I don't want to know how many uphill steps
I went up this afternoon... ;(
These Chinese New Year flowers signal that
Chinese New Year really is not far away!
Beautiful day for a hike in the Sai Kung Peninsula :)
I spent a good part of last weekend indoors in urban sections of Hong Kong, doing such as having dim sum lunches two days in a row, attending a seasonal sake event at Sake Bar Ginn and attending a screening of a beautifully restored version of Yazujiro Ozu's Floating Weeds (1959). In contrast, a good part of this weekend's daylight hours have seen me outdoors in the less built up sections of "Asia's World City": on Cheung Chau taking part in one more beach clean-up yesterday; and out hiking in the Sai Kung Peninsula this afternoon.
And just like it's not at all usual for me to have dim sum for two days running, I don't usually go hiking two days in a row -- but ended up doing so this weekend! Granted that the journey to and from Tung Wan Tsai (aka Coral Beach), where the beach clean-ups regularly take place, from Cheung Chau's ferry pier (which I take a ferry to from Central) are not more than one hour long each way -- but they still count as hikes, even if short ones, to me. At the same time though, I don't think anyone is going to dispute that a trek along the Maclehose Trail's Stage 3 is not a proper hike; and this even if we take detour midway along it to the Lady Maclehose Holiday Village rather than continue up and then down Kai Kung Shan to entirely follow the official route!
One reason for this is that this route involves one pretty physically demanding uphill stretch very early on in the hike. For another, unlike Stages 1 and 2 of the Maclehose Trail, Stage 3 is one of those increasingly rare sections of major Hong Kong trails that's entirely unpaved. Furthermore, even with the detour, I easily took over 10,000 steps -- and many of them uphill ones too! -- on today's hike (and had over 14,700 steps recorded on my pedometer when I got home this evening).
I think one of the three people in my hiking party today was not completely prepared for how tough today's hike would be. But after seeing the splendid views and other cool sights frequently on offer over the course of today's Hong Kong country park excursion, I trust that she is agreement with everyone else in the group that today's was a really enjoyable hike.
Among today's hike highlights: feral cow spottings (including right by the trail head!); seeing a paraglider in glorious flight; and the sight of clump upon clump of beautiful Chinese New Year flowers! And, of course, there were the views of land, water and sky -- with far more hills than buildings visible for the great bulk of our hike and sections of cloud-filled skies whose sight I enjoyed so much that I ended up gazing skywards more frequently than I regularly do on a hike, never mind while strolling in the more urban parts of the Big Lychee... :)