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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:38 am 
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Location: Pak Kok Village
A Japanese Tunnel Story

Almost three years ago, Kitty and I got lost off the trail on the backside of Mt Stenhouse. After a few hours of hands and knees ascent we came across another tunnel. At this stage it was the first we had found on Lamma. The entrance of the tunnel (which is the blue pin on the maps) was mostly caved in so was a tight fit to squeeze in (again before I knew how many snakes were on the island).

I did manage to get in after some time of clearing bushes and opening up the tunnel mouth a bit wider. On the inside, a few meters in, was a ledge with this pick axe and knife resting on it. At that time it had a wooden handle, but once I tried to pick it up the wood turned to powder. Anyhow, I kept these and even tried them out (hence the digging part has been worn a little bit.)

When we got back home to YSW we asked around about the tunnel and the pick. We were told that during WW2 the Japanese had captured the island and dug (or had locals dug) tunnels to conceal their activities from the air.

This location is above a rocky outcrop which provides a clear view out over the west channel and south west off the island.
The knife, which we believe was used for cutting roots, has an inscription that we can't make out.
Anyhow, this initial find is what has spurred our love for hiking South Lamma. As of today, it enabled up to log and record the location of 16 tunnels and entrances.

We have kept these two tools together with the locations of all the tunnels so far and will give them over to the Lamma Heritage Centre when/if it is finished [G/F of future North Lamma Library, off the YSW Ferry Pier].

We can only hope they will use them to inspire more people to love and explore Lamma (without distorting and trashing it).

PS: As a good point and footnote, it was only three days after our ascent of Mt Stenhouse and the tunnel find that our daughter, Kaitlyn, was born. No wonder she is so strong!

More photos...


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