Shing Mun Reservoir: Part I
We are not sporty people and it is rare for us to go for a hike. After a long day and night at work, we decided to put our one-day holiday into good use by exercising our muscles. Our destination: Shing Mun Reservoir, a secluded place in the New Territories famous (and infamous) for its inhabitants – Monkeys (we shall catch a glimpse of one of these creatures during our journey). It is also a favorite spot during summer, when families flock to have barbecue, picnics or just have a weekend hike.
We began our journey in the utmost terrible conditions for any photographer – the skies were cloudy and gloomy; with drizzles and gusts of cold wind. We walked up a long winding path, and finally, the vast expanse of water came into view. Despite the dreary weather, the lush green trees and chilly breeze lightened our hearts for the long hike ahead.
By the waters
We came to a small peninsula that stretched into the middle of the reservoir, lined with tall paper bark trees. I recall vivid memories of my guiding days when we would shred the bark off the trees for fuel to light our fires in backwoods cooking. From the lakeside, we could catch 360 degree views of the entire reservoir and we took the opportunity to snap a few pictures. The overcast skies set an ethereal tone for our surroundings, we were the only travelers on this cold Monday morning, and with a bit of imagination, it was almost as if we were transported to a faraway haven away from human civilization.
We made use of the panorama function on our camera to capture a wide angle view of the scene before us. The reservoir was extremely still, and the only sounds we heard were the occasional whistle of a bird or the shriek of the many macaque monkeys foraging in the foliage.
We came to a path lined with tall paperbark trees (Melaleuca leucadendron) on either side. It was an impressive site with these tall trees towering above our heads, casting shadows of their leaves on the well trodden path. Rumor has that there is a place within the parklands where these trees are half immersed underwater, like a scene out of some Chinese martial arts novel, but we couldn’t locate this particular spot that day.
Flowers and leaves
We climbed higher and higher into the terrain, and by now, we had completed about half of the hike around the reservoir. Spring had sprung, and the earliest signs of Mother Nature’s miracles were already erupting. Small flowers lined the treks we covered, and the lush green foliage looked transcendent with sparkling dew drops. Continue to Part II…
The Full Gallery: