For the Easter break, I made a choice to stay in HK to try to save some pennies for  a trip I am planning to Eruope. I was able to host an Easter dinner (with Vollstedt egg fighting), settle into my new place (thanks Ikea) and manage a short camping trip with some friends.

Spring in Hong Kong is just about the most dangerous time to do anything outside. One minute it might be blazing hot and humid, and the other minute windy and cold. For some strange reason, it was during this week that some of my friends pitched the idea of going camping for two nights in the great outdoors on Lantau Peak. Sounds awesome! Being the true Oregonian that I am, I could not let the possibility of a little rain hold me back.

After a metro ride to the end of the line with all my camping gear, we stocked up on food, including 6 live crab for dinner on night 2! We loaded a bus to nearly the top of the mountain. It was about a 20 minute hike into the site, which doesn’t sound too bad, but with Hong Kongers planning the meals, we were carrying more than double our weight in food.

Our side was nice, settled right in between two peaks with a fire pit, and tables and room for the tents. The sun even decided to peak out a bit, making out journey nice and sweaty. We set up our tents, and tarps over a table for meals. Just after we got the fire started, the rain came. The first round was pretty comical. We were in high spirits, and feeling pretty smart about ourselves for having prepared well for the rain. Compared to another set of campers across the way, that were forced to retreat to their tents the moment the rain started to fall.

It was a heavy rain, but passed after about 20 minutes. We survived our first challenge. The night was filled with eating, talking, more eating, stories, more eating and ended with a surprise homemade chocolate birthday cake!

Off to our respective tents for what was to be a long night ahead.

First the wind. Remember those peaks that I mentioned earlier? Well, they were beautiful during the day, but at night they created a perfect wind tunnel for furious gusts to come through and wreck havoc on our site. With flaps flapping and poles creaking we tried to get some sleep, praying that our poles were stronger enough to handle the pressure.

Then, the rain. Sheets of large heavy drops that put our Gortex to the test. Taking turns like a tag team of professional wrestlers, the wind and rain continued their relentless assault well into the morning.

Motivation for food, and a chance to relieve myself were the only reasons I ever left that tent. A quick decision was made to scrap any attempt to make breakfast, and we quickly hiked back to town for hot noodles and Starbucks. Yes, Starbucks 20 minutes for our camp site. Not quite “away from it all.”

The morning weather continued to crush our hopes of the weather turning. Our dreams of hiking the peak quickly dwindled, and the decision to pack up and head home a day early was solidified when we returned to the campsite to find that the wind had snapped my tent pole, shooting it through both layers of my tent.

A quick, wet, pack-up and we were on a bus back down the mountain sloshing inside a steamy bus filled with tourists on their way back from visiting the nearby Big Buddha.

Oh, the 6 live crabs that we had planned to eat? We kept them alive through the storm, and carried them back down the mountain and they made a nice little dinner for some lucky friends.

 

 

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