Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hong Kong daredevils


Daredevils getting ready on the Dragon's Back
to do what they had gone up that ridge to do

As a parachute unfurls, you realize that
hiking up hills and amidst beautiful scenery
just isn't enough for some folks

Instead, they get their real thrills from
jumping off the hill and paragliding down it! :O

One of the first hikes I went on in Hong Kong after moving here was along the Dragon's Back. That first hike along that scenic eastern Hong Kong Island trail definitely gave me a taste for hiking in Hong Kong. But if truth be told, the visibility that day had been less than optimal and I had vowed to return again to that trail -- albeit only a guaranteed clear day.

Today, not only was it a gorgeous day when the air was clear and sky bright blue for the most part but the weather this afternoon was a perfect 18 degrees Celsius with bright sunshine but also a cool breeze (shirt-sleeves weather with sunscreen required, yet not blazing hot). So it wasn't too surprising, then, that people turned up in droves to hike on the trail -- and, my hiking companion and I also found at trail's end in Big Wave Bay, surfers over one of the Big Lychee's favorite surfing spots.

About one third into our hike, close to the 284 meter high Shek O Peak, we additionally spotted a group of people preparing to embark on an activity that strikes me as awesomely daredevillish, if not borderline insane: paraglide off the high hill (or is it high enough to be called a mountain?)! And while we weren't lucky -- or patient enough -- to see people take off, we were fortunate enough to catch sight of one paraglider in awe-inspiring action after we were back close to sea level at the end of our very enjoyable 8.5 kilometer hike! :)

2 comments:

sbk said...

ytsl,

Friends tell me this is a fun sport. A local highway runs along the base of a mountain whose top is a popular launching spot for gliding. Cars stop on the shoulder of the highway to watch people glide over them and land in a farmer's field...the not so lucky land in the farmer's steam. Friends wait in cars and drive them back up the mountain to do it again. Too scary for me!

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

I'm with you in that I find the prospect of jumping off a hill/mountain -- even with a parachute on -- more scary than fun!