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Skeletons and Caves.

Walking Cape D'Aguilar.

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Today I decided to go for a hike. It's a while since I have been hiking, so I started with a relatively easy one - Cape D'Aguilar. This is a beautiful, rocky promontory at the south-eastern tip of Hong Kong Island. The hardest part was probably getting to the starting point, as it's a long way from where I live. To go on this hike you need to go to Shau Kei Wan MTR, exit A3 and then take the number 9 bus which goes to Shek O. Today is Sunday so everyone was out enjoying themselves; the queue for the bus was huge, but fortunately the service is frequent on Sundays and public holidays so I got on the second one. Quite honestly being in the countryside was busier than being in the city centre. There were also lots of police around to make sure noone removed their masks.

Cape D'Aguilar is called after Major-General Sir George Charles d'Aguilar, who served as Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong from 1843 to 1848. The Chinese call this area Hok Tsui, which means Crane's Beak, because of its shape.

This walk is mainly paved. At the beginning it has views across Tai Tam Bay and the South China Sea towards Stanley. Unfortunately, it was pretty hazy today so those views were not very clear.

View across Tai Tam Bay.

View across Tai Tam Bay.

View across Tai Tam Bay.

View across Tai Tam Bay.

There were hundreds of people doing this hike so the pathways were busy. One advantage of this for me was that, since I didn't really know where I was going, I could just follow everyone else.

Along the pathways.

Along the pathways.

Along the pathways.

Along the pathways.

On the side of the path furthest from the sea there were some interesting rock formations and lots of tree roots growing out of nothing, which seems to be very common in Hong Kong.

Rocks and Roots.

Rocks and Roots.

Rocks and Roots.

Rocks and Roots.

Rocks and Roots.

Rocks and Roots.

Rocks and Roots.

Rocks and Roots.

Rocks and Roots.

Rocks and Roots.

Winter Branches.

Winter Branches.

When you reach the PCCW Radio Transmitting Station on this walk, you have to leave the paved road and walk along a dirt track. There are some very good views from here.

Near the PCCW Radio Transmitting Station.

Near the PCCW Radio Transmitting Station.

Coastal Views.

Coastal Views.

Coastal Views.

Coastal Views.

Shortly after the Transmitting Station I reached the Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve. This became a marine reserve in 1996. It's the only marine reserve in Hong Kong. I first went to see Thunder Cave. This is a tall narrow cave that the sea rushes into with a deafeningly loud noise. It's very popular for people taking photos so there was a bit of a queue. I noticed some people had piled up pebbles into heaps to make small sculptures.

Thunder Cave.

Thunder Cave.

Thunder Cave.

Thunder Cave.

Thunder Cave.

Thunder Cave.

Small rock sculptures.

Small rock sculptures.

Next I headed to the beach. Again it was so busy I had to queue up to climb down a narrow ledge onto the beach. There are lovely views towards some islands from here. I know one of these is Kai Pei Chau. This translates as Thigh of a Dog Island, presumably due to its shape, though it certainly didn't remind me of dog's legs!!! The beach here is made up of large pieces of broken rocks and stone that has weathered into very sharp shapes, so it is very difficult and very tiring to walk on. My legs were aching afterwards.

Thigh of a Dog Island. Don't ask me, maybe it's from another angle.

Thigh of a Dog Island. Don't ask me, maybe it's from another angle.

Beach and Island.

Beach and Island.

Down on the beach.

Down on the beach.

Down on the beach.

Down on the beach.

Down on the beach.

Down on the beach.

There is a building on the beach here which seemed to be undergoing major renovation. I think it's part of the The Swire Institute of Marine Science, which is known as SWIMS for short. It belongs to Hong Kong University. Outside this building there is a huge skeleton of a whale, which is nicknamed Miss Willy. There are two stories about its origin and I'm not sure which one is true.

One version says this is the skeleton of Hoi Wai, an orca or killer whale, which performed at Ocean Park for eighteen years until her death in 1997. The other version says it's the skeleton of a juvenile Bryde whale which died in 1955 after getting stranded between the pillars of a jetty in Victoria Harbour. Either way it is pretty big.

The Bones of Miss Willy.

The Bones of Miss Willy.

The Bones of Miss Willy.

The Bones of Miss Willy.

The Bones of Miss Willy.

The Bones of Miss Willy.

I clambered across lots more jagged rocks to reach Crab Cave. This is an area of rock that is curved on top and has a curved opening underneath it, making it look like the body of a crab. From a distance two large pieces of rocks could be the crab's claws. This time I really could see the resemblance. This is a very popular place for taking photos. Some people also climbed onto the roof of Crab Cave, but I didn't bother to climb up there.

Crab Cave.

Crab Cave.

Crab Cave.

Crab Cave.

Crab Cave.

Crab Cave.

Crab Cave.

Crab Cave.

I wandered carefully across the rocks, watching the waves break over them. Then I climbed up a nearby hill for views over the whole area.

Clambering over rocks.

Clambering over rocks.

Clambering over rocks.

Clambering over rocks.

Rocky Coastline.

Rocky Coastline.

Rocky Coastline.

Rocky Coastline.

Rocky Coastline.

Rocky Coastline.

Cape D'Aguilar Sign Post exposed to the elements.

Cape D'Aguilar Sign Post exposed to the elements.

Crab Cave from a distance.

Crab Cave from a distance.

Cliffs.

Cliffs.

Looking down from the hill.

Looking down from the hill.

Looking down from the hill.

Looking down from the hill.

View from the hill.

View from the hill.

View from up the hill.

View from up the hill.

After that I wandered back the way I had come and exited the marine reserve. I returned to where the road had forked and took the left side up to Cape D'Aguilar lighthouse.

Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse dates from 1875 and is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Hong Kong. It is made of granite and proudly stands 9.7 metres tall. This lighthouse was no longer needed when the Waglan Island Lighthouse was commissioned in 1893 and was taken out of service three years later. It was declared a monument in 2005. There were queues of people waiting to have their pictures taken in the lighthouse doorway. There were lovely views towards Shek O from behind the lighthouse and lots of colourful and attractive plants in this area.

Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse.

Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse.

Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse.

Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse.

Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse.

Cape D'Aguilar Lighthouse.

Views from the lighthouse.

Views from the lighthouse.

Plants near the lighthouse.

Plants near the lighthouse.

Plants near the lighthouse.

Plants near the lighthouse.

Plants near the lighthouse.

Plants near the lighthouse.

After visiting the lighthouse, I began my trek back to the busstop. On the way I passed an old World War II gun battery. It looked beautiful, but I had read that the walk down to it was very steep. The last section involved holding a rope to stop falling down. I decided, coward that I am, just to admire it from afar.

This battery is called Cape D'Aguilar Battery and it dates from 1939. It was constructed as an emergency battery by the Royal Navy. It had two 4 inch guns. In 1941 it was destroyed by the British to stop it falling into Japanese hands.

Cape D'Aguilar Battery.

Cape D'Aguilar Battery.

Posted by irenevt 10:12 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Lovely walk [hike]. i was with you in spirt. -- Here in England we are in Lockdown, only allowed out for food and work etc. The single decker bus would normally take about 60 people, are restricted to 13. Keep distance and wear a face mask. Stay Safe. Alec.

by alectrevor

Hi Alec, yes I know the UK is getting it bad at the moment. Let's hope the vaccine starts to make a difference. Life isn't normal here either, but thankfully we can still go out. I hope things start to improve for you soon.

by irenevt

Thanks for taking us along on this walk. The coastal views are lovely, but it seems odd to see so many people doing the same walk, even in 'normal times' :) Like you I would have admired the battery from afar!

by ToonSarah

Hi Sarah. Hiking has always been popular here but with beaches closed, all sports facilities closed, museums and theme parks closed, I guess it's all there is left to do, apart from shopping, so everyone is doing it.

I saw someone else's pictures of the walk to the battery. It's beautiful there, but so steep to get to I was glad I didn't try it.

All the best. Irene

by irenevt

Lovely walk! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, yes there was quite a lot to see.

by irenevt

I enjoyed taking this walk with you.

by littlesam1

Always nice to hear someone is reading this and enjoying it.

by irenevt

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