Friday, March 24, 2017

A fairly easy yet enjoyably scenic Hong Kong hike (Photo-essay)

Hong Kong's hiking community has been abuzz in recent days about an emergency call for help by two hikers stranded on a mountain leading to the death of a firefighter who was a member of the rescue team.  Questions have been asked regarding why the hikers went on such a difficult trail in less than ideal weather, how prepared they were for their endeavor, and what previous hiking experience they have had.  

As it so happens, there recently has been news coverage of a new breed of hikers in Hong Kong who seem less prepared and frankly less respectful of the environment (in more ways than one) than more experienced ones.  As I've often thought to myself (and also said aloud to my hiking companions), too many people don't seem to realize that they are out in the wild when they venture into Hong Kong's country parks and either overestimate their physical abilities or underestimate the demands that hiking can place on them.

On a related note: many inexperienced hikers look down on the easier trails when, in fact, they may better suit their ability levels -- and also can actually be pretty pleasant to trek along.  As an example, the path from Siu Sai Wan to Big Wave Bay via Pottinger Peak is one of those that doesn't require all that much effort, yet delivers much bang for your buck as far as scenic views go.  And it's also easy enough to add extra length and exertion to your outing by throwing in a walk from Big Wave Bay down to Shek O and Tai Tau Chau, like a friend and I did one unseasonably sunny and blue sky day a while back! ;b 

 Siu Sai Wan may not seem an obvious place to find
a trail head for a good hike but look, and ye shall find! ;b
On the Siu Sai Wan side of Pottinger Peak too is
a shrine where pots of tea wait to be drank :)

Not a resort facility or college but the Cape Collinson 
Correctional Institution for young male offenders! :O
Surfers abound at Big Wave Bay ;b
The waves don't seem that big but the surfers 
seem to enjoy them all the same :)
 Things were considerable quieter at Tai Tau Chau,
with more cool rock formations around than humans
Not the kind of scenery many people expect to find on an 
easy hike that began in an urban part of Hong Kong, right? ;b
A view of Shek O bathed in sunlight and looking 
pretty idyllic from Tai Tau Chau :)

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