The hike to Mount Davis, organized by Chi Sun’s Intercultural Initiatives was not a conventional one, and was interesting to say the least. Bear with us to see why.
As the day began (it was 2.30pm), we set off, ignoring the morning rain and hoping the trail wouldn’t be too slippery. Fortunately the sun beamed upon our little group just as we left the College.
The trail started just behind the Residential colleges and our first stop (first photo shoot) took place at the court located there. Our group marched on and made the hike less arduous by starting conversations with hall mates we had not met before. The hike up was tricky but thankfully short. Even after many weeks, the damage left by August’s typhoon Hato was still evident as we strived through fallen branches and tangled underbrush. However, with the help of our skilled guides, Duncan and Fatin, we reached the battery safely.
Built as a British Coastal Battery in 1912, only remnants from the war still stand at Mount Davis. During our hike up, we were told soldiers had to move equipment up that steep slope, making our hike up to the battery seem like a mere walk in the park. On our hike we explored the barracks where the soldiers used to live and the debris of the gun pits. During World War II, the battery was damaged by heavy bombing and shelling and later was destroyed by its own soldiers after the surrender. The area is currently used as an exercising ground for the Hong Kong Police Department.
Through the lenses of our various cameras, smart phones and other photo taking devices, we not only encountered the history of Mount Davis, but also explored the breathtaking views with the best photo taking angles. The highest point overlooked a perfect combination of the concrete jungle and natural beauty so intrinsic to Hong Kong. While strolling through the history and beauty, we heard strange cries that one of our group mates was convinced was a mating call of the wild. Unfortunately, it was found out to be just two of our own that had hiked on ahead in order to prank us.
On the walk down, we showed the true sign of being adventurous (lazy) by taking an alternate (easier) path that would bring us right to Victoria road. This path involved what seemed like an endless number of steps with only the noises from the cars to indicate we were getting any closer to the endpoint. We also did not anticipate a padlocked gate proudly standing 6 feet tall would impeding our exit. Our small group was faced with two critical options; to hike back up the plethora of steps we had just managed to walk down or begin our training as free runners by jumping over the said gate. Needless to say it did not take us long to come to a unanimous agreement and we proceeded to scale our final obstacle between civilization and us.
An impeccable end to the wonderful day was a visit to the Sai Wan Swimming shed where we relaxed above the sloshing waves and a picture perfect scene before returning to our daily routines.
Article by Nathasha Bogoda amd Silma Subah
Pictures by Yuanjie Yang