TL;DR – it’s done! we’re both happy and sad, we've raised a whopping HK$32k, thank you SO MUCH to everyone, and please donate if you haven’t already!
Hi everyone! Sorry for the long and very belated final update – we have been celebrating, sleeping, washing muddy clothes and processing emotions! We finished our Loop of Lantau just after 3 pm on Tuesday June 29th, right where we started it outside the China Bear. All in all, it was 105 km which took us through woodland, beaches, mangroves, mudflats, trails, highways, towns and villages. We survived a black rainstorm, a few amber rainstorms and two thunderstorms (the last of which caught us by surprise near the top of a hill, which was terrifying and not recommended)! Despite being repeatedly drenched, we had an amazing time and we’re so sad it’s all over!
We owe many thank yous to everyone who helped us along the way – without you, this would not have been the success it was:
1. A deep, heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who donated. Together we’ve raised >HK$30,000 for Ark Eden, which is absolutely incredible and way beyond our expectations. The money will go back into Lantau’s community and environment through the open days and events that Ark Eden will be organising with it. Please follow Ark Eden, get involved, and do your bit to look after our wonderful island.
2. A huge thank you to various members of the Lantau trail running community, who pitched in with enthusiasm and expert advice to support two rookies! The crew at Lantau Base Camp advised Izzy on gear; Nikki (who recently circumnavigated Lantau in 16 HOURS…say whaaaat) gave us invaluable route advice; and Jo Lodder and Jonette hiked with us on Days 3 and 5 respectively, their company and conversation making the miles fly by.
3. Thank you to the Lantau businesses who sustained us en route. None of them have sponsored us, we just want to shout about how great they are! Treasure Island in Pui O and the Gallery in Tong Fuk served up great meals on our tough first day, and the waitress at the Gallery good-humouredly brought us half a dozen jugs of tap water so we could refill our bottles. Chan Kee Store in Fan Lau saved us on a very hot practice hike where we nearly ran out of water (a scary and humbling reminder that even if you’ve hiked in HK for years, the dangers of heat are not to be underestimated). Espace Elastique in Tai O gave us a very clean and comfortable room and a delicious dinner; Veronica who runs it is lovely and we will definitely be heading back there for a staycation at some point. Mint & Basil in Tung Chung dished up plates of Pad Thai so huge that even we – post 17 km hike – couldn’t finish them. And another shout-out to Lantau Base Camp, where we bought some of our gear.
4. Thank you to our fabulous friends and family – you know who you are! Special thank yous to the family who hosted us in Discovery Bay, the friend who made us homemade snacks, and to our wonderful Mum.
**If you’ve been meaning to donate but haven’t yet, you have 5 more days to do so! Please help us push the total even higher!**
Last but not least: cramming so many Lantau landscapes into 5 days really brought home to us how special this island is and how many different habitats, plants and animals it supports. We saw some incredible nature but also sadly litter and pollution. Please do your bit to protect what we have, for now and for future generations. Take all your rubbish home with you when hiking; reduce, reuse and recycle; cut down on plastic; get involved with local environmental initiatives. If everyone does a bit, it will add up to a lot.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your support!!
You can find photos on Izzy's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/izzy.s.snow
Izzy and Ren