Hiking: Mt Butler – Shek O

Since I’ve been stuck with a cold for nearly a month now, I’ve not managed any diving. Hence the renewed enthusiasm for hiking. This week instead of continuing the Wilson Trail, we joined up with Trevor and his brother and sister-in-law, Greg and Lyn. We were going from Mt. Butler, near Trevor’s place, around Mt. Parker, across to Ma Tong Au and then down into Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay).  It’s about 20km and is a lovely walk, with the added advantage of being mainly flat.

It was a bright, sunny day, with a cloudless blue sky. Or as blue as Hong Kong’s sky ever gets. This path is lined with trees, which keeps it relatively cool, even on hot days. The first part is a pleasant walk around the northern side of Mount Butler itself, with views over Quarry Bay and North Point. It then heads in towards the Tai Fung Au (Quarry Gap), that seperates Mt. Butler and Mt. Parker.

We hit the road below Tai Fung Au, and crossed it before starting around Mt. Parker itself. This particular path is one of my favourites in Hong Kong. Mt Parker is quite steep and this path follows the contour. Actually it slopes very slightly upwards, is tree-lined, narrow, and wends its way past occasional rocks and boulders. Breaks in the trees give you some good views over the city, first Taikoo, then as you get further round you see Sai Wan Ho, with the Coastal Defence museum in the background. The path carries onto the eastern slopes of Mt. Parker and eventually becomes a catchwater. Finally we got to a set of steps that lead steeply down to Tai Tam  road.

The worst part of the walk is a 400 yard stretch along Tai Tam Road, which is very narrow and has no pavement. From there we took another catchwater towards Ma Tong Au, this one just above one of the big cemeteries along that stretch of hillside. From Ma Tong Au, the path follows the last 1.5km of the Hong Kong Trail down into Tai Long Wan, from where a short taxi ride got us to several bottles of TsingTao and a good meal at the Shek O Thai restaurant.

(No photos this week because Rita forgot the memory stick for her camera).

Distance: approx. 20km, which took us 4 hours 20 minutes. Temperature: 23-24C. Humidity: 72%.

About Neil Hambleton

I am a British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) Advanced Diver and an Open Water Instructor. I have been diving since 1992, after joining South China Diving Club (SCDC), which is a Hong Kong-based branch of the BSAC. Having moved to New Zealand, I am now a member of BSAC New Zealand.
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