On this extended week-end of Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, it was exciting to go for a hike. The easiest option available was, obviously, to go for another barefoot hike on the Dragon’s Back.
A crowded hike
On week-ends, habitually, the hike is pretty crowded, but on Chinese New Year, it became worse. Indeed, between mainland Chinese, expats and a throng of Filipina maids, the hike became quite busy.
However, as we started earlier, it was a bit less crowded at the start in the forest. You can see the terrain is pretty flat, with just some roots to watch for and the odd pebble.
Once again, the Dragon’s back is one of the easiest and most accessible hikes of Hong Kong. I did it several times, and at least once before, barefoot at night. So, the whole first part of the hike went excessively well, if I except the habitual “barefoot!” exclamations of other hikers, or Chinese sniggering in my back. A few people gave me the thumbs up, some commenting that it was pretty “hardcore”. Filipina maids, generally look aghast…
On the Dragon’s Back
Once on the Dragon’s back, it was just the habitual ups and downs on the ridge… I decided not to fly the drone because of the high wind speed in altitude. In addition, the slight haze visible did make it less interesting to take pics (I had better pictures with better lighting and atmospheric conditions from previous visits). My wife took her turn photographing this time, and I played model.
Walking further on the trail, there was always that mixture of marvel, stupefaction or admiration in the other hikers. Seldom indifference, if at all. For a society tolerating plenty of devious behaviors, seeing someone barefoot seems pretty shocking…
My wife, this being said, wore her hiking boots. She gave me, also the occasion of shooting some pics of her along the trail.
Riding the Head
Reaching the end of the trail, this time, we pushed further to what might be deemed the “head” of the Dragon’s back: a cliff dominating the village of Shek O.
While situated beyond a warning panel, the views on this cliff are quite gorgeous and deserve a visit. However, the crowd present on the Dragon’s Back kept taking risks.
I noticed especially the Filipina maids, who have a propensity to take risks for the perfect selfie. Here, one of them kept posing on one leg right at the edge of the cliff (and it was quite windy!). The moment after this pic was shot, a wind gust blew away her cap…
The interesting of this last part of the hike from a barefoot hiking point of view, is that the granite of the cliff is a perfect terrain for walking barefoot. Where I used to find the terrain particularly slippery with hiking boots (the sand is rather treacherous!) or even trail running shoes, here, the rock was just perfectly adhesive with my bare feet. So, while this picture (courtesy of my wife!) may appear risky, it is well below any real risk-taking as there is a further ledge on the other side of the cliff, and there was no risk of slipping. The big issue is when people try taking selfies and don’t appreciate the distances behind them.
Shek O beach
The final goal, after coming down from the Dragon’s back, was to go to Shek O village. We did arrive there, had lunch, and then headed to the beach. With the strong winds the waves were quite powerful, and nobody was swimming. It was a perfect occasion to use the drone and shoot some spectacular scenes over the water.
The interesting part was that some Filipina or Indonesian was having her prenuptial pictorials on the beach. I pirated some pics.
Sometimes, some pics can be just as telling or as funny as you can imagine. Composition-wise, it was also interesting.
Later, I also took a video of Shek O beach with my Mavic Pro:
How to get there?
I previously explained this point in a previous post. Please consult it for information. Once you complete the Dragon’s back trail, you can catch the bus n° 9, heading to Shek O. Be warned though, on crowded periods, the village and the beach can be quite busy… and the bus waiting queue can reach epic sizes.