By Jo Lodder
A big thank you for all those who supported me on my 70km walk to raise money for Arc Eden!
Last month during social distancing I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to help a local NGO called Arc Eden Lantau, run by Jenny Quinton and her son Angus which is a leading eco-education and permaculture centre based on Lantau Island, Hong Kong and is part of a network of global ecological restoration centres that provide sustainable solutions for global environmental, and social issues. As this is very close to my heart - I live nearby and have known the family for nearly 10 years and have seen all the good they have done educating children & adults, I was worried when I saw that Jenny was struggling with the Covid-19 restrictions & needed a little support and help. If you would like to find out more here is a link to a short film for more information on Arc Eden & if you feel the need to contribute please do!!
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, I was pretty much stuck on the island, so I thought I would do something I had always wanted to do and that was walk the full Lantau Trail in one day. For those who don't know Lantau Island, it is located in Hong Kong and extremely beautiful with incredible sandy beaches, fabulous waterfalls, some great mountains and trails galore & where the buffalo roam free!
Here are some pictures from daily life!
The Lantau Trail is a circular route covering approx 67km (73.6km from my home) with an elevation of 4.5km with some of the most beautiful scenery in Hong Kong. This had always been a plan of mine to walk in one go and what better reason to do this than help Arc Eden out.
The Lantau Trail Map - 67km with 4.5km of elevation shown at the bottom
Here is a short video that documents my hike - its just under 4 minutes long
3.30 am start - sections 1 & 2
My friend very kindly joined me for the start with his dogs, we left my house in the dark & humidity and headed up the old path to Nam Shan, and then up Sunset Peak where we parted ways.
6.45 am - The Peak - section 3
This was the highest point at 934m and I was slightly ahead of my target and feeling great! - The weather was very foggy and the humidity that we experienced earlier had died down, thankfully!
8.30am - Ngong Ping - where Big Buddha rests - section 4
Arrived here hoping for water, however not a shop was open, luckily I was carrying enough - the place was deserted (I have never seen it like this before)
9.30 am - Lantau Country Park - section 5 & 6 - 20km into the 70km
This is one of my favourite parts on the walk. It is hilly enough to be interesting however not too tough, with amazing views of monasteries, rolling landscapes and the South China Sea, and with the added advantage of meeting my wife, Novy for lunch in Tai O.
12.45 pm - Tai O for Lunch - 30km completed!
Met my wife for a quick bite to eat and to get some water as there had been nowhere to buy due to Covid-19 restrictions - a quick soak in the sea to soothe my feet and knees, a change of clothes, socks and I was on my way.
13.30 pm - section 7-8
Again this is absolutely stunning along the coastal path, walking through abandoned villages, with incredible views first of the Macau bridge and then islands in china
4.30 pm - 45km completed start of section 9, 10 & 11
This is a long section of mostly catchwater walking which if I am honest is pretty boring, and also where I started to get some horrid blisters. I think as it had rained and my feet had got wet, they rubbed with the impact on the road and caused this. I was also walking pretty fast, as I passed quite a few people - I was now wanting to get home. It had been a long day!
6 pm - Pui O - section 12 - last section before Mui Wo & home - 7km remaining
This is the last section before home, my feet hurt and I was having to be careful where I trod, as I walked through Pui O there were a couple of people who wished me well and congratulated me which spurred me, as you leave Pui O there is the last hill to climb, Tai Ngau Wu Peak of 275m and the rest was downhill to home and a cold beer. This motivated me and to my surprise, as the sunset I found that my legs were strong, blisters OK and I reached the top fairly quickly - coming down wasn't so easy though....the blisters were really hurting now and every step I took seemed to make them worse.
As I walked through Mui Wo there were so many people congratulating me & saying they had followed my FB live posts which was amazing however I just wanted to get home to a cold beer and some ice for my poor feet!
7.30 pm - Home - 73.6km in 15hrs & 21 mins
Cheers!! - I checked our go-funding page and we had raised over 25k - a big thank you to all those who supported us we really appreciate it and made the hike really worthwhile!
My name is Jo Lodder and I am Managing Partner of JNW Properties in Hong Kong. We market and sell our own developments in Niseko which include SnowDog Village, SnowDog Chalets and the famous Raku Ichi Residences. I have a passion for exploring, and especially like to hike the mountains of Niseko in the summer, where I also love to ski in the winter, famed for its fluffy champagne snow. White days in February, so cold, but that amazing powder that's JAPOW!!
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