The day was yesterday 26th November 2016- It was 8 a.m when I slept in again after waking up from a deep sleep. I stayed awake pretty late the previous night searching on the internet about short one day hikes in and around Hong Kong. My first hike here was about two weeks ago – the very easy Dragon’s Back Hike and I ended up doing that twice. And I tell you it was totally worth it. More about that in a separate post accompanied by of course beautiful pictures. So anyway back to this post. It was like any other Saturday. Ever since I got my accommodation figured out here in Hong Kong, I’ve been googling about places to visit in the weekends and though I haven’t been to many, I’ve seen some and the place has never ceased to amaze me. So every Friday night before I go to sleep, I look up for a few places I can explore according to my convenience and interests. I knew I wasn’t ready for those long hiking trails so I looked up for short day hikes which could be finished in say 5-6 hours. And though there were many, the only one I could settle on was the TWINS PEAK HIKE, about 4.9 km but a difficult hike in terms of fitness requirement. So though I woke up and left my place pretty late (1 pm), I still thought it was doable as it would take me say 3 hours to complete the hike.
I didn’t quite know much about the place but I knew that the trail starts at Wong Nai Chung Gap. So I took a bus (6X) from Central Bus Terminus but then the journey seemed to go on forever. When I checked through GPS I figured that the bus was actually heading towards the opposite direction. It took me a while but I got down finally after giving up on hoping that the driver would take a U turn back to Wong Nai Chung Gap.
And so I was in the middle of nowhere with a sign board on the left that said “Stanley Ma Hang Park”. I decided to look around the place before going back to look for a bus that would take me to the start of the twins peak hike and thus my journey towards the stranger who made my day started.
There was literally no one there except two ladies walking past me when I first headed downwards taking those steps that led to me to an intersection of steps showing me signs of the sea breeze view, a hill top plaza and the Stanley Ma Hang park. For two three times, I thought it wiser to turn back and head back to the bus stop for there were signs everywhere stating “Beware of wild pigs and snakes” but the explorer in me never usually does that so I kept going. A few steps downwards and I saw a glimpse of a pretty secluded beach.
A first glimpse of the beach and I was already happy with where I landed. After spending about 15-20 minutes there, I was pretty sure that the hike wasn’t happening so I decided to stay some more time at the beach and explore the places around.
But then the rain wouldn’t stop so I ended up staying for quite a long time at the beach under the trees until the time when mother nature couldn’t keep me any longer from the pouring rain and I finally decided to head back to the hill top plaza hoping it would be a mall or something and I could stay there until it stopped raining. Later on, I realized that the hill top plaza was just a viewing point with benches and tables with a view of the nearby landscape, the pretty nearby beaches with proper washrooms and toilets and a desk for security. Peeping through the door that was left open, I could see an old man dozing off on a chair with some Chinese song on.
A few minutes later, a very lively Andy enters the scene.
He first gives me a comfortable chair to sit on while I wait for the rain to stop. And then a few minutes later, he leaves the FM radio on the bench next to me for me to listen to while I wait for the heavy rain to stop. And then another 5 minutes later, he hands me a packet of biscuits, which I politely accepted and had them since he kept insisting. After about half an hour, he turns up again with a huge garbage bin bag making holes in it and showing me how to keep myself from getting drenched in the rain while walking down the 3 mins way to the bus stop. So I wore my new garbage bin outfit made by Andy and took pictures with him. By this time, I was already sure my day was made. I was happily smiling. I kept thinking about how kind and helpful people can be, how I have never quite met anyone like him back home in India and just when I thought that people couldn’t get any more kinder or sweeter than this, he comes out with an umbrella in hand and a roll of tissue paper enacting how I could use the tissue paper to dry myself from the rain once I got into the bus. I was filled with gratitude and I told him how thankful and grateful I was for everything he had done and that I couldn’t possibly take the umbrella with me and then to my surprise, he goes on to explain how he had an extra umbrella with him and that it was a broken umbrella which served him no purpose and I could throw it away much like the garbage bin outfit we both were wearing.
So with fond memories of Andy, the security guy at Stanley Hang Ma Park, I headed back home in the pouring rain and thanks to him, I wasn’t drenched in the rain later on. How often does it happen that a stranger makes your day? Not everyday right?
On other days, I’d be pretty disappointed with myself with the poor planning and timing execution, but I was really glad I came the wrong way because I got to meet this kind soul. How often do you meet people like Andy? Alot of people constantly ask me why I travel? Andy is one reason out of the many why I do so. I have a few bad (I think there should be a post on it too) and good experiences from the past but Andy and Lakshmi and family in Munnar and the people I met in in Munroe Island (Amal the hotel owner and his hospitality. Sushil, the caretaker at the hotel, the boatman and his family) stand out.
Days like these definitely restores my faith in humanity and the kindness and goodness of strangers.
And Oh a few more pictures from my day yesterday!
I had to post this because it was one of those days that made me really happy – I am filled with gratitude for the beautiful day. Hopefully I’ll post more often now. 🙂