I’ve had some positive reactions to our previous blogs so I’m thrilled to tell you some more about our trail and travel life!
I am writing to you from the airplane on our journey to South America, our next continent! It’s pleasant to sit down and look back on all the things we experienced in Hong Kong.
The first day in Hong Kong was shocking. The contrast of this city built of skyscrapers to the tiny Nepalese village was so extreme!! Nevertheless, soon we discovered the beauty of this city which tunes in perfectly with the natural environment of Hong Kong. I’ve really learned to appreciate the landscape formed by the combination of ocean, islands, green hills and skyscrapers!! This doesn’t mean that we lived a city life. We consciously avoided being in the city and explored the islands and the green hills!
In the first couple of days we took turns in our training sessions and ran the first 57km of the Hong Kong 100K. There were a lot of concrete steps which are typical in China. In Europe we usually make zig zag paths up and down the mountains, but in China they go straight up and down using steep steps. It’s quite demanding climbing uphill and requires technical skills for the descent. Another peculiarity is the high humidity of Hong Kong. It made us sweat a lot during our runs. Even in Winter the temperature is always in between 18-23 degrees Celsius during both day and night time.
We found a real challenge in adapting to both the climate and the scenery and we constantly used our days tryiny to prepare ourselves as well as possible for the race. The original plan was to drive around by motor home, but in Hong Kong they are non existent so we had to adjust and stay in a tent, airbnbs and later in the homes of people who took us in.
Hong Kong has a large and vibrant trail community. During our stay we saw and met many runners making friends with several of them. Eszter Csillag took us out running on Lantau island on a wonderfully clear day. From the top of Sunset Peak we had a beautiful view! Martijn Doekes helped us daily behind the scenes. I told him where we were and what type of training we had and he designed the most brilliant tracks which he then passed to us as easy to follow gpx files. Only a couple of days before the race we actually met him in person and we set up a detailed plan for the assistance he would give us during the race. He also put us in touch with Joint Dinamics, a training centre which offered us physiotherapy facilities . On Lantau, we met John from the Lantau Base Camp store. He offered free showers,tea, coffee and recovery drinks to any trailrunner who follows the trails of Wui Wo. Also he took us into his house, so instead of sleeping on the beach we had a more comfortable life with a soft bed and a huge dose of hospitality.
Then there was Cara. She has a 6 year old son who Onna could play with. We also stayed in her house and shared a beautiful evening on the beach with the family, watching the sunset and roasting marsh mallows on a bonfire.
Later, we went camping on Sharp Island. This is a tiny island which has an even smaller peninsula only reachable during low tide. You can easily reach Sharp Island by ferry.
Unfortunately even the beauty of this island didn’t alleviate the stress I had been feeling all along the journey .It only intensified when my mobile broke and I could not properly manage our administrative and daily life. After a little discussion about which luggage to put in storage and which to take along, I sat down and let my emotions flow. Travel life is a great life but not easy to manage…
Our trip in Asia concluded with the Vibram Hong Kong 100K. It had been our goal and we were full of expectations. As you may have read, neither of us fulfilled oir personal goals, but Rolling Mountains has only just begun!! I am really pleased about Onna’s developing character and abilities.The bond between us all is growing ever stronger and I’m looking forward to live, learn and enjoy this experience!!