Climbing Shek-O Peak and doing Dragon’s Back Trail is one of the main reasons why I wanted to go to Hong Kong alone. That was actually my first ever major hike (if that was even considered a major hike), scaling 284m above sea level, and an undulating 8.5km hike under 33.3 celsius of summer heat. Although it may seem relatively easy, which really was, I still thought to myself that it was a huge mistake coming to Hong Kong for this during summer.
Like Reese Witherspoon in her 2014 film Wild, I wanted to go on a hiking journey alone for rediscovering, and healing – despite my non existent experience in hiking, which was very apparent with my attire. However, part of my visit to Hong Kong as well was to see my friend Venim. And luckily that day that I intended on doing the hike was also her holiday from work; so, I asked her to come with me. I can’t imagine how that it was been two years since she left for her mission, and went home straight to Hong Kong to be with her family. And during the time she visited here in the Philippines, I was too pre-occupied with work that I did not find time to see her. I remember mostly of my after choir nights are spent with her, and other choir friends, doing silly things around Manila, and Quezon City at night.
It is crazy that it has to be in Hong Kong where we met again. We met at 9am in North Point station and grabbed a quick breakfast before taking another MTR ride to Shau Kei Wan, took almost a 40 minute bus ride, and went down to To Tei Wan. We started our hike roughly around 10:30AM and reached the peak after an hour. It was an easy trail, but the sweltering heat at exactly 12 noon, and the amount of stories we need to catch up on was just both extreme that we have to take quite long breaks in between. Interestingly, we also met cool people during the hike – mostly tourists, and shared our mutual hate for the summer heat in Hong Kong.
The most rewarding part of the climb, was the end point of it. There’s food. More water, and beach. We actually did not plan on taking a dive in Big Wave Beach because we are obviously not prepared for it – but the heat was just so unbearable that we felt the need to plunge ourselves in the water. Water was surprisingly cool, just as we needed it – so we stayed in the water, catching up more with life, longer than the time, I think, that we spent trekking.
Although counting the years that we have not been physically present for each other, Venim is this one good friend you can always turn to when you need someone who will genuinely lend ears – without you feeling any slight hint of hesitation or judgment. Initially planning this whole trip just to be alone – especially doing this hike alone, would, perhaps, be very unforgettable and great memory to tell my grand children in the future; but, the exhaustingly long walks under the heat, the breaks in between, and our first time swimming in Hong Kong’s sea while catching up how life has been after two years, is actually my most favorite part of the trip.