Hiking the Dragon Back Trail – in the rain

Start of the Dragon’s Back.

I do sometimes wonder what we are thinking. We had always planned to hike the Dragon’s Back Trail while in Hong Kong, but the weather forecast had made us decide that it wasn’t such a great idea. Then today dawned and it was overcast and Google told us the chance of rain was only 15 per cent and so we decided to go for it.

By the time we arrived in the South East of the island, where the Trail starts, it was spitting with rain; which given how hot it was didn’t seem like a enormous issue. The only worry was that the low clouds would block the view.

The first part of the trial is a reasonably steep hike up to Shek O Peak. Once you achieve the ridge-top the views are expansive and the cloud cover was high enough that we could enjoy them even though the visibility was a bit limited. What rain there was wasn’t an issue because we were drenched with sweat anyway – quite literally dripping wet.

The Dragon’s Back Trail follows the ridge of the mountain, like a backbone obviously, and there are great views everywhere. After a while you can look ahead to a notch between two verdant hills and see the towers of Hong Kong – like something out of a science fiction movie. Eagles soar above and beneath you and there are butterflies doing whatever butterflies do. Probably because others had more sense than us, there was hardly anyone else on the trail. We came across one group of young things doing it at speed and an Indian family including a grandmother plodding along.

Junk and lights.

After a while you start to descend and as we did so the rain started in more earnest. The further we went on the more the rain set in, until by the time we reached Big Wave Beach at the end of the Trail it was properly raining and we were a bedraggled set of hikers. Our plan had been to sit at the beach and enjoy some well-earned food, but it was all just too miserable to contemplate so we set off for home. It was mildly depressing when the mini-bus filled up before we got on and we were left at the roadside in the rain; but all turned out well when a taxi turned up and, after we played twenty questions in Cantonese with the driver about our destination, saved us from the rain.

An afternoon of homework, Jennifer working, and much excitement as the Jimmy Fallon show moved on to the next step with the possibility of flying the boys to New York was followed by the clouds lifting. So we headed down to the Harbour and caught a Star Ferry across to Kowloon side. After an hour just watching the lights and junks on the Harbour, we got to see the famous Symphony of Lights – which turned out to be better than we expected: Fifty buildings coordinating their lights with music was quite a sight. Not bad for our last evening in Hong Kong.

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