Monday, August 4, 2014

tails and trails


Hello and happy August! I’m celebrating because July was hotter than heck and I am very much looking forward to someday not hiking in 32 degree weather while carrying four kilos of water, of which the dogs drink three liters while I try to make do with one since I don’t want to carry any more weight. I’m already carrying a large pack with leashes, snacks (for them, not for me), waste bags (filled because those brats like to poop on the new trail five minutes into the hike), towel (because they slobber all over the taxi on the way home), and a change of clothing (because no taxi driver in his right mind will let me into the taxi when I am soaked through with sweat).

We have expanded our hikes from a leisurely 5k when they were still getting into shape, to include hills, streams and longer distances. Our favorite hike is from the Parkview over Violet Hill and then dodging the twins to do the Tai Tam catch water where they inspect the streams and impressive array of spider webs before entering the reservoir. The we head back along the reservoir road to where we started, making sure to land in all of the mud puddles so that I have to wipe them down with my sweaty clothing and hope that the taxi driver doesn't take too close of a look at the miscreants. This weekend we did a longer hike because they seemed to have an excess of energy, which doesn't bode well if there isn't a good outlet. If they are bored they start to grump at each other and fight over toys and prime window sunbathing spots. I extended our walk to a leisurely 7k along Tsz Lo Lan Shan Path to Tai Tam Country Park. We had lovely views over Deep Water and Repulse Bays along with the reservoir. We were low on water near the end of the hike but made it out okay. 

Hello, can you see me?

Sunday was supposed to be an easy day but our usual morning walk was cancelled due to thunderstorms and then I abandoned trying to walk 2k at noon because the temperature was too much. Since they were only going to get one walk for the day I thought, why not another hike? I was only slightly fatigued from the nice adventure on the day before so I packed up our stuff, this time with even more water, and set out to do Wilson Trail Stage 2/Hong Kong Trail Stage 5 and then Tai Tam Reservoir Road. When I say that I struggled to climb Jardine’s Lookout, I am not exaggerating. I was bent over with a very heavy bag filled with water bottles, wheezing with each step while the dogs were happily scampering about. They kept coming back to check on me, pausing just long enough for me to wonder if they sensed something about my health that I didn't. 

Of course we don't need water!

At the top of the lookout I desperately tried to unload some of the water but of course they didn't want very much. So we set off for Mt. Butler with my pack barely lightened. I have never, ever, ever felt as pathetic as I did ascending Mt. Butler. If only I had hiking poles because I was about to keel over. I thought about leashing the girls and making them drag me up. When we got to the summit, I spent a good five minutes catching my breath and watching a disgusting amount of sweat fall from my bent over body. At least this time the girls were ready for water. We all gulped down more than half of the water, which was fine because even though there were 4k left in the hike, it was mostly downhill. With my load considerably lighter, I felt much happier and was able to enjoy the view and then prance down the other side to Quarry Bay. We passed several hikers who were glaring at me as they struggled uphill but I was no happy at my good fortune to be going downhill that I didn't care. I didn't even assault the idiot who was making threatening gestures at my dogs as we passed him. If you scroll down, you can get an idea of what my viscous monsters look like and the threat that they pose. 

dog tired

By the time our hike ended, it was just starting to get dark and we used up the last of the water recovering from chasing toads all over the place. As soon as we got home, they both collapsed on the cold tile and remained until dinner. Usually I have to make a few attempts to round them up for bed (Tippy runs around to gather up her favorite chew toys to take along and Elsie rolls over and refuses to budge until she gets her belly rubbed) but this time they trotted into the bedroom and promptly fell asleep. I wasn't far behind.

 Is it bedtime yet?

 Sleepy pup

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