Sunday, August 21, 2011

This weekend's hiking (and) weather

Blue skies over Chek Keng Hau yesterday

Blue skies over Ngong Ping (and some mist
over Lantau Peak) this afternoon

Just before I set out to Tung Chung to meet my regular hiking companion earlier today, I decided to check the Hong Kong Observatory's website one more time -- and was somewhat horrified to see a thunderstorm warning in effect. For those who are wondering: the two reasons why I was only "somewhat" rather than "very" horrified was that I also saw that the weather forecast still included some sun in the afternoon and it just happening to be the case that I had also gone out hiking yesterday with a friend visiting from the US (so could be deemed to have already filled my hiking ration for the week!).

Yesterday's hike out on the Sai Kung Peninsula had taken place under beautiful bright blue skies for the most part. And although the temperature and humidity was on the high side, I enjoyed the trek from Wong Shek to Chek Keng -- which yielded sights that included tiny crabs, whole cow families, an abandoned village and a still inhabited one -- along with scenic vistas -- and the bonus kaito ride that took us from Chek Keng back to Wong Shek (and trust that Alejna did too!).

Despite the portends not looking good initially today (including my train to Tung Chung getting showered on when passing through Nam Cheong and encountering a substantial downpour in Tsing Yi), my regular hiking companion and I decided to go ahead and take the bus up to the Ngong Ping -- from where we planned to start our hike. The Hong Kong weather being what it is (i.e., often quickly changeable), we banked on the sky clearing by the end of our bus ride -- and imagine our glee upon finding blue skies when we got up to the highland that is Ngong Ping plateau!

More than incidentally, this was the second time in a month that we decided to press ahead with a hiking excursion despite it having been raining early on in the journey to it -- and it turning out to be the case that not one drop of rain fell on us during our hike that day. That first time around, the bus we were taking to our planned hike's starting point literally had a rain cloud pass over it so as the bus continued north, we suddenly found ourselves on dry rather than wet land as the rain cloud continued moving eastwards! So, if anything, our weather fortunes appeared to change even more dramatically than it did today!!

And although the weather forecast also warned of 70 kilometer gusts of wind being likely today, we definitely did not encounter any gusts close to that speed. Actually, our hike definitely would have been made quite a bit more enjoyable if there had been more and faster breezes to be experienced. Still, I'm not complaining about today's weather. After all, it proved to be good enough for a good hike filled with some really excellent views -- thanks in no small part to the rain that fell earlier in the day helping to clear the air and the sky turning out to pretty blue for the most part this afternoon! :)


alejna said...

So glad that the weather turned out to be so cooperative for you! It sound like a lovely day.

I will try to get my photos together to post, soon. I did indeed enjoy myself on the hike on Saturday. Immensely!

fuzzyflyingbunny said...

Mother nature has been good to us, let's hope that we stay on her good side. Also considering the week that we had it was a much needed day away and we discovered a new place to chow down in Lantau!

Maya said...

I never know if I should believe the weather forecast or not. Glad you got some blue skies over what looks live an amazing area.

YTSL said...

Hi Alejna --

So glad to get confirmation in writing that you enjoyed the hike on Saturday. And yes, Sunday was a lovely day too -- wish I could have shared it with you as well...

Hi fuzzyflyingbunny --

Yay, you commented on as well as read my blog! Absolutely agree with what you wrote -- fingers crossed that this Sunday's weather will be good too. :)

Hi Maya --

The frustrating thing with the Hong Kong Observatory's weather forecast is how often it changes. Also, I don't quite understand terminology such as "few showers" vis a vis "some showers", etc. In the latter case, more precision (e.g., "10% chance of showers in the northeast") would be great!!! :D

baroness radon said...

Nice Big Buddha photo!

YTSL said...

Hi baroness radon --

Thanks but I actually think that's not my best Big Buddha photo by a long chalk. Rather, I "just" like that photo because it has both Lantau Peak and the Big Buddha in it -- and Lantau Peak covered by mist but the Big Buddha not so. ;b

sarah bailey knight said...

hi ytsl,

I think your first photo is breathtaking.

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

I must say that I (too) really like how that photo turned out -- and, also, that it really was very beautiful that day. :)