Into the Hong Kong Wild–brushes with Big Snakes and Spiders!
Hong Kong is wilder than anyone realizes. Most visitors never get off of Hong Kong island and the concrete jungle. But just a few steps out of Central is a real jungle (note the dark spaces in the photo right next to the skyscrapers–all trees and hills and trails!), and a subway ride away puts you close to where the last tiger in the territory was killed in the 1940s!
We moved to a part of Hong Kong that has easy access to some of the remaining open spaces (over 50% of Hong Kong is preserved land!) so that we could have a real jungle as an antidote
to the concrete jungle. It’s been fun to explore the trails, bays, beaches and mountains of Sai Kung.
I have a small running group for Tuesday morning trail runs, Oliver from Germany and Roman from France. We head out very early so that we can be in to our offices by 9. A couple of Tuesdays ago, we were headed down a jungle track with me in the front.
I was running along full speed when my face was enveloped in thick strands of spider web—the golden orb weaver, a spider with legs about twice as long as my fingers, didn’t appreciate the man-sized hole in his very sticky web, but fortunately I didn’t have to pull him off my face. The other guys were laughing at me as I was coughing and frantically trying to get the web off and started up the trail—I shouted, “you guys are next!”
About a mile later, with me in the rear of the line now, I suddenly saw them doing what can only be described as Euro-techno dancing in front of me, both hollering a the top of their lungs in foreign languages. Looking down, I managed to hop over the tail of a 10 foot long Burmese Python as it scooted across the trail trying to avoid the weird disco performance that it clearly had not evolved to deal with. Roman immediately ran a new European 1500 meter record down the trail as Oliver and I struggled to keep up……..