Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yung Pak Corridor hike (Photo-essay)

When I was young(er), I used to love poring over maps and planning -- or just plain fantasizing about -- where in the world I would like to go visit. Maps produced by the National Geographic Society that came with copies of their monthly magazine that an uncle gave me subscriptions of. A map of (the original) Disneyland gifted by the same uncle. Maps in a beautifully large world atlas belonging to my paternal grandfather. Maps in another, more up to date atlas that I later got to call my own. They all helped me to plan, prepare and dream.

These days, the maps I tend to regularly pore over as well as consult are of a single territory -- that of Hong Kong. And although its 1,104 square kilometers size may not seem like much to many, I have to say that I see so many places on its maps that I want to go to and see for myself. And, yes, hiking is how I get to many of these places in Hong Kong... including those along the intriguing sounding 11 kilometer-length Yung Pak Corridor trail that cuts from Pak Tam Chung across Sai Kung West Country Park to the coastal area along Three Fathoms Cove down south to Kei Ling Ha:-

In the early parts of this particular hike, the scenery
was more agricultural than truly natural

But before too long, we had gone up to
higher ground and left the farming areas behind
-- though, on this hike, never entirely the mist!

On misty days, I've learnt to look around and appreciate
the interesting sights that nature unfurls before one

Is that a large butterfly I see before me there?
(Honestly, I don't quite know for sure!)

Hiking bliss is having hiking companions who also are into
stopping and taking photos of bugs and other neat stuff
one sees while out tramping in the countryside :)

Yes, I really did find this watery sight to be pretty
-- and worth taking a photo of for posterity!

The bare trail was how I like it -- not too dry
yet still not all that muddy (and not too steep!)

But just like in life one has to take the rough with the smooth,
so on this trail one also has to contend with those bits
with mossy stones and wet bits to step on (or around)

To be continued... since, again, I have more photos that I'd like to offer up from a single hike than can be contained in a single photo-essay!


sarah bailey knight said...

hi ytsl,

Wonderful water drops photo.

My family subscribed to National Geographic Magazine. When I was young there were ads for travel info from different states and countries in the magazine. Every month I'd send away for travel brochures from various places.

I enjoy maps too and was always happy when the travel literature included a map.

ewaffle said...

Some lovely images. The water droplet shot, cropped to fit and blurred slightly, has joined "sea off Po Toi island" as part of a rotating background for my google page.

I think I know what you mean regarding the uphill but not too steep trail. A slight grade upwards allows one (at least this one) to lean into it just enough to really move along.

Maps--maps are great, have always loved them. While online maps have a lot of advantage--a bunch of map sites are on my bookmark tab--I still enjoy using a big atlas. Especially now with so much going on in Africa (Tunisia and Egypt popular uprising, Sudan secession vote, continued dreadful warfare in the DRC, etc.) an area in which I have a relatively recent interest, it seems more important to know exactly where something is happening.

Horsoon said...

Beautiful trails! I could relate it with Cameron Highland and Fraser Hill back in MY. Wish one day soon I'll have a 'leasure' trip to HK to enjoy it too :)

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

Glad you like the water drops photo and thanks for sharing your National Geographic Magazine story. I remember ads for military academies in the magazine -- those institutions sounded so exotic to me! :b

Hi ewaffle --

Thanks for your appreciation and comments. Re trails: I like trails that I ascend to be not too dry -- some dry ones I've been on, you feel like they're crumbling when you take a step and that can be scary! Also, I don't think my right knee has ever completely recovered from my having torn my knee ligaments some years back -- so ascents so steep that I feel like I have to bounce on my right in order to swing up to the next step with my left are not ones I'm keen on either.

As for maps: don't have a world atlas with me here in Hong Kong but I have a beloved Hong Kong directory of maps of the territory along with all of the countryside maps -- at least one of which I take along with me on my hikes.


Hi Horsoon --

The one time I visited Cameron Highlands, I quickly abandoned a hike after finding that the map I was given and the trail signs were not correlating at all! Didn't want to end up like Jim Thompson after all! ;S