I vomited. After climbing for 400 metres on a horrific idea for nutrition (I didn’t bother), I vomited. I keeled over the side of a stone and out it came. This was not the start I wanted.
I hiked today with my friend, Nick. The plan was to hike from Lam Tsuen to Tai Wai. Over Tai Mo Shan. Over Lead Mine Pass. Past Shing Mun Reservoir. This was going to be tough. Just over 21km.
I started the day with a brownie. A Clif one obviously. This wasn’t enough. This was definitely, most positively, a ridiculously stupid idea. I realise that now.
We started with the hike up to Tai Mo Shan. A relentless uphill battle of steps, rocks and a trail that slowly vanishes through the over grown vegetation around it. This was hard. It didn’t stop. We kep going up. And up. The ambit starting going mental warning about an imminent storm. Which didn’t happen. We reached the top and sat for a while as I recollected the worst start to any hike ever.
Then we hit Lead Mine Pass. I feel in love. Rolling hills mixed with cows. Walking, hiking and running through this was bliss. I felt better. The Nuun had kicked in and shortly after I felt I could power through this. The legs were sore but I was undeterred. After being ill and not stopping I knew I could do this. I ran, I smiled, I kept going.
We then started the slow descent down to the Shing Mun Reservoir. This was tricky and there were stones/rocks/boulders all over and then just steps. Lots of irregular bumpy angled steps – the ones that Hong Kong seems to think are legitimately safe. They aren’t. It was slow and painful.
At Shing Mun Reservoir, I knew we didn’t have much further to go. It was one section of the Wilson – One I had completed a few weeks ago in reverse. I couldn’t remember how awful/great/painful it was. Before starting we bumped into a group of people marketing the Totem Run – a new run in a few weeks – 16km and 57km. The 57km looks horrific. They were nice and were doing some publicity shots. They were nice enough to give me some application forms. Im not sure if I will do this one as the following day is a race in Lantau.
Off we went. Down along the side of the Kowloon Reservoir. We ended up on the jogging track which is 4500m long and just the dullest trail ever. Saying hello to passerby’s as we strolled through. Then we said Hello to a guy and his wife. He replied. I asked him how he was. He was great. We kept walking. I turned to Nick.
“That was Andy f—ing Lau!!”
Nick didn’t believe me. I knew this was Andy Lau. I knew it was him. I was 100% sure it was him. We continued walking and ended up at the end of the Kowloon Reservoir. My feet were killing me. The Hoka’s were great and they felt stable – something I wasn’t sure about when I bought them. The socks, nike running socks, were an epic failure. They shredded my feet like nothing else. We both were starting to ache. This was a long trek and the start had wiped us both out.
Finally we rejoined the Wilson Trail down to the back of our house. This was easily the most painful trek I have done. The nutrition killed me off and I never really recovered.
Link to route: Lam Tsuen to Tai Wai
It wasnt Andy Lau.
It was Chow Yun-Fat!
What I learned from this hike:
1. Food matters. I mean, seriously matters. I did not plan this well and I have no excuse for it. Luckily I was clever enough to realise and have enough water to hit the Nuun tablets early. I clearly hadn’t prepared well enough for this hike.
2. Socks matter. The Nike socks to put it mildly were abysmal. They didn’t help at all and in fact on any longer hikes than today, I would have been in a serious foot mess.
3. I have guts. I felt awful. I felt nauseous. I vomited within an hour and a half of starting. Four and a half hours later I was still going. I know that on the Lantau 70km I will have similar issues. I know that my body isn’t going to play the way I want it to. I know I will be sick. I now know I won’t stop.
4. I need to learn the Cantonese Film stars and their faces. I know Andy Lau and I know a bald Chow Yun-Fat. I need to know more. Who knows who else is hiking!
5. If I can vomit, climb 712m, run past cows, meet Chow Yun Fat, have legs that are in serious pain, and still smile at the end, YOU CAN!