Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dressing for a Hong Kong hike

Please click on the photo to enlarge and
take a good look at the fellow in the photo!

For contrast, check out the attire of a sporty female
out on the same trail today! :b

Earlier today, my regular hiking companion and I hiked along Stage 5 of the Hong Kong Trail. As it was a beautiful day (with bright blue skies, good visibility that was enhanced by it having rained yesterday, and weather that was pleasantly dry as well as not too hot), we weren't too surprised to encounter quite a few other people along the trail that began at Wong Nai Chung Gap and officially ended at Quarry Gap (but actually required us to extend our route by a further 3 kilometers in order to get to the nearest public transportation by walking downhill along Mount Parker Road).

This being Hong Kong (and, particularly, Hong Kong Island), we saw many types of hikers that we have become familiar with -- including expat families out for an outing (often with a dog in tow), local retiree couples who keep fit by regularly hiking, younger couples that usually consist of one happy hiker and one not so happy significant other, and super fit individuals who easily run up and down the parts of path that most others alternately huff and puff and warily tread along.

But then came a sight that struck me as quite surreal: a man carrying an umbrella and wearing a long sleeved Oxford shirt along with what at first glance looked like a regular pair of slacks (but turned out to be a bit more sporty than that) -- looking like he would be more at home strolling along a flat street surrounded by buildings than out on in the hilly portion of a country park!

As I asked my regular hiking companion, "Surely he's got more casual clothes than that (which we saw him wearing today)?!" In any case, he seemed to have been faring far better than some other more sportily attired folks we saw out today... though it also tends to be true enough that more than once, we have been able to gauge by the clothes they wear how prepared (or not) quite a few folks are for Hong Kong's hiking trails not always being all that easy to venture on as they are to get to!


ewaffle said...

This is something I've wondered about while reading your posts on Hong Kong hikes. One one hand the trails are easy to reach--take a bus from point A to point B seems like the most typical route. Once one is there, though, they look challenging and, more importantly, it isn't possible to simply hail a cab and go home if you get a blister or turn an ankle.

So while it must be tempting during non-rainy days to decided to hit the trails it might not be a good idea although Mr. Oxford shirt seemed OK.

Love the contrast between the two people pictured. Mr. Umbrella is avoiding any sunlight (and sunburn, I imagine) while Ms. Sports Bra is absorbing all the rays she can.

Dragonstar said...

I hope the sporty lady didn't end up with serious sunburn!
I wouldn't want to carry an umbrella/parasol while hiking, but it might double as a useful walking stick if necessary.
People constantly amaze me...

YTSL said...

Hi ewaffle --

Some Hong Kong hiking trails (and hikes) are easier than others -- there's actually quite a range. But, yeah, I do feel that Hong Kongers are more likely to be lulled into complacency than many others who have lived in places where getting to a hike start requires more effort. In general, I think a lot of people find it hard to understand and believe that not so tame lands can exist so close to urban areas!

Hi Dragonstar --

Yeah, I hope so too. I slathered on lots of sunscreen and still got a bit sunburnt yesterday -- and this while having more of my skin covered than the sporty lady!

sbk said...

Hi ytsl,

More cool stone steps and a man with an umbrella and wearing an oxford romantic....

And I wouldn't want to be that young woman later that evening. Ouch, an awful sunburn waiting to happen.

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

Teehee re what struck me as surreal appears romantic to you!

And yeah re that woman: I slathered on lots of SPF-50 sunscreen before starting the hike and had to re-apply more midway through because I was sweating quite a bit from the exertion. And even then I got a bit sunburnt. So, yeah, am thinking she must have gotten quite somewhat sunburnt that day!