Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hiking: Tai Tam Country Trail

A couple of weeks ago I went with the AWA hiking group to hike Tai Tam Country Trail on Hong Kong Island. This 6km loop is a good hike for beginners looking to jump into trails that are a little more challenging and it also combines nature with Hong Kong history.

The good news is that the most challenging part, climbing 436 meters to Violet Hill, is in the beginning of the hike. Once you get to the top you can celebrate a little knowing the hard part is out of the way.

It was an overcast day, but we could still see down into Deep Water Bay and out to Lamma Island.

The second part of the hike merges into Wong Nai Chung Gap Trail, one of Hong Kong's battlefield trails. Along this trail you will see remnants of the battle between Hong Kong and Japan in 1941.

There are nine stations marking the 18 day battle that ended when the British surrendered on Christmas Day. At each station you will find information boards describing the battlefield relics that have survived: battery, pillboxes, underground bunkers and anti-aircraft positions.

This part of the hike also connects to part of Sir Cecil's Ride, namesake of British colonial administrator who served as Hong Kong Govenor,  Cecil Clementi  ---> I think it was his favorite place to walk with his wife (there is another section called Lady Clementi's Ride).

I saw my first porcupine in the catchwater (that had sadly met its demise). Even though I've walked hundreds on kilometers on the trails, through country parks and up and down mountains, I still forget that wild animals do exist in Hong Kong. The East Asian Porcupine is one of them. I have to say, I'm glad that they are nocturnal and prefer to avoid the urban areas, usually.

At the end of the our loop hike, we caught bus #6 to Three Pacific Place for a rooftop lunch at Beef and Liberty.

Other easy to medium hikes on Hong Kong Island:

What wild animals have you seen on your outdoor activities?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Last Week's Workouts

Last week started off completely normal and then my knee decided to present a new pain. I took a couple of days off from high impact training and I think that did the trick.

Here's how my week shaped up:

Monday - I made it to The HIT Room for another session of Bodystep.

Tuesday - I got myself to the fitness center to do a treadmill hill repeat workout that I got from the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program (affiliate). The workout basically went like this: walk @ 3.5 speed on 15% incline for 2 minutes, jog @ 6.0 speed on 5% incline 1 minute, walk @ 3.0 speed on 5% incline for 2 minutes. Repeat walk/jog/walk for 20 minutes. Finished with 15 minutes LISS on the elliptical (they really need more upright bikes).

---> I LOVED this workout, well, once I figured out the speeds (Hong Kong uses kph). Talk about getting an intense heart rate going. PS - I love that my Apple Watch (affiliate) keeps track of my heart rate during workouts. You can see where I finally got the hang of the right speeds.

Wednesday - Bodypump for my strength training. I'm slowly getting better at this part of my fitness, but I'm still a cardio junkie.

Thursday - When I woke up my knee was hurting right above my knee cap. I almost went to my GRIT class, but then decided to play it smart and called in. Instead I did some a session of deep stretch yoga.

Friday - Originally I thought I would be signed up for another Bodystep class, but I opted for low impact yoga again to give my knee another day off. This time I did a power flow and it felt so good.

Saturday - My knee was feeling better, so I decided to go for a run. Normally I would go to GRIT again, but thought it would be easier to bail on a run than to bail in the middle of a class. I did my favorite 5K route through the park and it was ok. It was a cool morning, but the humidity put me on the struggle bus.

---> Kicked off the holiday season with a festive manicure and then went to The HIT Room Christmas Party where instructors and members could put down water bottles and pick up a glass of wine/beer to celebrate our fitness accomplishments in 2017 together. Even though I hate going to these things alone (mrC is still on a trip), it sounded like a fun night. There was a really good turn out. Besides meeting several spouses, it was fun to see everyone in non-workout gear for a change!

Sunday - I went to morning mass (and met a very nice neighbor on the way) and then enjoyed a nice quiet day of rest.

How was your week?
Does your fitness center/gym plan holiday parties?
Do you do holiday nails?

Today I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap!