I was never an active or sporty kid growing up. I hated PE and even though I gave it my best shot, I had very little success in anything related to physical activity. The best grade I ever received in PE was full marks on an analytical essay I wrote about everything that was wrong with my golf swing. I did like canoe polo though. I've never been the healthiest, but I don't think I was ever the unhealthiest either.
It wasn't until about a year ago that I actually started exercising more and eating healthier. I was prompted by one pivotal moment when I looked down at my achilles heel and ankles (yes I know, how random that is) and realised how much 'honeymoon stage'/comfort eating weight I'd gained since getting engaged AND being in a long distance relationship. I'd noticed my weight gain in the usual places but reality struck me hard in this moment. I'm not trying to say everyone should follow suit, or that I'm a prime example. I'm not even 'done' with my journey - this is just me! I'm a big believer in loving yourself, but at that moment I didn't love me. I became more aware of which foods were helping and which foods carried a healthy facade. I started going to the gym consistently. Fast forward to today: I've lost 9.2kg (19.8lbs)! I still
want to lose more, but I'm so proud of myself. Exercise and better food are just integrated in everyday life.
Quite recently, that includes a couple of hikes! James and I did our first hike when we got back from Christmas vacation in January. I'd never been on a hike so I was excited to start an activity that so many other Hong Kongers seem to adore. Little did we know that the trail we picked, the Ngong Ping Rescue Trail, the trail that runs underneath the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, is considered one hell of a hike! Since we live in Tung Chung, we decided that we preferred starting in TC and ending in Ngong Ping would be easier - boy were we wrong. We followed the directions mentioned in this blog post by Run Lily Run, accidentally including the part about getting lost for an hour trying to find the start of the hike. Great directions, but take it from us, if you do this hike, start from Ngong Ping. Take the 23 bus from beside the cable car terminal to Ngong Ping Village. Walk through the village and toward the cable car terminal. On your right, just after the restaurants end and just before the terminal, you'll see a ramp that leads to a road where the start of the trail will be.
Anyway, once did find it, the first third of the trail was ALL STEEP STAIRS. On top of that, we only brought 1L of water between us - and we were already halfway through the bottle! It was gruelling to say the very least. Luckily, we got to the halfway point and the trail was easier from there; the stairs disappeared, the views opened up and James stopped cursing every step we took!
An overview of Tung Chung and Yat Tung - about 20mins from the start of the trail
Probably only 1/5 into the hike
Beginning to ease off a bit
Halfway through. You can see how done we are compared with the first photo.
Finally done! (This is where you would start the trail if you started in Ngong Ping)
Words cannot describe how happy, accomplished and hungry we felt upon arrival in Ngong Ping village, so we rewarded ourselves with Char Siu and dumplings in the shadow of the Tian Tan Buddha before we took the bus home.
Our second and most recent hike, Dragon's Back, was MUCH easier. We should have done it as our first hike instead of the baptism of fire that was the Ngong Ping Rescue trail. But oh well! We went with James' Mom and sister this past Easter Monday. It's a beautiful hike, well suited for beginners. We started from Chai Wan and ended with a rest on Shek O Beach. I really don't have much to say about it except that if you would like to do it, it's a great introduction to hiking.
UPDATE: LOL I re-gained some weight over our holiday to Singapore and the past few weeks after coming back. Hoping to get back into it! Stay tuned for Singapore posts.
Started from the bottom now we're here
Tip: Get fresh coconuts at Shek O beach to reward yourself!