If you’ve been following the saga of the journey to the west, you will already be aware that after working out the initial route, I set about looking for improvements. The route, which Paula and I do every Saturday, is essentially an out and back rather than a circuit, and all subsequent additions to the route have been at points where it turned out to be possible to find a different way on the return journey.
However, with the addition of the Tam Mei loop a year ago, I did think that there was no further room for improvement. I was wrong. During my initial explorations, I followed the road shown in the following photograph, but because it was a dead end, there didn’t seem to be much point in following it, given that the mangroves on the left are so dense that there is no view of the river.
If you look closely at the photo, you will see that there is what appears to be a turn-off on the right, and last week I decided to investigate. The area where this turn leads, south of Fairview Park, has nothing but fish ponds, but there are good tracks that can be followed between the ponds, and there is next to no traffic, so the scenery can be appreciated in a relaxed and casual way without the stress of idiot car drivers who seem intent on killing any cyclist they happen to encounter. I think that the following sequence of photographs adequately conveys the atmosphere.
Now I do think that there is no room for further improvement to the route, but at 68km, with hills in both directions that offer gradients of 30 percent, the journey to the west is more than good enough for any average cyclist looking for a real challenge.