Posted by: Sam Olsen | October 3, 2011

Ginger Thrash and Pals

A few weeks ago in the trough of my missing-greenery-phase, I blew a load of cash on several hiking books. “Above the City” is written by the improbably named Ginger Thrash, and is an excellent selection of mainly short hikes from various hubs around the island itself.  We’ve set out on a few of these already and they feature well-trodden paths like Bowen Road and Old Peak Road. There is one named “Nature Walks in the New Territories” which I mainly picked up because of the jolly monkey pictured on the cover. And then finally “Easy Hikes around HK”.  Which is very self-explanatory and written by someone who sounds like a middle-aged American university professor with a sense of humour and a cardigan.  We followed his directions to Lamma island, which is known for its fresh seafood and beaches. After a half-hour journey on another tremendously cheap and efficient ferry, where Lawrence entertained the entire rear compartment of the boat with his antics, we disembarked on Lamma. 

It was a breezy day, almost felt as though it was threatening rain, and fortunately not too hot at all. We stopped for a coffee at one of the back-packer-ish places on the village main street. Lawrence chatted to a couple of dogs (“caw, caw” – the word for dog you see) and some Chinese babies.  Sam chatted to the British bloke next to us who lived on the island permanently. He commutes via the ferry to HK every day. His kids ran around barefoot and happy and seemed to know everyone. And I did wonder if it might not be a bad place to end up. Only problem is that it really is pretty crusty. Hippy-tastic. Lots of stoned-,dirty-looking Westerners mooching around. 

Our walk, directed via the book by my imaginary Prof., took us winding up a steep, but conveniently concrete path, along the coastline of the island. High up you can see the largest structure, whopping great power station, which rather blights the landscape, but in a way

Lovely viewing pavilion. Like the Pennine Way

it’s so lovely to be out and about in the flora that you don’t really mind. We descended onto a beach, just as a few spots of rain fell. So we had to push on, push on Aggie, in case it rains. The view from the path was truly lovely in parts, and the planners obviously knew this because they had put ‘viewing pavilions’ along the route for people to relax in.

At the end of our 1.5 hour hike we reached the other end of Lamma, featuring some Kamikaze caves apparently planned to be used by the Japanese to launch attacks on Western warships during the second world war.  Nowadays they contain smelly stagnant sea-water and a lot of rubbish which is a shame!

On for lunch at one of the famous seafood places. Lawrence showed his true colours as a real sea-dog

Fish aquaculture off Lamma

(sea-puppy perhaps), Grandpa will be pleased. He was transfixed watching the waves and boats from our table on the dock. We ate squid, prawns, and egg fried rice. Halfway through Sam announced that he doesn’t like ethnic Chinese food. Only English Chinese food. Oh dear. On the plus side at least Lawrence munched his way through plenty of the egg fried rice!

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