Previously on LOST...

Sunday, August 23, 2009 | |

For you Lost junkies, you might want to listen to this (starting from around 45 seconds) while you read this post for the full intended effect.

On one of our last days in Hong Kong, we went hiking in the Sai Kung region of the New Territories, trekking across what was once an underwater volcanic seascape, since revealed by receding sea levels (which we knew all about, having done our homework by going to the Hong Kong Museum of History the day before). It was, of course, warm, and while the clouds saved us from the sun, the humidity made getting off the bus like stepping into a shower of your own sweat.

We hiked over mountains...

...past lonely shorelines...

...underneath spiders bigger than your hand, sitting contently on webs suspended across the trees, just above the average head height of the local population (many members of whom we passed going the other way); unfortunately, not so for Joe and Andy...

...through villages that appeared abandoned and teetering on the brink of disrepair...

DSC_4995 reach this beach. Reputed to be some of the best surfing in Hong Kong, there was strangely no one there, except these two people.



Why was no one there? Well, the thought crossed our minds that it could conceivably have something to do with the typhoon warnings we'd been hearing on the news and seen posted all around Hong Kong in the previous few days.

Ahh yes, the typhoon. It was suddenly here. Or was it just a typical afternoon monsoon? We weren't really sure. Either way, it was absolutely torrential. We took cover under an outdoor tent at a restaurant in the deserted town behind the beach...

...until the storm cleared.

With our bags (and change of clothes) now soaked, and daylight disappearing, we weren't exactly feeling a return 3 hour jaunt in the jungle in pitch darkness, so we called for a boat pickup service run by a scuba diving company we saw advertised in the village. At first, they balked--apparently, they weren't allowed to be operating today for whatever *ahem* reason. They informed us it would take something special for them to come pick us up under such illegal circumstances--namely, more money. Half an hour later, a man in a speedboat was offshore to pick us up.

As we sped off we got a nice sunset.

We also got a hell of a ride--the water wasn't exactly choppy, but the skipper was at full throttle, and cutting the corners around the rocky outcroppings as close as he could, throwing the boat into the tiny channels between the cliffs and the boulders off shore. Why was the guy going so fast? Oh yeah, it was illegal, and there were patrol boats in the waters.

Eventually, the shoreline funneled us into a strait between the mainland and an offshore island; and there the patrol boats were waiting to intercept us.

In the end, we got off with a warning directed at Andy and Joe to keep their passports on them at all times for identification purposes; the authorities weren't entirely convinced by their drivers license and student IDs. I was predictably ignored and never asked to provide any identification.

Shortly thereafter, we reached our drop off point. From there, the civilization of Hong Kong Island and nightlife of Lan Kwai Fong was only a bus ride, a change from sopping wet clothes into merely soaking wet clothes, another bus ride, and a subway hop away. My camera was still completely fogged up, though. Poor thing.