I stepped out of the cab and was immediately assailed by a blast of hot, sticky Hong Kong air. The Sai Wan pavilion is nestled in a bend in the road and marks the starting point for several treks through Sai Kung East Country Park; I was there on a friend’s recommendation to escape the bustling madness of the city, to see a side of Hong Kong I’d never seen.
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief… For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” – Wendell Berry
The trail forked, and I veered left. The route looked to be shorter, and it was — as the crow flies. In reality, the packed clay path took me up the side of a mountain, up to the summit where I collapsed gasping for breath. Going from the beginnings of a chilly New Zealand spring to the smothering heat and 80%+ humidity of Hong Kong in the wet season had been a rough enough transition. Hiking with almost 20 kg of baggage was doing me no favors.