DESCRIPTION OF WHAT I’VE GONE THROUGH AND WHAT I’VE LEARNT DURING THE HIKING TRIP
First day of camp. We arrived at the center early in the morning wondering where we would go. After being told that we were going to walk for 100 km (over the entire Maclehose Trail!) we went shopping for the food we were going to eat for the next three days (We would have more food given to us at the third campsite.)
We took a bus to the High Island Reservoir and started walking. Fung had a cramp about halfway through section 1, and we got to rest while the other group helped Fung. We walked till 10pm and spent the night at Sai Wan village.
Day 1 High Island Reservoir
(we'll add our own photos later once we receive photos taken from the trip)
Today we walked through 2 sections of the trail. Luckily we had rest stops at the beginning and we could sit down and drink coke. Then we had to decide if we should camp at the first campsite or go over another hill and camp at a further but better campsite. We chose to continue and get to the other campsite.
Day 2: Kai Kung Shan雞公山
We stopped at the top of the hill and looked at the stars. It was very beautiful but we also saw lightning flashing at a distance. We were worried that the lightning would hit us if we stayed any longer, so we set off down hill. That night we stayed at a brilliant campsite, with a toilet nearby and a vending machine too! I learnt that if you went through a terrible ordeal even the plainest of things can seem like heaven, like drinking cold water after a long long hike.
The toughest day of the whole trip was day 3. We hiked up Ma On Shan under the blazing sun. You could swear our clothes would catch fire and I felt like I was roasted over a slow fire. Then Andy couldn’t stand the heat and collapsed in a heap. His face looked greenish and he wanted to throw up. I was right behind him so I saw it all. We let Andy take a rest then moved on after 5 minutes or so.
Day 3: Ma On Shan
At the top we changed our hiking plan to suit the current situation: We would go down the mountain to Ma On Shan village and get a ride back to the center. We dumped our bags at the center and took a bath at the gymnasium. Then we got to eat at McDonalds as a reward for the tough hike. Then we washed our clothes and watched the first episode of transformers and slept afterwards. Today I learnt that the big and strong aren’t always the ones who lasts the longest.
Today we spent half the day reflecting and half the day hiking to our final destination: the 100th marker that marks the mid point. I pretty much forgot what we did in detail because nothing very special happened, apart from singing all the way and watching someone paraglide.
Day 4: Fei Ngo Shan (Kowloon Peak)
After that we had to abort our journey because some of our members simply could not go on; one even had symptoms of stomach flu.
Today we prepared the things we needed for the trip to Sichuan [some of the kids will go for another service trip to Sichuan in which they will visit primary schools and serve there; I can’t go because my school is starting soon.].
I was in charge of the teaching content and equipment. Darian and I made bingo sheets and posters with pictures and English/Chinese translations for a few common words. Then we took a shower at the gymnasium and watched a horrible movie (“127 hours”) involving a person cutting off his arm to escape from a gorge.
Today we spent the whole day reflecting about the whole trip. We had to write a 500 word essay about what we gained during this trip (Which I didn’t finish) and share it with the others. By the time we were finished, the parents have already arrived and the briefing for the Sichuan trip began.
I gained the experience of true tiredness, the way your legs could walk no longer and your shoulders go stiff from carrying the heavy bag. I gained new friends that cheer me up when I’m sad, laugh with me and joke with me. Walking 50km is definitely a new experience for me and I’m not about to challenge 100km anytime soon.
And that’s it. I’m back from my trip and settled down into a comfortable life style. School has started so I have to finish this reflection quickly.
It has been a shocking experience and we’ve confronted one hard mountain after another. We survived our 50 km walk and I’m really pleased with myself. I suppose this will be one of my life’s highlights, an unforgettable memory that will "haunt" me forever.
After a taste of 50 km, I’m not interested in challenging 100km for a while. Maybe after I’ve rested a bit, but not now.