Port Island and Devil’s Fist

After months of planning, and various delays due to weather and other circumstances, finally we made it: a visit to the Devil’s Fist, which is one of the main sites of the Hong Kong National Geopark of China. We set off, even though the Very Hot Weather Warning was in force.

DSCF6928Meeting up at Wong Shek pier, Sai Kung, our first destination was Port Island.DSCF6924 We had booked a speed boat to take us there and later on to the Devil’s Fist. This island consists mostly of reddish rocks, and exposes some interesting geological features, such as faults. Its sedimentary rocks are clearly layered, and often those layers have been folded again.

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The island is small, yet features a very clear river. As the sun was burning seriously already, we spent some time cooling off in a small pool before boarding our boat again.

The red rocks seen here are characteristic for this area, and can be seen also in Hung Shek Mun – red rock gate, literally. The red colour is caused by oxidation of iron in the sand, when it was deposited by seasonal rainstorms in a hot and dry climate, some 100 million years ago.

DSCF6962On to the next stop in our journey: the Devil’s Fist. I had seen the rock only from a distance before, never actually set foot on the land. The tide was fairly low, so the water was just at the foot of the fist, allowing us to easily take a closer look at it. And of course make photos.

The rocks here are really beautiful, with various shades of red, yellow and grey. This are the oldest rocks of Hong Kong, formed some 400 million years ago. Due to crust movements of the earth, the originally horizontal layers are now almost vertical.

DSCF6970It was about noon by the time we arrived at the Devil’s Fist, with a long hike back home ahead of us. But we are geocachers, so what to do? Well first of all log the Wong Chuk Kok Tsui earth cache, after which I quickly hid a new cache that my friends of course immediately logged themselves.

DSCF6981Now the really hard part of the hike started, the stretch from Devil’s Fist to Luk Wu Tung. It is a really beautiful hike, but the overgrown trail and the hot sun made it really tough on us.

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Tap Mun island in the distance

Shortly after leaving the Devil’s Fist and reaching the start of the ridge, we walked by a large pile of stones – this is the former Wong Chuk Kok beacon, one of several such beacons around Hong Kong erected in the Qing dynasty era – this one was erected in 1668. From here you can look out over Tolo Harbour towards Tap Mun Island on one side, and the islands of Double Haven on the other side.

The trail meandered over the hills, sometimes the overgrowth was so bad that we almost lost the trail. The countryside here is really beautiful, it was full of flowers and the views on this clear day were just stunning.

DSCF6998DSCF6994The hike progressed slowly, as we were taking frequent breaks to drink more and try to cool down a bit. Which is a challenge when there are no trees to provide shade.

When we finally reached Luk Wu Tung the going got a lot easier. We now reached the Plove Cove Country Trail, a route circumnavigating Plover Cove Reservoir. This is a well maintained trail, which was a relief after all the overgrown trails we had walked before.

DSCF7006The final stretch went quite smoothly. The trail runs over the mountain ridge surrounding the reservoir, and the ups and downs are not too bad here. At times spectacular views over the reservoir on one side, and Double Haven on the other side. The old dam of the abandoned village of Hung Shek Mun was clearly visible, as were the many small islands in the seas beyond.

After we finally arrived at Ha Miu Tin, another abandoned village, we knew our hike was almost finished. All that was left was barely an hour walk to Wu Kau Tang where we could get a taxi back home. Again a crystal clear river provided some well deserved relief. No more spectacular landscapes there, just a beautiful forest to walk through.

This hike we walked a total of just 12 km but it took nearly 8 hours. Definitely a hike to do again some time.

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