can contact us here:

 

 

Help us to make a commitment to the reduction of plastics in our environment. Dont buy drinking water in plastic bottles when its easy to bring it from home. Lets work together to save the planet.

 

Section 10 of the Lantau Trail

Introduction

SGW is grateful to our friend and contributor, David Muir for this photo essay on Section 10 of the Lantau Trail.

The Route

The section, while around 10 kilometres in length is easy, mostly level, and children and dog-friendly. Getting to and from Shui Hau Wan can be done by Lantau Bus from either Mui Wo or Tung Chung.

The route starts and finishes at Shui Hau Wan
David’s Photos from the Route

The start of Section 10 of the Lantau Trail. The path takes you up onto the water catchment and eventually takes you to Tung Chung or Pui O.

The water catchment

Continuing along the catchment
East Dogs Teeth

The two routes, known as East Dogs Teeth and West Dogs Teeth are reportedly some of the most difficult hiking routes in the territory, Sharp Peak inside Sai Kung East Country Park, north of Tai Long Wan, in the Sai Kung Peninsula in Hong Kong, being another. I did both the West Dogs Teeth and Sharp Peak in my late 20s and I have no intention of repeating either of them.

Turtle Island as seen from the trail
The turn-off for the West Dogs Teeth. Please see the comment above
Beautiful scenery between Shui Hau and Tong Fuk
Some of the local residents – feral cows are common in the area and there is no need to be frightened of them. Please do not feed them anything. Some of them are quite friendly and enjoy a scratch

SGW – For more information on feral cows on Lantau there are several groups on Facebook, Shui Hau Lantau Island Cows being one of them.

The old Tung Chung Road, the end of our walk. Now we just have to walk 5km along South Lantau Road to get back to the start of the route
Conclusion

SGW is grateful to David for supplying these photos and his brief descriptions of the route. As mentioned previously, it is an easy hike and suitable for the family.

Thank you for visiting Stewart Goes Walkies. I hope you enjoyed this post. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like us to publish an adventure of yours, you can contact us here:

 

 

Help us to make a commitment to the reduction of plastics in our environment. Dont buy drinking water in plastic bottles when its easy to bring it from home. Lets work together to save the planet.