Monday, 24 June 2013

Hiking from Disco Bay to Mui Wo

On the summit walking down towards Mui Wo with dramatic clouds above
My friend YTSL and I went hiking yesterday -- my first long hike! from Discovery Bay to Mui Wo. I wasn't quite sure what to expect and the fast-changing weather conditions were a primary concern.

Friendly scare crows greeted us on the way
But after much persuasion on her part, we met up at the Central ferry pier for the 2pm ferry. The last time I was in Discovery Bay was when I first arrived in Hong Kong in the mid-90s and was invited to hang out at the Discovery Bay Golf Club with a family friend.

So this visit was a complete contrast to the posh, lazy day some -- yikes -- 18 years ago. After we arrived, we walked up a main road and then towards a beach area that was occupied by mostly Filippino squatters, living in questionable conditions. They seemed to collect whatever materials they could find to shelter themselves or find deserted huts and added paths on the grass with sheets of wood or collected discarded furniture or other items for use.

The local Chinese who lived there had their own small plots of land growing vegetables, some with creatively designed scarecrows. After we passed them, our hike began on a paved path that was gentle for the most part.

Blue bugs... in action...
On the way we spotted many large spiders, one of which worked fast, making its web. Others patiently hung around waiting for their next victim. We also saw lots of butterflies and these iridescent blue bugs who clustered together and seemed to be... mating... we didn't want to bother them in the throes of passion but we did stop to photograph the evidence.

After a while we came up a long steep and wide path with wooden crosses nailed on various trees with a Roman numeral and a picture of Jesus. We were on our way to the Trappist Monastery and the crosses marked the way.

As the monks take a vow of silence, there are signs warning visitors to keep their voices low. We didn't see any monks around, but checked out the church, which had simple yet  airy feeling inside the nave and the minimalist look of the place stressed the austerity of the worshippers.

Inside the church at the Trappist Monastery
We then continued onwards and made it to a flight of steep stairs and a Chinese-style tiled pavilion signaling that we had reached the summit. And boy was it windy up there! While it was overcast, we could make out Hong Kong and Kowloon in the distance.

Then we made our way down, again steep stairs that led towards Mui Wo. We could see the crescent-shaped beach area below and of course anticipated our dinner by the pier! Many people were out in the low tide either playing by the water or working hard digging up cockles to eat. Many day trippers come to places like Discovery Bay and Mui Wo, making these outlying islands busy ones on the weekends.

Stir-fried clams with chilli and black bean sauce at Wai Kee
One of the popular restaurants by the pier is Wai Kee and along with another friend who lives in the neighbourhood, the three of us managed to pretty much polish off a set meal for four. We paid HK$180 each for stir-fried clams with black bean sauce and chilli; a soup of pork with papaya and cloud ear fungus; stir-fried vegetables, steamed fish, fried langoustines and sweet and sour pork. Oh yes and three large bottles of Tsing Tao beer and rice.

The fish was perfectly cooked and the clams were delicious. It was a challenge to eat the langoustines because we had to peel off the legs and shells that were very prickly in order to get to the meat. 

A plate of fried langoustines that took a while to polish off
In the end we were too full for dessert -- soft ice cream cone at McDonald's -- and also we only had minutes to spare to catch the ferry back to the city.

2 comments:

  1. Six kilometers is not a long hike! :D

    Cool photos. I especially like the one of the many blue bugs on the green leaves. :)

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  2. 6K is good enough for me!

    Because of you I look out for bugs!

    ReplyDelete