Sunday, July 9, 2017

From Braemar Hill to Wong Nai Chung Gap along Sir Cecil's Ride

Above the city on a hiking trail :)
Even though it was located a fair bit away over on 
the western side of Victoria Harbour, Chinese 
aircraft carrier Liaoning's not too difficult to spot!
Other interesting sightings on today's hike included
critters like this little well camouflaged bug :b
Finally, a day with lots of bright sunshine and no rain!  And so eager was I to go out hiking this afternoon that upon pulling out the Hong Kong Countryside Map out of my backpack, I got to realizing that in my hurry to get out and away, I had packed the wrong area map with me!  (For the record, this was the first time I'd ever done this in some 10 years of hiking in Hong Kong!)

My original plan had been to try out a trail that would take me from near the St. Joan of Arc Secondary School in Braemar Hill up to and through the Mount Butler H. F. Receiving Station over to Siu Ma Shan Bridge and beyond.  Despite the dearth of signage in the area (rare when you're out hiking in Hong Kong but I guess it's Murphy's Law that when you want them, they're not around!) and my lack of the correct map, I managed to find my way to the main entrance of the receiving station -- only to find the way in barred by metal and barbed wire fencing, and warning signs proclaiming that the area's not accessible to the public (at least from that direction!).
Loath to return to where I had started, I backtracked just a bit and took the next fork I saw along the way.  Fairly confident of the general direction that I'd be heading, I relaxed all the more upon realizing at some point that I was on Sir Cecil's Ride: more specifically, a section of it that I had actually been on years ago, and knew would lead me eventually to thoroughly familiar territory in the form of Wong Nai Chung Gap.       
At a point where the top of Jardine's Lookout came into view, I got to remembering that when I first tramped all those years ago along this trail named for a favored riding route of colonial Hong Kong Governor Sir Cecil Clementi, I had looked up in awe at the hikers I saw going up and down that 433-meter-high mountain. Little did I realize that I too would come to be able to enjoy the views from there in time!  
Back then also, I got to recalling too, the only hiking book I owned was Alicia M. Kershaw and Ginger Thrash's Above the City: Hiking Hong Kong Island -- whereas now, I have eight and also am open to finding out about other trails not covered in the books by way of internet browsing, word of mouth and just following trails marked out on one of those truly useful (especially when you remember to bring the right one out on a hike with you) Hong Kong Countryside Maps! ;b 

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