Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge

Last week I took part in the Planeterra Trek Challenge with some of the Nomads Giving Back team. Our goal was to each walk/run/hike the 65 kilometres, or 85,000 steps, to Everest Base Camp. Virtually of course! I’m normally pretty active, so I thought I had it in the bag, but there were some things conspiring against me. Let me take you on a journey through the ups and downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge.

Monday 21st September – Day 1 of the Planeterra Trek Challenge

I woke up excited and ready to get right into the challenge. There was only one problem; the weather. It seemed that nature had other ideas. Some storms had developed overnight and it was raining heavily. There was even a bit of thunder and lightning.

I hoped that maybe the storm would dissipate by the afternoon, so I could get out and do some walking. That did not happen. In fact, it seemed to be getting worse as the day went on. Needless to say, I didn’t get to do any walking for the first day of the challenge. But there’s always tomorrow, right?

Tuesday 22nd September – Day 2

Once again, I woke up excited to get my challenge started. Once again, nature had other ideas. The storm was still going strong. I was hoping that it wouldn’t cause me to lose another day. Luckily, the rain started to abate around midday and I seized the opportunity to get outside.

As there were still some dark clouds hanging around, I decided to start with a relatively easy flat walk along a river in my district. That way I’d be close to home if the rain started again.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Shing Mun River

Although it is a natural river, the course of the Shing Mun River (城門æēģ) and it’s tributaries were altered in the 70’s when land was reclaimed for housing. That means that the banks are artificial, with paved walking and bicycle paths all along their courses.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. River With Boats

The Shing Mun River also seems to be full of jumping fish.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Day 1 Steps

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Day 2 Stats

15,326 steps
– 69,674 to go

11.74km
– 53.26 to go
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Wednesday 23rd September – Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge Day 3

After half a day that was almost dry, the rain came back again. I thought the day might be another washout, but there was a short window in the evening where I was able to get some steps in.

I also use an app called Sweatcoin which allows me to earn Sweatcoins for my steps. It generally records steps at a lower rate than my fitness app, but earning coins that can be redeemed for goods is still pretty cool, none-the-less. If rewards for exercising interest you, check out the app here.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Day 3 Sweatcoins Earned

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Day 3 Stats

8.96 Sweatcoins
– 23.74 Sweatcoins accumulated

11,173 steps
– 58,501 to go

9.13km
– 44.13km to go
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Thursday 24th September – Day 4

Rain was still looming, so I headed back to the river again. When I made a short detour into town, a drunk rat ran into my foot. Okay, maybe it wasn’t drunk, but it was certainly acting like it. After it ran into my foot, it slowly zig-zagged across the road before just hanging out on the edge of the opposite footpath.

Back at the river, there was a mural depicting various things to be seen and activities that take place in the district. One of those activities in Dragon Boating.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Horse Mural K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Dragon Boat Mural

On any given day the chances of seeing someone practicing on the river is high.

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Day 4 Stats

14.86 Sweatcoins
– 38.6 Sweatcoins accumulated

13,819
– 44,682 to go

10.56km
– 33.57 to go
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So by the end of day 4, I had completed just over 30kms, or 40,318 steps. That meant I was a little under halfway to the 65km/85,000 step goal. It wasn’t quite where I wanted to be by that point. I wasn’t worried though. I still had 3 days left!

Friday 25th September – Day 5

This was always going to be a tricky day to get some steps in as I had a training day to attend. Obviously, I was tired when I was done and wasn’t going to attempt anything but a flat urban walk. It was of course pretty uneventful, except for the helicopter rescue that I witnessed. You see, I was walking near the base of a hill called Lion Rock, which is a bit of an icon in my city. It can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Lion Rock from Kowloon

Helicopters flying around is something that has been sporadically happening since protests broke out last year, so I initially ignored it. Until I realised it was hovering right near the ‘Lions Back’. I knew straight away what a helicopter hovering over a hill meant. It appeared to lift three people up before flying off. I couldn’t help but think how lucky we are to have a service like this. It has no doubt saved many lives.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Day 5 Steps

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Day 5 Stats

11.33 Sweatcoins
– 49.93 Sweatcoins accumulated

13,524 steps
– 31,158 to go

9.5km
– 24.07 to go
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53,842 steps down, 31,158 to go! Finally over half-way!

Saturday 26th September – Day 6

I had big plans for a hike this day. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling sick and wasn’t really capable of doing anything but resting. And binge-watching some TV shows.

Sunday 27th September – Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge Day 7

I was still feeling unwell when I woke up, but I was also determined to finish the challenge. With nearly 25 kilometres left to finish, it was not going to be easy. Luckily, I live right near Lion Rock, so that was the target for the day.

Things started off well and the trail was surprisingly empty, despite it being a weekend day. This could’ve been because there was a strong chance of rain.

The rain held off until I was about three-quarters of the way up. This was disappointing because the mist obstructed the normally awesome views from that point.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Misty City View

There was a possibility that the mist could clear by the time I got to the top. I realised once I got within sight of the Lion’s Head that was not going to happen. It had actually gotten worse.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Misty Lion's Head

As you could imagine, by the time I got to the top, there was no view at all. Here’s what it should’ve looked like –

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. View From Lion Rock.

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Day 7 Stats

22 Sweatcoins
– 72 Sweatcoins Total

30,695 steps
– 84,537 Total

23.82km
– 64.75km Total
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Final Total – 84,537 steps or 64.75km and 72 Sweatcoins earned!

Considering I lost so much time to weather and illness, near enough is good enough for a victory photo, right?

K in Motion Travel Blog. Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge. Victory Photo 'On the Top of Mount Everest'

That’s totally me on Mount Everest. Or that’s me photoshopped on Mount Everest, courtesy of The Top Of Mount Everest. Who can really know for sure?

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33 Replies to “Ups and Downs of the Planeterra Trek Challenge”

  1. Wow what a wild hiking the Planeterra Trek. Good for you for finishing despite having a rest day. That last photo haha too funny. Photoshopped on mount everest!

    1. It’s nice sometimes. But I’ve done it so many times over the years that it can get a bit boring. It’s still lovely around sunset though!

  2. Oh no! The weather really had it in for you, then your illness made it even harder! Good work though on getting sooo many kilometers in! I love that you opted to go for a tougher walk to Lion’s Rock, even though the trek only really need the distance (not the extra height.) That must have made it feel more impressive. :)

    p.s. Lol I love the victory photo!

    1. Yup. The wet season in the sub-tropics is always fun. I was determined to do Lion Rock at some point during the week of the Trek. As usual, I left it until the last minute! I was hoping that the rain would clear enough to get an awesome photo of me overlooking the city, but instead I just had to imagine the city was there behind the blanket of cloud.

        1. I’ve actually climbed it many times in the past because I can literally start the hike from my front door. But I think I’ll wait a few month before trying again. If we’re lucky we’ll have cooler weather in December.

    1. Oh wow, it’s interesting to know that I may have walked as far as some people drove, haha.

      I have a lung condition, so scaling Everest is not on the cards for me. Plus I hate hiking in snow!

  3. What a cool idea! I love that this is to help raise funds for rebuilding tourism. It’s too bad you had a lot of cloudy weather, but you still powered through and I’m sure this was a great way to stay active. Hopefully it’ll be safe to reopen borders soon!

  4. What a cool experience! I’m so intrigued by the idea of “sweat coins”!! You did so well, especially considering the weather :)

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