Wednesday 27 November 2017
We had arrived late last night and are staying at the East Hotel on the northeast side of the island, close to the Royal Canin office. Upgraded to a corner room we had a great view over the thousands of appartments in front of the hotel and across the harbour to Kowloon.
Last time I was here a long time friend of mine, who works at the local sports institute, had told me there are some good walks on the island. Heading up Mt Parker Rd I was surprised by the number of picnic spots and rest areas, most with good views back over the city.
About 20 minutes up the hill I came to a sign pointing up some steps tp Mt Butler. Some 500 reasonably steep steps later I was standing on top and taken aback by both the view and the amount of bush that extended out from here.
Interestingly Hong kong has the highst population density in the world at over 16,000 people per square kilometre. Apparently if the whole world’s population lived in this density the total population could all fit into Egypt; that would be interesting. With only a third of the country urbanised it leaves room for some big parks. From Mt Butler it looks like the population is tucked mostly into the bays around the island apart from one rather large block of apartments stacked up in a saddle.
As I was admiring the view a very energetic Swiss lady came bounding onto the summit from the other direction; it turned out she lived here and knew her way around. She suggested I might like to head over to the apartments in the saddle (Hong Kong Park View) along Wilson’s trail, over Violet hill and down to Repulse Bay, then get a bus back from there or walk down past the reservoirs and back up over the hill. I set off on what were mostly pretty good tracks, most of the steps in the early part – and there were lots of them – made of concrete. Heading down towards Repulse Bay they are all stone with a concrete water channel on one side. Reaching the bottom there is a large concrete drain running towards the reservoirs. Still having a bit of energy left I headed north along the east side of the reservoir. The track was more like a stream bed for a start but worked out okay after a while with good views up into the bush.
The reservoirs are well set up with the two upper ones feeding the lower one. They get massive rains here so I am sure they fill up pretty quick. From the reservoirs I got back onto the other end of Mt Parker Road which took me back over the hill and then to the hotel, passing one strange looking double decker tram – something I had not seen before.
Pat came and caught up with us later that evening for a couple of drinks before we headed out to Mr and Mr Fox, a rather nice local restaurant for a rather tasty steak. Tomorrow we head back to Singapore for a few days.