Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wilson Trail: Sections 9 and 10

I missed a few hard core hikes while mrC and I were in the US (thankfully there will be make-ups!), but I was happy to be able to join my SWIC hiking friends for the final stages of the Wilson Trail in Hong Kong and mrC decided to come with me, bonus.

Friendly warning: It was a long hike, so this is a long post.

From the MTR, we took a bus and then walked a couple of kilometers to the reservoir. Stage 9 of the Wilson Trail starts on the summit of Cloudy Hill, which the group had already done. We started where they finished, at the Hok Tau Reservoir, about 3.5 km into stage 9. After walking around the reservoir, we immediately began climbing up into the mountain range of Pat Seng Lin Country Park.

It's a good thing I ate those egg muffins I pre-made yesterday for breakfast because we had to climb and climb and climb! The rocky trail and stone steps pushed up into the low clouds that hung over the mountain range.

By the time we reached the top, we had stopped to refill water bottles, enjoyed some snacks, spotted carnivorous flowers and the clouds started clearing for us. 

I highly recommend carrying a mini water filtration system when hiking.

Snack time

These plants eat mosquitoes - love them!

Once on the ridge, the trek high above the tree tops began. This is where a lot of us started shedding layers. We had to follow the trail over several peaks, such as Ping Fung Shan, Lai Pek Shan, and Wong Leng, before reaching the most challenging and final part of section 9 ---> Pat Sin Leng range.

Loving the GoPro and chest strap just wish the battery lasted longer

At Wong Leng, the highest peak of the day at 639 meters and about midway on the ridge, we could look back and see how far we had come and look ahead to how much more hiking we had to do. Plus the panoramas over Plover Cove and the Guan Yin Statue at Tsz Shan Monastery were stunning.

Hill after gut-wrenching hill, we had to climb the eight peaks of Pat Sin Leng, known as The Eight Immortals named for ancient spirits in Chinese mythology. At the final peak, Hsien Ku Fung, 7.1 km from the reservoir, we reached the end of section 9.

My Eddie Bauer backpack was perfect for this all day hike

One more peak to go!

The start of section 10 with views over to mainland China into Shenzhen (our old expat home) was all downhill. The slow wooded descent past rock pools, streams, and abandoned villages was a welcome escape from the beating sun. At a small stream crossing we stopped for water refilling and lunch before making our way to the end of the Wilson Trail at Nam Chung Village.

Hello, Shenzhen!

The water filtration assemble line

Tired and sun burned

We made it!

The terrain of section 10 was rocky and sometimes slippery from the rain the day before (three of us took spills, me included), but the 6.8km went by much faster than the 7.1km of section 9. I was very relieved when we arrived at the bus stop for a ride to the MTR.

This was a looonnnng hike. Long distance, long day, long travel time. And it was totally worth it!

I am now more than halfway done with the Wilson Trail. You can read my previous posts by clicking a link below:

Hiking: Wilson Trail Stages 1 & 2
Hiking: Wilson Trail Stages 3 & 4

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Workout Recap: Two Week Edition

I'm not sure why I skipped a weekly workout recap (traveling through 12 time zones makes my sense of time get out of whack), so this week I'm doing a doubler. Some workouts I've already shared on the blog or Instagram, so I thought I'd include other random tidbits from the past two weeks. This post is sponsored by Naked Nutrition.

Two weeks ago...

Monday - I had an awesome run in Delaware

Tuesday - I did a little multi-tasking on our last day in Delaware. It involved laundry and the elliptical.

Wednesday - We had an early flight to Denver to visit the middle child at college. One thing I miss when we are living out of suitcases is my smoothies. Meanwhile, I try to eat healthy despite being on the road. Check out my breakfast courtesy of United Airlines.

Thursday - We spent the day hiking and then had dinner at the Sink with the college boy. I loved how customers were encouraged to leave their mark on the ceiling! Fun facts ---> Robert Redford worked at the Sink when he was a University of Colorado student and it's been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

Friday - Enjoyed my first run in Boulder. Even though it was cold, I would have loved a post-run smoothie. Naked Nutrition products are available at Vitamin Shoppe stores nationwide, but we did not have a blender in our hotel room.

Saturday - Campus tour. Isn't CU a beautiful campus?

Sunday - I was obsessed with hiking the Flatirons again and these cute tees from Snooze where we had breakfast. Too bad they were sold out in my size.

Last week...

Monday - It's hard to run when you have a cold, but we do it anyway, right? Had to cut mine short, but it was still awesome at this lake.

Tuesday - Another super early flight to start our journey back to Hong Kong.

Wednesday - Completely lost this day to travel, but excited that my iSUP (inflatable stand up paddleboard) made it to Hong Kong unscathed. Can't wait to inflate it and put it in the water.

Thursday - Doctor doctor. Not sure why I thought making appointments the day after getting back was a good idea, especially when I was awake at 3:30AM! Mammogram and a chiro adjustment ---> which do you think was more fun?

Friday - Another jet-lagged-early-morning did not keep me from lacing up my new Wave Horizons from Mizuno (blogger perk) for the first time in Discovery Bay. mrC joined me as I set out to repeat my interval plan: 15 x 1 minute run with 1 minute recovery, but we ended up doing more than that. After one loop around our normal route, we still had a few intervals left so we started another loop. In the end we did 23 intervals, two loops, and my longest run (4.38 miles) since 2015!

Saturday - It was kind of dreary out but we felt like doing the quick Lookout Loop hike in our neighborhood. You can see what it looked like start to finish from our GoPro here. It was really easy using the chest strap to get photos while we hiked.

Sunday - Rest. Sadly we woke to news that our beloved Booney was gone. He blessed us with 14 years of love and smiles. He loved running, so he made many appearances on the blog.

Booney's first 5K in 2011

It was a rainy and gray day in DB, kind of perfect for tending to a sad heart and for baking. I did some food prep for a big hike tomorrow and it was an effective distraction. First I made some egg bites to grab-n-go in the morning and then I baked some protein bars. You can find a lot of good protein recipes on the Naked Nutrition website.

Here's my recipe for banana protein bars:

2 cups quick cooking gluten free oats
1 cup protein powder (I like vanilla less naked whey)
1/4 cup organic buckwheat flour
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup sunbutter/peanut/almond butter
1/4 cup honey
 2+ mashed ripe bananas 

Mix together. I like to mix dry and wet ingredients separately and then combine into one bowl. Just seems easier to mix it all together if you're doing it by hand (like me).

Spread about 1/2" inch thick onto cookie sheet lined with cooking-sprayed wax paper. 

Bake 350 degrees 15 min. 
Remove from wax paper. Let cool and cut. I put them in to-go baggies and store in the refrigerator.

What's your eating like when you're traveling?
Do you SUP? Ever use an inflatable board?
I'd love a good canine fitness buddy story if you have one.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Discovery Bay Hike in Pictures

We're back in Hong Kong and slowly getting over our jet lag. It had been awhile since we hiked here in Discovery Bay and since mrC is joining me on a big SWIC hike on Monday, we decided to do the Lookout Loop today. The whole loop takes around an hour and is a about two miles start to finish from our apartment building. 

For fun I wore our GoPro on the chest strap and took random pictures as we hiked. 

For details on my hiking-wear ---> here

And one from mrC...

Hope your Saturday was awesome!

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