A Jaunt Across the Sarf Dahns
What a nightmare! We met at the gap between Ki Lun Shan and Kai Kung Leng in torrid heat and the sort of humidity that makes even the roads slimy. I was fervently hoping we weren’t going up Kai Kung Leng – the ugliest mountain in Hong Kong. No, I didn’t fancy that at all. Give me the charity of Ki Lun, I prayed.
Hare Big Moany set us off with an ominous warning of how the trails were “all gone”. There was the normal start-of-run huffing and puffing as Liberace hared off in illogical drection like a swarming puppy before I found trail on a track leading up to Ki Lun Shan. Hooray! It was a small pack and soon Eunuch, Liberace, Catch Of The Day, Mango Groove, Penile Dementia, G-Spot and yes, even One Eyed Jack passed the labouring Golden Balls and I was last as I reached the shoulder. Darkness I beheld. Silence I heard. I can but follow trail. So I did. For quite a distance.
As I started up the summit ascent I thought to myself, “Haven’t seen trail for a bit. Have I missed something?” So back down I went, to find – a T. Back, back, back to the shoulder, and there it was. A fairly obvious mark leading into the shiggy to the east that I’d missed by squinting into the distance looking for torches. Into the breach and down I went. It was rough, slippery, treacherous. It became even more so as the (well marked) trail contoured around a hillside on what might once have been a path but was now nothing more than wishful thinking. Up a rise. Down a rise. A check!
It seemed to have been scuffed out to the west, so I headed into the woods to find a faint path going downhill. But no markings. So back to the check I went and tried east. Even worse. North didn’t look promising – uphill again – and after a cursory inspection I decided my best option was to go west. At least there was a path of sorts. So after tripping and stumbling my way down this obstacle course I emerged on the banks of the reservoir. Now I knew where I was: across the dam, then the track, then the road out to Kwu Tung market.
Now the only problem with this was that I was already very late for the circle and stuck on the northern foot of Ki Lun Shan with a six-kilometre circuit back to the start. Taxi! Here’s one for hire. Zoom! Bastard. Ah, here’s another. Whoosh! Flange. Here’s another. Roar! Tool. Hmmm … perhaps the fact that I’m soaked in sweat, plastered in mud, caked in forest litter, have blood streaming down my right arm and no doubt stink to high heaven has something to do with them not stopping …
The seventh taxi was driven by a charitable soul who almost immediately regretted letting me in his cab. I could tell this because he wound down his window, letting all the lovely conditioned air escape in the process. But he delivered me safely back to the pack, where I emerged from this splendid chariot to a tirade of abuse. Home!
Thus ended my trials and tribulations on Snowdon, that famous mountain in the South Downs. If you don’t believe me, look at the map.
A good shiggy trail from Big Moany.