Su apparently so loved the Green Villa eatery after the last visit that she began to ask me to take her there again shortly afterwards. I suggested that it would be more cost effective and safer if we could persuade two more friends to go with us. She asked round her hiker friends, but the usual suspects all turned her down. Undaunted, she decided that we would have lunch at the eatery today, before the place would become very crowded during the five public holidays which begin tomorrow. She even suggested a recee beforehand, which I declined on financial and environmental grounds – my car being a gas-guzzler, a round trip from Mei Foo to the car park at Wu Kau Tang including tunnel toll would cost more than my newly published autobiography.
Then last night, we had a long dinner at Mei Foo with a good friend who didn’t leave until 2am this morning and not before we had demolished three bottles of champagne between us. I was quietly happy that Su might change her mind this morning when we didn’t get up until 9:15am. But no, she was adamant, and I finally started my car just before 11am. Traffic was light and it was rather sunny. The road trip to the car park through Ting Kok Road and Bride’s Pool Road was quite pleasant, except that the car park was full. We tried the smaller car park which could only take six vehicles near the start of the trail, but had no luck either. Finally we settled on a lay-by near the main car park and started our walk to the restaurant. The direction at the start said 5.1 km to Sam A Village where Green Villa is situated. Su had taken direction from Mark Gor to take the easier and more shaded route which would take one and three-quarter hours one way. It was just before noon when we started walking. Su had her camera with her in addition to the iPhone, for which reason she asked me to carry her water bottle, and because of which the trip took slightly longer for the frequent photo-stops. Well, it was a scenic and easy walk – butterflies and birds were aplenty and cicadas sang all the way. The vegetation were slightly different from those on the last trip, but the route was more undulating and rocky, which was hard on the bones and joints and bad for the shoes. I slipped while crossing a shallow stream and wetted the boots, which was nothing in my hiking career, but just as Green Villa was in sight and within about 400 metres, half the bottom of my left boot came off like a slipper. Luckily we carried duck tapes or what are now known as duct tapes. I tore off a small piece and did a quick fix which was good enough for the walk to Green Villa. We sat on a table before 2pm. I had a quick wash – hands and face – before I changed to a clean dry tee-shirt and ordered beer after Su order two favourite dishes she had last time.
I took off the boots and socks and had the latter dried out in the sun. Then I applied more tapes on the damaged boot, but it seemed the first piece of tape was holding up rather well, for on the return trip, the new pieces came off, so that I had to do another fix halfway back, which worked well and held fast till the end. We ordered more food than we could consume, as usual, and finished with coffee. The young lady we met last time had gone shopping, for the shop expected a lot of business in the next five days. Her elder brother served us and gave us boxes to take away the leftover food. We were the last customers at 3:30pm; and no sooner had we started the return trip than we saw the brother driving a motorized carrier, probably good only on countryside. He was going to the pier for a ferry to Sha Tau Kok, to pick up his sister and her groceries.
We finally got back to the car before 5:30pm and were happy to find no parking ticket. I changed to another clean shirt and began the return road trip back to Mei Foo. The round trip was some 70km, and traffic were beginning to build up – people were returning home from work, or some might have begun the holiday traffic.
Back home, Mark Gor reminded Su that it would be the second time he knew I had the shoe-bottom came off during a walk; and suggested that I should carry a spare pair of boots next time. We’ll see.