Friday, January 31, 2014

Sunset Peak on the first day of Chinese New Year 2014 :)

Hong Kong mountain high! ;b

Parts of today's hike up Sunset Peak
felt like it involved ascending Jacob's Ladder!
 A view, including of the stone chalets, atop the mountain
due to that day having been on the misty side
If you told me a few years ago that I'd be hiking up to 869 meter high Sunset Peak, Hong Kong's third highest mountain, not just once but twice, over the course of a calendar year, I'd have thought that you were off your rocker.  But that's exactly what I've done -- if one were using the Roman calendar.  

According to the Chinese lunar calendar though, one year separates the first and second time I went up Sunset Peak.  More specifically, the first time I hiked up Sunset Peak was on the first day of Chinese New Year last year (i.e., February 10, 2013) whereas the second time I've done so has been on the first day of the Chinese New Year after that (i.e., today!).

When thinking of hike routes for this afternoon, I hadn't originally thought of going along Lantau Trail Section 2 (in reverse).  But when I saw how clear the top of Sunset Peak looked when a friend and I were in Tung Chung around noon time today, I decided to take a chance that we'd be treated to more and better scenic vistas on this hike than the one up Sunset Peak I had taken last year.

While this time around I didn't see any Chinese New Year flowers on the mountain, I have to say that this was a far more rewarding hike in terms of the visuals one was afforded -- what with there being a great deal of sunshine, beautifully bright blue skies and landscapes that stretched for miles.  At one point on our descent towards Nam Shan and Mui Wo, my friend and I could not only look downwards and see Pui O (including its beach) and the Chi Ma Wan peninsula but also way beyond to Hei Ling Chau, and as far as Lamma and Hong Kong Islands! Also, what with the temperature being in the 20s today, I even spotted butterflies and moths that thought that spring has arrived!
Best of all though were the stunning vistas I got this time around of the stone chalets up on Sunset Peak. The first time I was in the area, the visibility was so low that I could only see one stone chalet at a time.  In contrast, this time around, I could see that about a score of them peppering the rugged landscape -- and I also even spotted the nearby pool whose existence I learnt about via a post by Ulaca!  
All in all, today's hike was a great way to welcome in a new lunar year.  And yes, so wonderful was today's experience that I definitely would like to go hiking again on the first day of the Chinese New Year next year -- and who knows, maybe I'll make it a point to go up Sunset Peak again then! ;b


Bill said...

Hi Yvonne,

Great nature photo-essay to welcome the lunar new year...

To you, to the iconic Puppet Ponyo, to Stress Ponyo, to Muse Ponyo - and to any other enchanting little ones you may have in your collection: gung hei fat choi!


YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

Thanks on behalf of the Ponyos (and my other animals) as well as on my part for the Chinese New Year greetings. Hope you'll find happiness in this new year of the horse! :)